Why Does My Dog Chew On Everything, And What Can I Do?
When you notice that your dog is chewing on everything you are inclined to think what can I do. If you are a proud new owner of bodacious puppy don’t worry this is normal behavior. If you own an older dog and are looking for some tips to help teach your dog not to chew on the furniture, we can help with that too.
What they are chewing on has different meanings with your dog’s behavior. There is a fundamental difference between why your dog is chewing on his feet and why does my dog chew on rocks. Finding the specific behavior and the underlying cause of the behavior is what we are looking for.
Chewing on Paws Suddenly
This is a common behavior for dogs, but if you started to notice excessive licking and chewing you should be worried. It is easy to notice on light colored dogs if they are licking their paws excessively because their saliva has pigments that will darken the fur or a pink or rust like color. This should be looked at by a vet if your dog starts gnawing on his feet suddenly or for long periods of time or if you notice redness, bleeding, swelling, odor, and limping are signs of pain and infection.
The possible causes for your dog to start licking their paws suddenly is if they have puncture wounds, fractured toes, burns, and even ticks. These are the most common but there are even more serious cases why your dog will start this obsessive behavior. Interdigital cysts, tumors, and other causes of cancer can also trigger your dog to start licking and chewing their paws. While these serious cases take time to develop physical signs won’t develop right away, but when they surface it feels sudden.
Chronic Licking and Chewing Paws
If you notice that your dog has been a chronic chewer and licker of their paws over a long period of time, chances are it feels good to them. However, there is an underlying behavioral issue why your dog feels compelled to do this and there is something that triggered or triggers that behavior. This is where your veterinarian comes into play. If you are noticing that you dog is chewing on their paws don’t worry most cases are treatable when you confront your vet. Your vet should be able to figure out the cause and prescribe treatments if necessary.
Dog Chewing On Blankets
When your dog has a favorite blanket your might notice that he is chewing or sucking on his blanket. While this isn’t an uncommon behavior it is certainly odd. There are specific breeds that exhibit these tendencies Dobermans, Dachshunds, Spaniels, Border Collies, and some Terriers are the most common breeds that display the behavior. That isn’t to say if your dog isn’t listed here there is something wrong the behavior occurs frequently with these specific breeds.
Canine experts are for the most part in agreement that the top reason why dogs chew on their blankets. Most dogs who exhibit this behavior were prematurely weaned from their mothers. Since it is their instinct was rejected your dog can develop the habit to chew on a soft fur like object. This is the obvious choice since your dog is looking to fill that instinctual need.
Another instinctual need is teething both dogs and humans do this. If you have a puppy and they are exhibiting this behavior this is normal. If you own an older dog, they can be suffering from separation anxiety. Since dogs are pack animals, they will become stressed when left alone for long hours. If your dogs chewing along with whining, barking, and pacing chances are you dog is anxious.
The last cause can come from restricting your dogs diet. If you recently went to a vet and they told you to restrict your dogs diet blanket chewing and chewing in general is common. Since your dog is used to a large amount of food giving them less food will make them start to feel hungry. In this specific case blanket chewing and gnawing should be short lived until they get used to the diet.
If you are still concerned about your fur baby a quick chat with your veterinarian will clear up any issues you have.
Dog Chewing On Wood
This is by far the most common thing for dogs to chew on since its easily available when walking outside. There are two main problems with dogs chewing on wood. The first being that it can splinter, and cause damage and the second they can swallow large pieces of wood that can get stuck in the esophagus and stomach causing gastrointestinal problems and is a choking hazard.
The good news is that it isn’t very difficult to stop your dog from eating wood. Clearing wood from your yard picking up the sticks and other pieces of wood is good enough. This can be difficult if you live in a wooded area however the general maintenance of your yard will help your dog to avoid eating wood and your yard will look great.
If your dog continues to find sticks, twigs, or any piece of wood give them a chew toy instead. If you are still having issues doing all of the above, you can use a bitterant that is nontoxic to dogs and they should stay away from chewing on wood. Also using stern commands saying “no” or “bad dog” is enough or placing them in time out can help reinforce that chewing on wood is a bad behavior. We also do not recommend you place your dog in time out in their dog crates and cages. In our article the truth about dog crates we discuss why associating negative behaviors with their crates isn’t advised. Use a specific area like a laundry room or bathroom this is to make sure they understand they are doing something wrong.
