If you have dogs, you must understand canine chewing habits.
It is completely normal for puppies to chew on, well, everything, because they are just learning about their environment.
Remember when you used to eat dirt? 😉
If you have a younger dog, chewing is normal because his teeth are starting to come in and chewing helps with the pain.
Older dogs chew to keep their teeth clean (thankfully) and their jaws strong.
Canine chewing habits are pretty similar across all breeds.
Just give him something he likes to chew and everyone is happy. I would personally recommend a Kong bone or anything Kong related. They make a lot of indestructible dog toys for every size pooch and you can stuff a treat, or peanut butter, inside to keep him preoccupied for hours. 🐾
If you have a Pit Bull he may chew through the Kong at some point, mine did, but they are well worth it.
These are all very normal chewing habits however if your dog is chewing too much, or destroying your house, there could be other issues at play that you will want to rule out.
Abnormal Canine Chewing Habits and their Causes
You may notice that your dog chews when he is alone, or much more excessively when he’s by himself.
You can tell if you have an anxious dog pretty easily. They tend to whine, pace, bark, or go to the bathroom inside the house.
My sister has a dog like this. She ripped the bathroom door off the hinges and literally ate her cage to get out. They eventually adopted another dog so she wasn’t lonely, and destructive, when they weren’t at home.
If you have a dog with these behaviors, a trip to the veterinarian is highly recommended. Your doc can give you ideas and possibly prescribe some medication, if it is warranted.
This is a real thing. Some dogs actually lick or suck on items like blankets or different types of fabric, obsessively. Many believe this is because they were weened from mom too early, before 8 weeks of age.
If this is your dog, and you can’t get him to stop or pay attention to you, a certified animal behaviorist can help. There are many who specialize in these types of behaviors.
If your dog is on a restrictive diet, he may chew to try to replace nutrients he is missing. Talk to your vet and change his diet, if possible. If not, your vet should be able to recommend some other ideas.
Normal Canine Chewing Habits
Outside of the 3 reasons I mentioned above, dog-proofing your house should go a long way in fixing this problem.
- Make sure to put valuable things away and pick up shoes or anything he can destroy. If you have given him shoes in the past to play with, don’t be surprised when he chews up a pair that are sitting on the floor. 😉
- Make sure he has plenty of toys that he can chew on. A Kong toy is only one option of many. If he has toys he likes to chew, he will leave your socks alone.
- If you are not able to supervise your dog all the time, which most of us can’t, you can keep him in a separate room using a baby gate. You can also crate him, just make sure it’s for NO more than six hours. If you are away from home for longer than that, think about paying someone to come by once a day to let him out and play with him for an hour or so.
Dogs need to be physically, as well as mentally, active. Outside-time, a small training session every day, or a visit with friends (dog and human) can go along way in keeping him balanced.
Please remember that all dogs like to check out the garbage can every once in a while. Please be very mindful of what you throw away. There are many items that can get lodged in throats or expand in stomachs, and that can be very dangerous.
Having two Pit Bulls at home, I have become well acquainted with their chewing habits. Riley isn’t much of a chewer, but Brooke is. I have plenty of Kong bones, and other toys, to keep them both content.
Do you have chewing issues at home? If so, what do you do? If you are looking for ideas, check out my article about crate training.
Please feel free to share any ideas you have because I am always open to learning new things.