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Dogs chew on wood because they like chewing on things. That’s why you see dogs constantly playing with chew toys, and why chew bones and treats are so popular with dogs. The problem with wood is that it’s not the best thing for your dog. 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? Read on to learn more.
Why is Wood Bad for my Dog?
The problem with your dog eating wood is two-fold. First, small pieces of wood can lodge splinters in the mouth and esophagus, causing damage. Second, large pieces of wood can cause even greater problems, including perforated intestines or stomach lining, and obstruction of your dog’s bowels.
How Do I Keep My Dog From Eating Wood?
The key to keeping your dog from eating wood, as with anything you don’t want them to ingest, is to keep it away from them. Understandably, keeping wood away can be more difficult given your environment, especially if you live near a forest or wooded area. Basically, you’ll want to 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 wood pile, it’s important 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
Finally, the key to keeping your dog from chewing on any little piece of wood they find is to provide them with something else to chew on. In this case, 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 the wood. With time, they’ll hopefully get used to leaving the wood alone.
My Dog Won’t Stop Eating Wood
If they don’t, however, and keep going back to your wood pile, for example, you may want to consider adding something to the wood that will keep them away (bitter apple, or the sprays used to keep dogs off furniture). Finally, if you’re present, use negative reinforcement – say no, shake a can filled with coins above their head when they go near the wood pile, or put them in their “bad room” and ignore them for a while. These are all ways to let your dog know that wood is bad for them. Trust us, they will thank you for it.
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.
Has your dog eaten wood before?