Dogs like chewing on things, and it's common for a dog to chew on wood. They love doing it, and that's probably the reason why they always enjoy playing with chew toys. Many people know that it's okay for dogs to chew on bones and treats, but they want to know if they should do something if they see their dog chewing wood. Of course, it's not the best thing for your dog to chew on, but you may be the one to blame, especially if you use small logs or sticks when playing fetch with your dog. Why do dogs eat wood? You need to know this to be able to do something stop them from doing it.
Why Do Dogs Eat Wood?
Your dog may chew on wood because of boredom. You don't find enough time to play with him, and this may make him look for another activity. Dogs need something to keep them amused, and if you're not doing anything to help your dog, you may soon see him chewing on wood.
It's a no-brainer that dogs live in packs and they love to interact. If you leave them alone for all day long, you might see them becoming a victim of separation anxiety. Sometimes, a simple fix like getting him a toy will work, but you may also consider using a professional's help to resolve the issue.
Chewing is nothing new for dogs. Dogs are foragers, so their natural instinct is to chew on things and investigate everything around them with their mouths. Of course, you're taking good care of your dog and he doesn't need to forage for food, but you cannot change his natural instinct. What it means is that you cannot make him stop chewing, but you can give him something safe to chew on, which will also keep them from chewing on wood.
Why do dogs eat wood? It may be because they are teething. It's usually the issue with puppies and you will quite often see them chew on wood to alleviate the pain of teething. Getting them some teething treats will help resolve the issue.
Is Eating Wood Bad for Dogs?
It depends. The most common issue is that your dog may sustain a stick-related injury when chewing on wood. It is worth mentioning that if you're playing fetch with a stick, it may also cause an injury. Stick-chasing injuries are usually more severe as compared to the stick-chewing injuries. It doesn't mean chewing won't cause other problems – your dog may have splinters stuck in tissues in the mouth or chewing on wood may also lead to obstruction of their respiratory or digestive tract. Here are some of the most common stick chewing injuries:
Small wood splinters stuck in the laryngeal tissues, under the gum line, and in the tongue
Large wood fragments stuck between the surface of the hard palate and the upper teeth
Swallowed large wood fragments may result in digestive tract bleeding and irritation
Inhaled pieces of wood may lead to the obstruction, infection, or irritation of the respiratory tract, and may even damage the trachea, which may cause damage to the nerves and heart.
It means that though the stick-chasing dogs suffer more debilitating and severe injuries as compared to the stick chewers, but your dog may eventually get hurt in both cases. It is therefore important to find the answer to "Why do dogs eat wood?" and do something to fix the issue.
How to Keep Dogs from Eating Wood?
Keep Them Away from Wood
Is there anything that can be simpler than this? You just need to ensure that your dog isn't in an environment where there is wood everywhere. It is sometimes easier said than done because your environment may not allow you to keep your dog away from wood, especially if you live near a wooded area. Even if it seems difficult in the beginning, you should still do your job and clear as many logs, sticks or pieces of wood that your dog has collected as possible. Cover any woodpile you may have in your yard.
Give Dogs New Toys
Yes, dogs love chewing, so why not give them something safer. You can find a variety of chew toys and other stuff in the market today. The thing is that your dog may not at once like the chew toy you bring him. It may require a little bit testing, but you should do it to find what he likes the most. Always encourage your dog to chew on the toy you've bought and discourage inappropriate chewing.
Discourage Chewing Wood
It is sometimes a good idea to scold your dog a bit whenever you see him chewing on wood or something inappropriate. Take that object away immediately. Use another chew toy to divert his attention. The sooner you take actions, the better. It usually becomes a tad difficult to discourage chewing behavior if it is already established.
Remember, your dog loves to be around people. Dogs are social creatures, and your company can really help them learn what's good for them and what they should avoid. Play with them. Don't make them feel bored or else they will start looking for other ways, even harmful ones, to amuse them.