Why Does My Dog Chew Wood?

Chewing is normal behavior for your pooch. Dog’s need to chew is natural and goes back to their predecessors and their own unique way of keeping teeth strong and healthy. Also, chewing is a pup’s way to explore the world around them. Your yard is necessarily their playground to explore, woods and sticks can be the satisfying object for your dog to chew during their explorations.

Why Does My Dog Chew Wood

Reasons Why a Dog is Chewing Wood

There are several reasons your dog may be chewing woods and sticks in your yard. Other conditions can cause this instinctual behavior. It is important to be aware of the issues behind wood chewing. Here are the most common reasons:

Boredom

The effects of boredom can make your dog engage in instinctual behavior. In its effort to overcome boredom, your dog may look start messing around to pass time. Chewing wood might be the only solution to that problem, no matter how risky it is.

Tooth pain

This is usually a common reason with the growing dogs. Just like kids, puppies may experience pain when the teeth are growing. The ever increasing teeth can cause some discomfort. Chewing of objects can assist them in alleviating this pain. It usually provides them with the same relief feeling as cold teething does to a toddler.

Separation anxiety

Separation anxiety can make your pup engaged in a destructive demeanor. A stressed-up dog may feel the need to chew objects and chewing of the wood to distress. Pay attention to the dog’s behavior. 

Pica

Pica drives affected ones to ingest nonfood objects. Occasionally, it is an entirely destructive behavior that can cause severe health complications. Some causes of pica include depression, stress, lack of exercise, and lack of socialization. Also, the pica can develop from medical conditions such as iron deficiency anemia, IMHA, nutritional deficiencies, tumors, intestinal parasites, and diabetes.

They like wood taste.

Oddly enough, your dog may find the wood incredibly tasty. It may be chewing the wood for some dietary pleasures. Some woods are known to taste sweet to dogs, so no need to be surprised if your dog enjoys the snacking on the wood.

Need to chew

Dogs usually have more of an inclination to chew objects. Some may need constant chewing, and they will chew anything they can get without distraction.

Is Chewing Woods Dangerous

When the dog is chewing wood, their teeth tend to break the wood into small sharp pieces that can damage and hurt their bodies in several ways. Imagine if these tiny sharp pieces as hundreds of fragments, looking to wreak havoc on every part of the body they contact. Some of the risks associated with chewing wood include

Abscesses

When woods are chewed, hundreds of small pieces of wood usually float around the mouth. These pieces may become lodged in gums hence causing infection to develop under the tissues. Failure to remove the fragments from the mouth can lead the infection to grow to the extent of the abscess. The abscess is incredibly painful and can cause swelling in the affected area.

Tooth Damage

When your dog is chewing wood and sticks, it might bite the wood hard. Chewing something hard can cause the tooth to chip. Chipped or broken teeth are painful and possibly can result in an infection.

GI obstruction

Sticks and woods are not meant to be consumed; hence they may not be easily digestible. Twigs and blocks can remain in your dog’s stomach and this could cause the condition. This can be fatal unless it is surgically resolved.

Esophagus damage

Pieces of wood can be incredibly abrasive to the esophagus and can cause damage to it. Think of swallowing a large chunk of wood and how irritative and uncomfortable it is.

Airway obstruction

Your dog can eat objects that can get lodged in its throat due to wood. This can cause difficulty in breathing. This means that the pet will need immediate medical attention. 

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Alarming Symptoms to Look for if Your Dog Has Eaten Wood

You probably have noticed that your dog chews wood. The disturbing symptoms may vary depending on the obstruction in the gastrointestinal system. If the foreign object was ingested within two hours, there are still chances that the wood is still in the stomach. After all, it has to pass through the intestines. The sooner the foreign object is removed, the less the chances of developing intestinal blockage. However, knowing the signs can make the difference between life and death for your pooch. These includes

Frequent vomiting

Ingestion of wood can lead to sudden, constant vomiting since your stomach will try to eject it. If it’s large, be sure it can lead to intestinal blockage, an emergency situation.

Stomach pain

If your pooch is whining at its stomach and if it appears bloated, these are early signs that it has consumed a foreign object, most probably wood. Paying a visit to the vet before it passes into the intestines can reduce the chances of surgery.

Other signs of intestinal blockage include difficulty defecating, constipation, dehydration, and refusal to eat. Advanced symptoms include seizures, fever, collapsing, and shock.

Remember that some woods are toxic to your pup. This includes woods from trees which include red maple, black walnut, yew, or black cherry. If your puppy experiences any of the above-mentioned signs, it is convenient time to see your vet. If you suspect your dog has a bowel blockage, it needs immediate medical attention.

How to Stop Your Pup’s Gnawing Issue?

Understand your pup

Like infants and toddlers, puppies like to explore their world by putting objects in their mouths. And like infants, when their teeth are growing, they create some discomfort, and chewing not only facilitates teeth but also makes sore gums feel good. Adult dogs may chew objects for different reasons. You should first determine reasons why your dog is chewing wood.

Take the Responsibilities of your belongings.

If you don’t want wood in your pooch’s mouth, then make it unavailable. Also, keep shoes, clothing, trash, remotes, and eyeglass away from your dog. Give it toys that are distinguishable from other kinds of stuff. Don’t confuse your pup by giving it socks and shoes to play with and expect them to distinguish between your boots and their toy shoes.

Supervise your pup until It learns the house rules

Ensure you keep your pup on its leash in the house to ensure that it doesn’t make mistakes out your sight. Ensure that the dog is confined in case you are unable to keep an eye on it.

Physical exercise is important

If the pet is bored, it will find something to keep it busy, and the chances are that it will make a lot of mess. The tired dog is a good one; so ensure you give it plenty of exercises. Keep in mind that the amount of activity is based on its health, age, and breed characteristics.

Give it plenty of people-time

The dog will not be able to know how to behave unless you teach it alternatives to ethical behavior, and they won’t learn that when it is in the yard by itself.

Clear away woods and sticks

This is the best way to stop your dog from ingesting wood and other trash. This can be a difficult task, especially if your yard is full of tress. However, the more wood and sticks you can keep your dog’s way, the better and safer the place is for it. If you have a woodpile, ensure they are covered so that your pup doesn’t get them.

Stop chasing your dog.

Sometimes, dogs grab something and run. If you try to chase it, you will only be it what it wants. Being chased is fun! Instead, treat your dog good and it will stop eating wood. 

Make the wood resistible

All the furniture and pieces of wood are coated with a deterrent taste to make them unappealing. Take caution to supervise the dog when you apply these deterrents. Some dogs can chew the wood even if it is coated. Reapply these deterrents occasionally to maintain their effectiveness.

Entertain your dog

Dogs usually become bored quite quickly, especially if your breed dog is meant to be active. Without proper and constant activities, the pup my engage in chewing to ease its boredom. It is important to keep your four-legged friend entertained, especially if it suffers from separation anxiety when you are gone. You can leave your TV on and ensure that your dog has plenty of “safe toys” to play with.

While wood chewing might seem to be like an innocuous habit, it can be dangerous. Each of the above complications can be incredibly painful, lead to severe infections, and can be dangerous if left untreated. If you believe your dog has chewed sticks or wood and you fear of the above complications, contact a certified vet ASAP.

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