Why is my puppy chewing on wood? Typically, a dog that chews non-edible items is either bored, agitated or experiencing tooth pain. Regardless of the reason, dogs that chew on wood do more than cause property damage. Your dog stands the risk of ingesting tiny wood splinters, which can cause internal organ damage.
There are several reasons why dogs sometimes cannot avoid chewing on wood. Understanding the potential causes of the chewing activity can help you address the issue more effectively.
• Dental and teething problems
Why do dogs gnaw on wood? Puppies may chew on wood to alleviate the pain and discomfort associated with teething. At four to thirty weeks, pups’ teeth begin to grow rapidly, which can be painful for young animals.
This could be the primary cause of the unattractive teeth marks on the wood trim. Dental issues in mature dogs can lead to persistent chewing
There is a potential that your dog has turned his attention to your wooden coffee table because he is bored if you go to work every day and leave him home alone for long periods. Compulsive chewing, obsessive licking, and excessive canine grooming require excellent physical activity and mental stimulation.
• Fear and anxiety
Anxiety in dogs displays various symptoms, one of which may be compulsive wood-chewing. Puppies become agitated for various causes, and you must determine what is causing your dog’s destructive behavior.
Your dog may be experiencing separation anxiety. Have you moved recently, or has your household had a significant shift?
It’s possible that your dog is feeling anxious, distressed, or agitated and is attempting to deal by chewing on wooden window frames or furniture. Determine what is going on with your canine companion and learn how to stop him from chewing on wood.
• Due to Breed instinct
Due to Breed instinct, As mandated by their instincts, retrievers and hunting puppies, for instance, are predisposed to seize items with their lips.
What happens if my dog eats wood?
Even if you are an attentive and caring dog owner, you may encounter the following: You bring your dog to the park and, after a moment’s distraction, discover that your puppy chewing on a wooden stick. What should you do if you suspect that your dog has consumed wood?
• Stay Calm
As challenging as it may be, the first and best action you can take is maintaining your composure. Christine Ahrant, a researcher at the University of Veterinary Medicine in Vienna, stated in a paper published in 2021 that just 3.6% of wood-chewing dogs required veterinary care at some time.
Therefore, there is a good possibility that your dog will be well, especially if ingesting wood was an isolated incident and not a habit
• Evaluate the damage
The second step is to determine if splinters or other small wood fragments have caused apparent harm to your puppy’s mouth. Examine your dog for any minor cuts or wounds that could suggest a piece of wood is lodged in its mouth.
Additionally, attempt to estimate how much wood your puppy consumes. You can estimate the amount of wood that was chewed by examining the piece of wood to see whether any significant chunks are missing.
If possible, it would also be beneficial to identify the tree species from which the wood originated, as certain trees are toxic to dogs. If you believe the limb could have come from one of these trees, do not hesitate to take your dog to the veterinarian.
• Observe the Symptoms
Everything would likely be alright if your dog ingested an innocuous form of wood. However, it is prudent to continue monitoring your dog for the next two hours.
The two-hour mark is significant because, at this period, the wood will still be in the stomach, where it can be more easily removed if symptoms develop. Within that time frame, you should immediately bring your puppy to a veterinarian if:
- It is crying out in pain.
- The abdomen appears distended.
- You observe recurrent vomiting
- It will not eat or drink.
Once again, it is essential to act immediately. If a larger piece of wood enters your dog’s intestine, the effects could be severe: In addition to having surgery, the patient will experience a high fever and perhaps convulsions.
How to Prevent a Puppy from Chewing Wood?
Once you have determined the cause of your dog’s destructive chewing, you can take measures such as prevention, behavior modification, distraction, and giving him the attention he needs. Here are a few things you can do to prevent your puppy from gnawing on wood.
• Take precautionary steps
Once your dog has developed a chewing habit, eliminating the practice may take some time. As a preventative measure, pick up and store any stray branches, twigs, and non-edible yard debris your dog may have resorted to chewing on when you’re not around.
In addition to ongoing training and supervision, you may also wish to prevent your dog from entering rooms in the house where he could hurt himself or your things. Install barriers at home or confine him to his crate when no one is home to supervise him.
Crate training is not always a punishment and has many positive effects, so there’s no need to worry about being harsh. For instance, traveling with your dog is more accessible if crate-trained. For instance, traveling with your dog is more accessible if crate-trained.
