While many pet parents don’t like their dog’s chewing habits, they don’t realize that chewing is beneficial for their furry companion. Unless your dog is chewing your shoes, the couch, or anything else that you’d consider destructive chewing, chewing is a healthy activity all dogs can enjoy. Regular chewing has a plethora of benefits that you may not realize.
When humans feel anxiety, they often find that doing something to take their minds off of their problems eases their minds. The same is true for dogs. Whether your dog has anxiety from a past life in a shelter or is afraid of the rain, chewing gives them something to do that takes their mind away from their worries.
When most people think about dogs chewing, they think about destructive behavior. The most significant reason your dog gets destructive when you’re away is because of anxiety. Giving them a durable chew toy can help them curb their anxiety and save yourself from buying new throw pillows.
High energy dogs and puppies like to chew to relieve their stress, even if it means chewing on your favorite pair of shoes. Providing him or her with the right chew toy can help focus their attention and stimulate them when you’re not around.
Chewing reduces plaque buildup for dogs. While nothing can beat the power of brushing your dog’s teeth daily, the scraping action of chewing a safe bone can help keep plaque at bay and clean their teeth. If plaque accumulates, it can cause inflammation and allow tartar to grow. These problems can then be exacerbated by poor oral hygiene practices.
Most pet parents don’t have the time to take their dogs on three or more walks a day. This can leave your dog with more energy than you’d like at night and throughout the day. While chewing isn’t as active as an activity as going for a run, it still works the muscles and provides mental stimulation. Chewing can help your dog use their mental capacity for something other than anxious or destructive behavior, helping them wear out more easily and calm down at night just in time for bed.
If your dog was once an avid chewer who couldn’t wait for you to break out the newest bone, but you’re finding him or her chewing less or not at all, it could be a sign of a health issue. Losing interest in chewing is something that happens as dogs get older and more tired and don’t require the same mental and physical stimulation they did as young pups.
However, if your dog was chewing last week and you notice him or her suddenly stop chewing, it may be time for a check-up. Take notice of your dog’s other behaviors. For example, if they’ve stopped eating their food, have been sleeping more, etc.… This could be a sign of a serious health concern. If your dog suddenly stops chewing, it could be a sign that they are experiencing pain or discomfort that needs to be addressed by a professional.