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Why Do Dogs Chew? A Handbook for Interpreting and Handling the Habit

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Your dog is naturally inclined to chew! Apart from its many psychological and physiological advantages, dogs really like chewing—it’s not a “bad” behavior as many people think. Indeed, for ages our animal companions have been munching on bones and other natural chews. Furthermore, it should come as no surprise that dogs still have a natural need to chew despite their various evolutionary changes.

Why do dogs chew, therefore, and what good, non-destructive chewing behaviors can you instill in your pet? Find out more about the benefits this enjoyable sport may provide your dog!

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What Makes Dogs Enjoy Chewing? Six Typical Causes

There exist several rationales for your dog to chew, ranging from providing relief to irritated gums to occupying their minds.

1: boredom

Probably the most common reason dogs chew is because they are not mentally stimulated! Dog ennui may affect any kind of companion, whether it an older dog or a small puppy. Your dog may begin chewing on inappropriate objects if they aren’t being properly stimulated or kept amused.

Get your dog some tasty chew toys with intriguing shapes to provide them with the enrichment they need. These can help keep your dog’s mind busy and stop them from gnawing on your furniture, shoes, or other possessions!

2: loneliness

Leaving their dog at home alone is one of the most challenging issues that pet owners deal with. If you don’t provide your dog with constructive coping mechanisms for periods of time spent alone, they may turn to destructive behaviors whether you’re heading to work or doing errands.

Give them chew toys while you’re present to promote healthy canine chewing behaviors so they know what’s acceptable and unacceptable in your house after you go.

3: Severe anxiety or nervousness

It’s common for dogs to go through periods of worry, separation anxiety, or even panic. Chewing may be a normal coping method for dogs during stressful situations, such as seeing the veterinarian or hearing fireworks outside!

There are a few things you can do to help a nervous dog relax, such as increasing their daily activity, having calming music playing, or just giving them their preferred chew toy. This will assist in diverting their attention from the source of stress and onto a mentally engaging task. You may even put a delightful treat, like peanut butter, into a stuffable chew toy to provide an extra-special diversion. How wonderful is this method of distracting your dog from its current task?

4: The Pain of Teething

Our small furry pals may attempt everything to ease the pain of teething, even gnawing! Puppies gnaw and chew to relieve the discomfort as adult teeth begin to pierce their gums. Gum sensitivity may be reduced with the use of puppy chew toys made especially for the teething stage. For even more alleviation, you can freeze a lot of variations!

Giving your puppy a safe chew toy helps promote lifelong healthy chewing habits and keep their teeth clean. Puppies chew to explore their environment.

5: Hungry

Not only humans exhibit altered behavior when they’re hungry! In actuality, one of the main motivations for dogs to chew is hunger. This does not imply that you should feed your dog an additional meal every time they begin to chew, but there are strategies to assist them eat throughout the day.

Instead of giving your dog a big meal all at once, think about giving it smaller meals throughout the day. During the day, you may also keep them occupied with a chew toy that lasts a long time.

6: Zoomies

Playtime is usually followed by chew time! Quick runs across the room, abrupt barking, and even a brief period of eating anything in sight are common zoomie behaviors. More often than not, your pet needs to let off steam by playing, running, or gnawing!

Although zoomies are usually harmless, if your dog begins to chew on forbidden objects, consider giving them an additional play session to tire them out.

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Establish Paw-sitive Chewing Routines

Chewing on a basted blast dog chew toy, the French Bulldog

Now that you understand the reason behind dogs’ chewing tendency, you may break free from this destructive behavior! Giving your dog a suitable chewing outlet can really “solve” the problem of dog chewing and allow them to continue doing what they like in a healthy manner.

Selecting the Ideal Chew Toy

Choosing the ideal chew toy may be difficult, particularly with so many variations available! The next time you go puppy shopping, take these things into consideration:

Size: It’s important to choose the appropriate chew toy size for your dog. If you have many dogs in your home, choose chew toys based on the size of your biggest dog. Stated differently, giant dogs should never chew a toy meant for tiny dogs, while little dogs can eat larger chew toys.
Chewing style: Variations in chewing patterns may occur even among canines of the same breed or size! Make sure your dog has grown any permanent adult teeth or still has puppy teeth before getting them a chew toy. It’s time to transition from soft materials designed especially for the teething period to materials meant for vigorous chewing, which are usually more durable materials like rubber or nylon, if they have any adult teeth. To learn more about the chew style your dog requires, go to our guide.

Shape and purpose of the toy: Chew toys exist in a multitude of forms and textures, serving a number of purposes. Some examples of these are multi-textured chewing ends, paw grips that are simple to grasp, and teeth-cleaning nubs.
Flavor: There are many different flavors to pick from, depending on how salty or sweet your dog like. Your dog will be drawn in and keep chewing on flavorful chew toys!
You can choose the ideal chew toy for your dog with the aid of our Dog Product Finder!


Victoria is a passionate pet enthusiast and seasoned writer at With a deep love for animals and years of experience in pet care, she shares valuable insights, tips, and stories to help fellow pet owners nurture and understand their furry friends better.

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