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Why Dogs Chew

Why Dogs Chew

 
Chewing is a natural dog behavior. Historically, canine species chewed prey as part of the natural behaviors needed for survival. Today, packaged and prepared do not require intense chewing to prepare the meal for digestion. Dogs, however still crave chew objects to satisfy their natural urges.

Dogs chew to relieve stress and to occupy their time. Bored dogs often relieve stress by keeping busy with a chew object. Puppies passing through teething periods need chew objects to alleviate the stress and pain of teething.

When dogs are left to select the objects of their chewing pleasure, they often make inappropriate choices. Dogs acting on impulse destroy furniture, shoes and toys daily. You can't stop a dog from chewing. It's in his nature, but you can direct him to appropriate objects.

Select chew toys that exercise the dog's mouth. Nylon bones and other tough, processed large bones and floss-like toys make the best choices.

Avoid giving chew toys that resemble household items to your dog. Bones from your kitchen are also not recommended. They can splinter and damage his intestinal tract. Old shoes and towels look just like your new possessions, so don't confuse your dog by giving him your cast-offs.

Digestible rawhide chews can provide hours of enjoyment, but must be supervised. Be sure the chews are from a reputable manufacturer and have been properly processed. Don't let your dog drink large quantities of water after consuming a rawhide chew. The rawhide can expand in the stomach, causing irritation and serious illness, such as bloating. Use good judgment and limit rawhide chews to one goodie per session.

While your instinct may be to indulge your dog, limit his chew item stockpile to three to four choices. When you see him eyeing a "victim" like your new suede shoes or Aunt Milly's guest towels, direct him to one of his own chew toys and praise him. Giving too many choices may make him think that chewing is an acceptable behavior, regardless of the object chosen.

Encourage your dog to chew, but teach him the difference between right and wrong.



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