• Implement behavior modification instruction
Start training your puppy by giving him a firm “No” anytime he chews on the corner of the staircase or wooden furniture.
Following basic puppy training practices, do not chase or reprimand your puppy when it begins to chew.
Instead, provide him goodies, pats, or compliments when he stops, but only immediately after you say “No” to help him make the connection. Repeat this process until your puppy realizes chewing will not earn him goodies.
• Provide him with chew toys
Chew toys are a simple and efficient solution for excessive chewing. If you want to know how to stop a dog from chewing on wood, chew toys meant to alleviate teething discomfort may be the answer.
Ensure that they are constructed of robust materials. Offer your puppy a chew toy anytime he begins to destroy your furnishings.
• Provide your puppy with ample exercise and playtime.
Exercise and playtime are vitally essential for maintaining your dog’s health. If your puppy’s chewing results from boredom or worry, he may not be receiving enough stimulus or attention.
Dogs are highly sociable creatures; therefore, you should allow them to interact with humans and other animals. You can hire a pet sitter or ask a relative to assist in socializing, playing with, and walking your dog if necessary.
• Utilize chew-deterrents for dogs
How can a puppy be prevented from chewing on wood trim? Spray an anti-gnawing agent, such as bitter apple spray, on wooden furniture, wood trim, and dry walls to avoid chewing the puppy.
By mixing vinegar and apple cider, you can make a repellent that you can use to keep your dog away from wooden objects. Remember that behavior modification would be more beneficial than deterrents.
What are puppies lacking when they consume wood?
The act of chewing wood has psychological and behavioral foundations under normal conditions. There are circumstances, however, where your dog’s behavior may indicate an underlying medical concern. Pica may cause your dog persistently chews and attempts to consume pieces of wood.
Pica is a disorder that compels canines to consume non-edible substances. Along with wood, golf balls, socks, and underwear are frequent items that attract dogs’ attention.
This poses a risk to your dog since cloth and wood can easily impede its respiratory and digestive tracts, necessitating emergency surgery. However, what can you do if you suspect your dog has pica?
Dr Kelly Black, Coordinator of the Faculty of Veterinary Technology at Cedar Valley College in Lancaster, Texas, states that pica cannot be diagnosed due to the lack of physiological signs; however, the underlying medical disease can be identified by lab tests.
In most situations, pica is caused by a shortfall in one or more specific nutrients; a deficiency your dog seeks to compensate for by consuming non-food objects.
Once your veterinarian has determined your dog’s unmet nutritional needs, you will only need to change its diet. Within many days, the issue will be resolved. Pharmacological treatment will be the best action if a parasite causes a nutritional deficiency.
Frequently Asked Question
Puppies learn to chew at a very young age to alleviate the discomfort of teething. Their chewing helps strengthen jaw strength and stimulates salivation, enhancing dental health in dogs.
These puppies explore their environment with their lips, a critical stage of development that lasts a lifetime. Sticks and pieces of wood are common for puppies to satisfy their desire to chew.
Chewing releases endorphins, which relieve tension and stimulate your dog’s mind. Occasionally, dogs bite on wood items out of worry or fear, especially when left alone. Remember that your dog does not know when you will return and will often resort to destructive behavior to fill the vacuum.
Wood, however, is hazardous to your dog’s health, as splinters can cut the gums and provide a severe choking hazard. It is essential to teach your dog what is and is not acceptable to chew on. Attempt to engage and nurture them with dog chew sticks and bones.
You will need to adjust your routine and foster good habits. Playing fetch with wooden sticks increases the possibility that your dog will repeatedly chew on wood throughout the house.
Play with a ball or natural beef bones manufactured exclusively for dogs instead of a stick. You will lessen the likelihood that they will wreck your home by providing them with a few engaging toys. Adding a few items to your friend’s collection will make all the difference when leaving them home alone.
Why is my puppy chewing on wood? Your puppy’s propensity to gnaw on wood is both destructive and hazardous. He may simply be teething and eventually outgrow this undesirable behavior, but he may also be chewing out of boredom or fear.
Provide your dog with an abundance of safe chew toys and daily exercise. Make a chewing-deterrent spray and remove all sticks and logs from your yard.
Utilize positive reinforcement training approaches to eradicate undesirable behavior. Your dog will eventually learn to avoid your wood and only chew on objects he is permitted to chew.