Why Dogs Chew Wood? (Causes & Symptoms Explained) 2022

  • By: Hs Saini
  • Time to read: 8 min.

Puppy and dog chewing on objects is a natural part of their exploration of the environment. Chewing serves several purposes for dogs. It’s a way for young pups to get relief from pain caused by newly growing teeth.

It’s nature’s method of keeping aging dogs’ jaws strong and their teeth clean. Chewing also helps to ease boredom and minor anxiety or annoyance. Some animals have developed exceptionally to a very marked food practice like rocks, wood, plastic, strings, rubber bands, and more. Wood is the most common practice found in dog habits.

Pica is defined as a retained beyond the normal chewing and intake of non-nutritional substances that do not benefit the animal physically.

Why dogs chew wood? This behavior could be a symptom of a medical problem, such as dietary deficiencies or problems with behavior, such as apprehensive uneasiness or nervousness, usually over an impending or an anticipated ill, boredom, or actual obsession behavior.

Pica may cause medical problems, such as poisoning, tooth decay, and gastrointestinal obstruction.

Why dogs Chew wood?

Sometimes dogs could not resist mashing on wood for a few different reasons. Understanding the possible causes of chewing can help you to deal better with the problem. Some causes are listed as follows

Nutritional deficiency 

When mineral deficiencies exist, some animals eat soil. The dogs sometimes start eating wood or other foreign objects when the central part of the feed is less available. Nutritional deficiency can be due to two reasons. Firstly, it can be due to the lack of specific nutrients and vitamins in the feed.

The second reason is that the meal has all the nutrients and it is adequately prepared. Still, the body is unable to take it entirely because of the parasitic infestation. It should make sure to remove those parasites and provide suitable feed-in formulations.

Inadequate exercise 

It can change the animals’ behavior. The dogs get attached to strange things like the wood and the beginning of the wild and eventually start eating the wood. When a dog has free time to spend with anything or does not do exercises well in time regularly, it shall begin to eating raw things, and wood can be a significant element in those things.

Separation anxiety causes dogs to chew wood to release stress. They usually only chew when they’re alone, and when they’re alone, they chew the most intensely. Other separation anxiety symptoms include whining, barking, pacing, restlessness, urine, and feces.

Mental stimulation

Sometimes, animals, like dogs, in particular, have some nervous issues with an abnormality or disease when the objects in front are captured. Pica-affected dogs may be obsessed with one type of non-food object or consume anything they can get their paws on. It can be due to nerve stimulation, which may result from lack or excess of some neural hormones or some disease or some genetic issue.

Early weaning 

The pets can develop non-nutritional sucklings of their litter and inanimate objects as dogs weaned early. Early weaning is a stressful condition that may lead to many unexpected results. One of those is eating unusual things like wood.

Tooth pain

In young puppies and growing dogs, this is an especially common reason. Like children, puppies suffer from growing teeth. Due to changes and growth of teeth, kicking objects can contribute to the relief of this pain. It provides the same comfort for a teething baby as a cold ring offers.

Boredom

Boredom can lead to the destructive behavior of dogs. When the pup is bored over, It can look for something that takes his time. Chewing on a stick can result in case of boredom.

There is a risk that your dog will turn its attention to your wood coffee table because he is bored if you leave your dog at home every day and for long periods alone. Chewing, obsessive laying, and overcrowding in canines are signs that more physical exercise and mental stimulation are necessary.

Compulsive disorders are characterized by repetitive activities outside of their usual contexts, or considerably more frequently or for much more extended periods than typical (for example, constant licking).

The dog devotes so much time to the compulsive habit that it cannot engage in everyday activities. Stereotypes are recurring behaviors with no discernible purpose or function.

Breed instinct

Chewing instincts may be more robust in certain dogs than in others. For example, hunters and hunting dogs are prepared to take things with their mouths as their instincts dictate.

Dogs Chew Wood Symptoms

If your dog has ingested any piece of wood in small or large quantity, you may see the following signs and symptoms in them:

  • Anorexia
  • Ulcers in the mouth, esophagus, and respiratory tract
  • Vomiting on ingestion
  • Diarrhea
  • Foul smell
  • Defecation problem
  • Stools of black color
  • Burping
  • Drooling of saliva
  • Pain in the abdominal part
  • Gastrointestinal blockage
  • Choking (intestines)
  • Sneezing or coughing (if an object blocks the respiratory tract)
  • Infection, especially if things are dirty or contaminated (feces, for example)
  • Poisoning, depending on which substances are on items (household cleaner or medication bottles, for instance)
  • Lethargy
  • Collapse

Is it ok for dogs to chew on wood?

Tooth damage

When a dog chews on a stick, it may put a lot of force into each bite. Chewing a hard outside like wood can cause a tooth to chip or break—broken teeth in possible infections and pain. Dental abscesses can even occur.

Abscesses

Hundreds of tiny pieces float around the mouth when sticks and wood are chewed. These small parts can be put into the gums, causing an infection to brew beneath the tissue. It leads to abscesses. Access is a severe issue as it may result in serious illness.

