Torn shoes or gnawed chair legs – sharp dog teeth can destroy a lot. But why is it when dogs chew on everything? Here you will find explanations and tips.
The dog nibbles on everything – five possible causes
We’ll introduce you to the most common reasons dogs tend to nibble on objects – or even eat them. Of course, your four-legged friend can be a combination of the various causes.
Young dogs changing teeth
Puppies chew on a total of 28 teeth. From the 16th week of life, the milk teeth fall out and make room for the adult set of 42 teeth. The change of teeth takes around three months. A sign of changing teeth is a strong need to chew. Because during this time the gums itch. The dog may be in pain or trying to get rid of loose teeth. Many young four-legged friends like to chew on anything that fits in their mouth. Help your companion with a suitable chew toy. A kong with a frozen yogurt filling, for example, is particularly suitable. The coolness soothes the irritated dog’s mouth. Alternatively, you can give your young dog toys that you have stored in the freezer. Dog chew rings with nubs or grooves massage the gums.
The dog nibbles on objects out of boredom
If adult dogs chew on objects, they are often under-challenged. Your adult dog nibbles on everything? Think about whether you keep your four-legged friend busy enough. This doesn’t just include walks around the block. Dogs should be able to let off steam at least once a day – whatever the weather. If you have four-legged friends who like to run, you should go jogging or cycling with them. In addition to physical training, the dog needs mental exercise in the form of games or tasks to be completed. Exercise your brain with short exercises throughout the day or give your four-legged friend little search tasks.
The dog nibbles on everything because he is stressed
Chewing has a calming effect and is good for reducing stress. Dogs can chew from under- or overstrained. Because in both cases the dog has stress. This can also be the case in the event of a change of ownership or in unfamiliar situations. For example, when you visit a noisy restaurant with your dog for the first time and he gnaws wood under the table. It is important to go two ways in breaking the habit: allow your dog to chew on toys or dry chews in a controlled manner. At the same time, make sure that he can relax.
The dog nibbles on everything when it is alone
Of course, the dog can get bored with being alone, which makes him chew. But if your four-legged friend is already digging its teeth into a table leg five minutes after you leave, the main reason is that it cannot stay alone. This puts him under stress. Build up being alone slowly. Many holders hand your four-legged friend a chew toy before they leave. Because it calms you down, keeps you busy – and protects furniture that is at risk of being chewed. However, most manufacturers recommend feeding such products only under supervision. Because the dog can try to swallow parts that are too large. Over time, most dog owners develop a good feeling for what their four-legged friend can get without risk to chew.
The dog follows his instinct
Of course, we can have a positive influence on a lot by keeping them in a species-appropriate manner. However, the following applies: some dogs nibble on everything because it is in their nature. This can be aggravated by stress or boredom and become a habit. With a dog who instinctively likes to chew on everything, it is important to pay close attention to the workload and allowed chewing opportunities. To completely wean the dog off chewing should be neither useful nor successful.
Particularly popular: nibbling on wood
Wood encounters human-dog teams in many forms on every walk. No wonder that the four-legged friends like to bite. Branches, bark and small twigs are some of the favorite chew items for many dogs.
Is it harmful for the dog to chew wood?
It is clear that we prevent the dog from chewing on furniture. But is it harmful if he chews found wood in the forest? Many four-legged friends particularly like nibbling on wood. Some even eat bark or small twigs. Unfortunately, the supposed tidbits can cause injuries to the throat. Pieces of wood that get stuck between your teeth are not only annoying, but painful. Even worse: swallowed wood can lead to gastrointestinal tract injuries. If this is only irritated, the dog will vomit after eating wood. In the worst case, the sharp pieces can tear and cause internal bleeding in the esophagus, stomach and intestines. If you are passionate about wood crouching, you should have an alternative toy in your pocket. Or you can incorporate exercises and small games into the walk – this is how your four-legged friend loses interest in wood.
If the dog is chewing wood, is it an indication of a deficiency?
It has not been proven that dogs chew wood because of a lack of minerals or vitamins. You do not need to worry about this for young dogs who are willing to buy and receive a balanced diet. If an older dog suddenly chews more wood, speak to your veterinarian about it. Regardless of the chewing behavior, make sure your dog has a high-quality diet with a high meat content.
Your dog nibbles on everything? Our first aid tips
Train yourself consistently by offering the dog alternatives for shoes and the like
- Alternative: toys that satisfy the chewing instinct
- Alternative: snacks made from dried meat such as rumen or pizzle, antler snacks
- Alternative: chewing roots or chewing sticks made from coffee wood
- Ensure mental and physical workload
- Is your dog stressed? If possible, relax the situation
Put away tempting things like shearling shoes
- Protect your dog from dangerous things such as power cables, poisonous plants, cleaning products