Dogs chew on wood because they like chewing on things. That’s why you see dogs play with chew toys, and why chew bones and treats are so popular with dogs. While it’s fairly common for a dog to chew on wood (especially if you use sticks or small logs to throw to them when you’re playing fetch) your dog will thank you if you help them lay off the wood. Why?
Why Is Wood Bad For My Dog?
The problem with your dog eating wood is two-fold.
- Small pieces of wood can lodge splinters in the mouth and esophagus, causing damage.
- Large pieces of wood can cause even more significant problems, including perforated intestines or stomach lining, and obstruction of your dog’s bowels.
How Do I Keep My Dog From Eating Wood?
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Clear The Yard
Go out in your yard or wherever your dog is allowed to roam and pick up all the sticks, logs, and other pieces of wood you can find. You don’t need to do a perfect job, but the more you clear out, the better. If you have a firewood pile, it’s essential that you cover it up to prevent your dog from accessing it. You might need to tie down the wood cover or tarp to keep your dog from getting to the wood.
Give Your Dog A Chew Toy
Provide them with something else to chew. Try different chew toys until you find one that he or she likes. Leave a couple out in the yard, and encourage your dog to chew on the toy instead of wood. With time, they’ll hopefully get used to leaving the wood alone.
My Dog Won’t Stop Eating Wood
If they don’t stop the behavior, you may want to consider:
- Add something to the wood that will keep them away (bitter apple, or the sprays used to keep dogs off furniture).
- Use negative reinforcement – say “no” as they approach or start eating wood
- Shake a can filled with coins above their head when they go near the wood
- Put them in their “bad room” and ignore them for a while if they get a hold of a piece
- Reward them with treats for good behavior
These are all ways to let your dog know that wood is bad for them.
Video: How To Stop Dogs From Chewing Wood
This three-minute video goes into more detail about some causes for this bad habit and additional tips for getting your dog to stop eating wood.
More Tips For Your Wood Loving Dog
If these solutions still don’t work, you might consider a behavior modification dog training class or training collar. And if your dog does swallow a wood piece, they might choke or get an upset stomach. So you will want to be prepared by learning how to give CPR to your dog and how to cure their upset stomach.
Has your dog eaten wood before?