Damage to the esophagus

Parts of wood and sticks can be unbelievably abrasive when swallowed on the esophagus. The esophagus and severe pain can be damaged. Sudden and excessive squirting, rumbling, regurgitation, and repetitive swallowing are signs of a bone obstruction in the esophagus.

A partial block may allow for the passage of fluids, but not food. When it is not treated, there may be loss of appetite, loss of weight, and lethargy. It may furthermore perforate the esophagus that may require an operation.

GI obstruction

Wood and sticks are therefore not easily digestible and must not be eaten. Twigs may remain in pets’ intestines or stomachs, which lead to GI obstruction. It results in the blockage of food and water, which may be partial or complete. Both the condition of blockage shall lead towards anorexia and lethargy.

Airway obstruction

Because your dog can swallow the irregular wood and sticks, stick parts can get lodged in your throat. It can cause extreme distress and even breathing difficulty. Everything which affects the breathing skills of the pup is a severe health emergency.

Every one of these complications can be extremely painful, cause a severe infection, and, if left untreated, may be fatal. Contact your veterinarian ASAP if you think your dog has consumed wood or sticks and fears any of the above scenarios.

How to stop dog from chewing wood?

Once you know what causes destructive chewing behavior, you can take specific measures, such as prevention and behavioral training, entertainment, and pay the attention you deserve to your canine friend. Here are some of the things you should do to prevent your dog from chewing on wood.

Provide chew toys

One of the easiest ways to stop a puppy from chewing wood is to make it more productive for them to chew. It should be an easy enough to distract him with a Long Lasting Chewing Toys that can’t damage his teeth and swallow. Ensure that you find durable materials. Just give your dog a toy every time he begins to chew on your furniture.

Create physical barriers between the dog and wood trim

A different simple solution is to physically keep your dog separate and away from the wooden clothes room. Animals or gates can keep your dog out of areas or objects that he has attached. Crates are an excellent puppy training tool and can be your adult dog’s haven. For dogs, it’s intuitive to look for small, safe spaces.

Give your dog enough attention and exercise

Physical and mental stimulation is essential for dogs every day. Fitness is necessary for the overall well-being of a dog. The dogs can get bored and anxious without such stimulation and will chew items like cuts.

Dogs are highly social, giving them chances to socialize with people and other animals. If necessary, you can hire a pet sitter or ask a related person to help your dog socialize, play with him and take him for walks.

A spray of a taste deterrent fluid

The use of bitter apple spray on the furniture, the primary board, and all the preferred chewing spots is also a solution. The dog is not going to taste horrible of anything.

Behavior modification training

Begin your dog’s mentoring by giving him a firm “No” when you see him starting to chew on the corner of the escalator or wooden furnishings. Do not punish or chase your dog when chewing begins, following basic dog training techniques.

Instead, offer treatments, pats, or praises when he stops — but you have to say ‘no’ right after he stops. Does this until your dog knows that chewing won’t get any treatments to him.

When a dog’s behavior is unwelcomed, there are three levels of attention:

1. Within the usual range of behavior for the breed, species and age are some behaviors. In such cases, owners need help in determining how should properly manage behaviors.

2. More daunting or tricky traits are those within or marginally out of the prediction interval but incredibly strenuous or hard to prevent. A few examples are Overactivity, pursuit, predation, yowling, pissing, and urinary incontinence.

This classification may also include everyday things but not suitable for the family and households (i.e., mismatch).

These problems require conduct evaluation and mental health treatment to help ensure owners have a reasonable view of what can be done and to enact treatment strategies such as environmental sustainability and reconfiguration of conduct.

3. Unhealthy or pathological behavioral patterns arise due to emotional diseases or psychiatric issues.

Everything in these could have been made a significant contribution to genetic factors, strenuous maternal and neonatal surroundings (prenatal, neonatal), a lack of early society, medical disturbances that affect brain health and well-being, or incredibly distressing ecological events.

The prognosis can be cautious, and owners’ perceptions can be adapted to achieve a fitting end. Most treatments require ambient administration and behavior modification, usually combined with medication, to deal with underlying diseases and support learning.

This includes dietary products of natural origin and medicines for the betterment of disease conditions and behavioral issues.

Medical Treatment

In case of any diseases related to either nervous system, some hormonal changes, deficiency in feed or pa, parasitic infestation, contact your nearest vet as soon as possible.

Always keep it in that only a proper treatment after diagnosing correctly will lead to appropriate treatment and problems. Please do not use any medicine without proper instructions from your vet, as it may worsen the situation. 

Conclusion

While chewing on the wood may seem like an unsafe habit, your home and dog will be harmful. Teaching teeth puppies what to chew on helps them not continue their custom into adulthood.

Adult dogs are prevented from using other methods to alleviate the need to kite when they give them appropriate toys and treatments and keep their dogs engaged, active, and adequately fed.

Always consult your nearest veterinarian in case of any clinical findings you see in your dogs. Do not administer any medicine without proper instructions.