February 11, 2014

Chai & ToysWhy Do Dogs Chew?

Canine’s are known to chewing, it’s part of their nature.  They have a mouthful of teeth and find pleasure in chewing, a fun pastime while exercising their mandibular muscles.  It’s not always about the taste of the item they are knowing on, it’s more about the movement of their jaw, the strengthening of their jaw muscles. In comparison it is the same as when we go to the gym to exercise our bodies or walk to exercise our legs, we feel the relief of stress and enjoyment from exercising our muscles.  Your dog feels this type of enjoyment and satisfaction when exercising and when chewing and every dog will have his or her own preference whether it is a soft play toy or a hard rawhide bone.

As pet owners we all know that puppies chew.  Puppies are like babies and explore by putting items into their mouths.  Puppies also teeth similar to babies and find comfort in chewing on items that help alleviate some of the discomfort when they are teething.  Many pet owners have experienced at one time or another when a puppy has chewed on something that wasn’t assigned to them as a chew toy; a pair of shoes, slippers, table legs or other household items.  Puppies will chew and they will find anything within their reach or on the floor to chew on, making sure that they have enough toys that are interesting to them during their puppy chewing periods will help prevent them chewing on household and personal items. Setting boundaries and teaching your puppy which toys are theirs and which are not may help but they are still young dogs and should be monitored to ensure they area in fact chewing on what is theirs and not yours.

As puppies grow rules should be in place so they know that chewing on items throughout the house in not acceptable and of course puppy proofing your home is always a good idea.  Catching them in the act and saying “NO” every time will eventually teach them that they are not allowed to chew on those items and will refrain from doing so.  Remember you should always correct your dog when you catch them in the act, scolding them after the fact or when they are no longer chewing on something they are not supposed to will only confuse them and not correct the situation.

Most dogs when they begin to reach maturity or the beginnings of adulthood will begin to reduce their chewing time and have started to learn what is considered their toys and what is not.  Some dogs lose interest in chewing but in most cases if they are presented with a tasty raw hide bone or treat they will enjoy a stimulating chew.

Many dog experts will tell you to give your dog lots of physical and mental exercise to prevent them from becoming bored.  Boredom could lead to dogs chewing once again to stimulate their brain and their time.   Making toys available for times when your dog is bored will help keep them happy and entertained.

So why do dogs chew? Because they like to, it entertains them and stimulates their brain.  So the next time you want to treat your dog to something special find them a chew toy or something that they can play with in between their walks and play time with you.

LOVE AND RESPECT ANIMALS!

 

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