Why Dogs Chew and What To Do About It?

Learn proven ways to understand the Why, What, When, & How to behind your dog’s natural chewing instincts and create ways to avoid unnecessary destructive & behavioral issues later.

Why Do Puppies Chew?

Puppies chew for the same reasons that babies chew on things – they’re teething!!
Have you ever noticed how sharp your puppies teeth are? There are other reasons too. Most of them are listed here:   
    • Teething 
    • Boredom 
    • Learning About The World 
    • Helps To Relax 
    • No Bite Inhibition 
For more information on the last item on the list – Bite Inhibition – check out our page on PLAY BITING for why puppies (and sometimes adult dogs) play too rough, and what you can do about it. 

Why Do Adult Dogs Chew?​ 

Adult dogs chew on things for a lot of the same reasons puppies do. Chewing (and other repetitive actions like licking) help them to relax, so adult dog should be encouraged to get their excess energy out with chewing – but only on appropriate things. We’ll talk about those later. 
    • Boredom 
    • Nervous/Anxious 
    • Hungry 
    • Helps To Relax 

What is OK For My Dog to Chew?

Now that you know what your dog likes to chew the most, you can pick the right types of toys that will help them learn what to chew on and what not to chew on. Some of these options are rubber and safe to chew on, and others are edible and have no chemicals, so they are easy to digest. 
For Puppies and Small Dogs (links to product options?): 
These options are smaller and softer versions of the chews for adult dogs. 
Perfect for puppies with sharp little teeth! Make sure to supervise your puppy the first whenever you give them anything new.  

For Adult Dogs (links to product options?): 
These options are best for the average adult dog. They’re made of harder materials and can take your dog a while to finish them. The best options for dogs to chew are the texture of wood (somewhat hard) and are fully digestible when consumed. Use these as a nice snack or to burn off some extra energy if your dog hasn’t been able to exercise as much. 

For BIG Chewers (links to product options?): 
These options are ideal for very strong dogs with powerful jaws and a lot of energy to let out. These can work for most adult dogs, but may be too difficult for many. Recommended for big and powerful dogs! 

Frequently Asked Questions

Why Does My Dog Chew On The Furniture?

  • Think of all the things that your dog might already be chewing on around the house – what do they have in common? 
  • Most of the things dogs like to chew on have a good texture like wood or leather that they can dig their teeth into. Think of how wood is not too hard and a teething puppy can bite down really hard on it. Here are some examples of toys you might have for your dog that can be fun, but won’t help very much with chewing.

What If I Catch My Dog Chewing Something Bad?

  • The simplest solution to problem chewing is to make sure you have good chews ready all the time. 
  • If you catch your dog chewing on something they shouldn’t, like the furniture, you can use a light punishment like a mean voice and say “NO!” (WHAT IS PUNISHMENT) 
  • After that you have to wait 5-10 seconds before give your dog the appropriate thing to chew on. It should look something like this: 

How To Prevent Chewing When You're Not Around ​

Now of course you're not always going to be around when your dog wants to chew on things. You have 2 options to help you when you're not at home: 
  • Crate and Chew! 
If you just got your puppy or adult dog, it’s important that they learn to like being in the crate for short periods of time, especially when you’re not home. Review the lesson on ALL ABOUT CRATES to make sure your dog likes going in the crate. Then you can use one of the chew toys mentioned before for them to chew on when you’re not around. 
  • Bitter Apple For Management 
As you start to give your dog more freedom around the house when you go out, you can ensure they don’t learn to chew on furniture and other things. 
But remember that these sprays are only management tools, and should be used in combination with good training to teach your dog what they should chew on instead. Otherwise, they will learn to eat the bitter spray too in a couple of weeks! 

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Click here to download the Snoot App for a smoother experience.