Dog Chewing On Rocks
When you notice your dog chewing on rock the first step is to make sure they aren’t eating them. Chewing on rocks for the purpose of eating them is considered a pica which is a psychological condition and compulsive disorder to eat non-food items. This isn’t the only reason why your dog is chewing on rocks some eat and swallow rocks because of nutritional deficiencies within their diet. Dogs can also eat rocks when they are having intestinal issues, diabetes, and worms.
If your dog is only chewing on rocks it can be due to anxiety and boredom. Remember dogs need attention and they will get it anyway they can. If you come home after a long day and your dog feels alone it will try to garner attention anyway it can. This is why some negative behavioral issues arise try playing with your dog for an extra few minutes and have plenty of dog toys to avoid boredom.
Dog Chewing On My Other Dogs Ears
This behavior is common within puppies and are often found nibbling on each other’s ears. There are a few reasons why they do this it can be to show affection, grooming, submission, or the taste (yuck). Since puppies and most dogs are social much like babies, they show what they are feeling though various weird actions. Both puppies and babies discover the world through touch and that means putting weird things in their mouths.
Dogs are also attracted to smells because of their olfactory senses. This is why dogs commonly greet other dogs by smelling each other’s butts. Because of this your dog can be attracted to the smell of your other dogs ears. It is advised that you train your dog to avoid this behavior as it can cause an ear infection.
Dog Chewing On Tail
If your dog starts to chew on its tail, you need to Identify why your dog is doing it in the first place. There are a lot of causes from allergies, anxiety, parasites, injury, and boredom. If you are unable to diagnose the reasons why your dog is chewing on its tail here are some of the most common reason why they may be doing so.
Allergies: Dogs have allergies just like we do with the shifting of seasons or even within the food they eat. The most common allergens within the home are mold, chemicals, and pollen which should all be addressed quickly. Your dog can suffer from food allergies as well potatoes, chicken, and wheat just to name a few can cause your dog to have inflammation of their skin. Your dog can also be allergic to the dog shampoo that you are using which can leave them itchy and irritated. If you think that your dog is allergic to something have you vet run a test to make sure your assumptions are correct.
Injury: Any injury should be taken car of by a vet right away. If your dogs tail looks broken or crooked take them to a vet. However, some dogs will not alert their owner when injured and fractures to your dog’s tailbone can sometimes go unnoticed. It is important view any strange behaviors and report it to your veterinarian right away.
Parasites: Fleas and ticks are the most common case especially if you live in a wooded area. During the spring and summer months is when these parasites come out and munch on our pets. If you are using flea and tick shampoo and a wide variety of flea and tick products most likely this isn’t the case. Another hidden parasite can be a tapeworm which causes discomfort around his little butt making them gnaw and chew on their tails. When you go to the vet, they will check for these problems especially during the summer months.
Boredom: We have been saying this throughout the article playing with your dog can stop most compulsive behaviors. Taking the extra few minutes a day to walk, play and interact with your dog is essential to your dog’s health.
Dog Chewing On Leg
When your dog starts to chew on its leg pay attention to see if your dog is spending copious amounts of time chewing and gnawing on its leg. This category is like the previous category allergies, injury, parasites, and boredom are all causes as to why your dog is chewing on its leg. Once you notice that your dog is spending too much time chewing on their leg talking to your veterinarian and running tests is the best way to get to the root of the problem.
Dog Chewing On Shoes
If your dog is chewing on your shoes most of the time its because of the smell. This category is very similar to why dogs my dog chew on my other dog’s ears. Boredom and separation anxiety can cause dogs to act out of character to garner your attention. Teaching your dog what to chew on should be your focus if this keep happening. If your dog has toys shaped like shoes you can’t blame them from chewing on the real thing. Ultimately if you don’t want your dog to chew on your shoes put them on a shoe rack to keep them out of your dog’s reach.
Dog Chewing On The Wall
When it comes to destructive chewing that can cost hundreds or even thousands of dollars figuring out the issue is imperative. Loud noises like thunder and fireworks can trigger your dogs flight response. This severe fear response can cause your dog to start digging though drywall to escape the threat. Even after the loud noise has stopped the only safe option is to keep on digging until they get out of that area.
Separation anxiety can also cause your dog to chew through the wall to reduce the stress and possibly to have interactions with whomever is on the other side. Dogs will do bad things if you aren’t paying enough attention to them for instance knocking your laptop on the floor and peeing on it which happened to me. After that happened I noticed that I wasn’t paying much attention to my dog all week luckily after cleaning my computer everything was fine and I spent more time with my dog.
- Pet Life Admin