Chewing is part of a dog’s natural behavior that doesn’t subside after puppyhood. An innate dog behavior, chewing, plays a significant role in the wellbeing of dogs of all ages. The act of chewing increases the serotonin levels in your dog’s brain, reducing stress and anxiety leaving your dog feeling content. In addition to chewing’s mood-boosting aspects, the behavior also works to aid digestion by encouraging enzymes to flow in the stomach.
While your dog may be content and satisfied by chewing, obsessively chewing can be a behavior that isn’t healthy. If your dog seems to be chewing too much or on inappropriate items, you may need to step and provide redirection. Let’s take a look at some of the reasons your dog may be chewing and ways you can safely redirect the behavior to more healthy outlets.
Anxiety Can Cause Dogs To Chew
Dogs thrive in stimulating and social environments, so when they are isolated, they can experience anxiety. A dog’s anxiety can manifest into various destructive behaviors, such as chewing on off-limits objects. To reduce chewing associated with anxiety, you must determine the source of your dog’s stress.
Try spending quality time with your dog, playing some of their favorite games, and giving them a natural dog treat that is fun and safe for them to chew.
Dogs Tend To Chew When They Are Bored
Since chewing keeps a dog stimulated and engaged, they tend to do it when bored. If your dog is chewing on healthy chew toys and natural chew sticks, there is no need to redirect its behavior. However, redirection is necessary if your dog is bored and chewing your favorite slippers.
Redirect your bored dog’s attention to you by playing for a few minutes, then replacing the inappropriate object your dog is chewing with a better option. Keeping your dog occupied is key to healthy chewing habits.
Curiosity Isn’t Just For Cats
Dogs are curious by nature, and often they get into mischief when exploring their environment. Puppies are inquisitive as they learn about their world by nosing into everything. If you have a puppy or bring a new dog of any age into your home, it is natural that they will want to chew on exciting items. Dogs should be encouraged to learn new things to become secure with their surroundings.
Well adjusted dogs do not usually engage in destructive chewing activities, and the more confident your dog is with their surroundings, the more likely they are to behave. Provide your dog with a safe space of their own, filled with a comfy bed and appropriate chew toys to ensure they are confident and secure with their surroundings.
Chewing is an instinctual and natural behavior in dogs that provides many physical and mental health benefits. By providing your dog with natural chew treats and safe chew toys, you can instill appropriate chewing behaviors and ward off destructive actions.