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Stop Your Dog’s Wood Chewing Habits: Tips and Tricks (2024)

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dog chewing woodYou know your dog best, so you’ve likely noticed their tendency to chew on wood around the house. Nearly 80% of dogs chew items they shouldn’t at some point. But it’s worth understanding why your pup craves the crunch of wood between their teeth.

Dogs may chew wood when they’re teething, bored, or just following their instincts.

While it’s normal, wood splinters and chemicals can harm your dog. You want to keep them safe without breaking their spirit. With some simple changes, you can redirect your dog’s chewing to toys and tasks that satisfy their needs.

And remember, compassion and patience work better than anger. Your dog wants to please you.

Key Takeaways

  • Dogs chew wood for various reasons such as teething pain relief, boredom, strong chewing instincts, and dental discomfort.
  • Chewing wood can be dangerous for dogs as it can cause choking, injury, bacterial exposure, and intestinal blockage.
  • Preventing access to wood by removing debris, bringing tempting chews indoors, limiting unsupervised access, and using barriers like baby gates or crates can help.
  • Providing appropriate chews like rubber or rope toys, raw bones, bully sticks, and antlers can redirect dogs’ chewing behavior and satisfy their needs.

Why Does Your Dog Chew Wood?

Why Does Your Dog Chew Wood
Some dogs chew wood to relieve teething pain or dental discomfort. Others do it out of boredom when their needs for mental stimulation and activity are not met. Certain breeds like Labradors have a particularly strong natural instinct to chew that drives the behavior as well.

Teething and Dental Issues

You’re wise to satisfy your pup’s urge to chew during their teething phase. Young dogs need to exercise their jaws while new teeth come in. Give your canine lots of chew toys and bones to strengthen their jaw muscles safely.


The unknown tempts your curious canine.

  • New chew toys
  • Interactive playtime
  • Food puzzles
  • Change environments

When dogs lack stimulation, they often turn to chewing for mental and physical activity.

Breed Instinct

Some dogs just gotta chew because it’s in their genes.

Breeds prone to wood chewing Reasons for chewing Ways to stop chewing
Beagles Instinctual behavior Provide alternatives
Labradors High prey drive Limit access
German Shepherds Boredom Deter with sprays
Huskies Excess energy Stimulate mentally
Chihuahuas Teething puppies Train impulse control

Wood chewing is natural but risky. Guide your pup positively to healthier habits.

Why is Wood Bad for My Dog?

Why is Wood Bad for My Dog
Wood poses serious dangers that dog owners need to take seriously. Wood splinters easily and can cause choking hazards or internal injuries if swallowed. You’ll also want to avoid wood because it is much less healthy compared to alternatives like rubber chew toys or raw bones.

Choking Hazard and Injuries

Chewing wood puts your pup at risk of getting splinters in their mouth or throat.

  • Splinters can lodge in the gums, tongue, or roof of the mouth.
  • Sharp pieces of wood can cause cuts inside the mouth or on the tongue.
  • Swallowing wood chips or splinters poses a danger of intestinal blockage.
  • Larger pieces of wood may become stuck in the throat and require removal to avoid choking.
  • Dental fractures are possible from aggressive chewing of hard wood objects.

Rather than wood, provide safe rubber or rope toys to satisfy your dog’s natural desire to chew.

Less Healthy Than Chew Toys

Plain chew toys like bones and rubber are safer snacks than wood for your pup. Bully sticks and collagen sticks make healthier chew options. Let your pooch pick their favorite toy and reward them for gnawing the right stuff.

Teething puppies need something to relieve their urge to chew. Guide them to chew toys, not your furniture.

How Do I Keep My Dog From Eating Wood?

How Do I Keep My Dog From Eating Wood
When you find your dog chewing on sticks or wood piles outside, it’s time to clear the yard. Remove any wood debris your pup has access to so the temptation isn’t there. Also, be sure to provide plenty of appropriate chew toys to divert your dog’s need to chew.

Rotate different textured rubber toys to keep things interesting. Lastly, reduce boredom by providing daily walks, playtime, training sessions, and food puzzle toys.

Clear the Yard

You’ll need to clear the yard of sticks and wood piles to eliminate your dog’s access to chew temptations. Bring in any natural beef bones or that good old-fashioned bone to curb your furry friend’s obsession.

Proper training, paired with professional care, helps end inappropriate chewing for good.

Give Your Dog a Chew Toy

Gotta grab that drooling mutt a gnarly chew toy before he turns your deck into a pile of toothpicks!

  1. Nylabones
  2. Kongs
  3. Bully sticks
  4. Antlers

Swap those wooden sticks for approved chews. Rotate novel toys to keep Fido entertained.

Reduce Boredom

You’re going to need to add more excitement into Fido’s routine to curb the temptation to chew. Walk them daily, train new tricks, use puzzle toys when you’re away. Rotate novel bones and toys often to keep things fresh.

Mental stimulation is key – a tired pup is less inclined to gnaw your woodwork. Give that mouth meaningful work instead.

My Dog Won’t Stop Eating Wood

My Dog Won
Offer enticing chew toys whenever you leave your dog unsupervised, rotating the options to keep him engaged. Also, be sure to give your dog plenty of exercise and playtime daily to prevent inappropriate chewing from boredom.

Exercise your dog regularly to prevent boredom that leads to inappropriate wood chewing. In addition, provide interesting chew toys when leaving your dog alone and rotate the options to keep him engaged with the toys rather than the furniture.

Monitoring your dog when unsupervised and praising appropriate chewing can also help break the wood chewing habit over time.

Take Preventive Measures

Take preemptive action to curb your dog’s wood-chewing habits before they become ingrained. Redirect the chewing impulse with enticing toys. Use barriers and confinement when unsupervised. Most importantly, provide constant outlets like play, training, and exercise to satisfy your pup’s needs.

Nip destructive tendencies in the bud through diligent prevention. Your dog’s health and happiness depend on it.

Offer Him Chew Toys

You have a 70% chance of curbing wood chewing by providing quality chews.

  1. Offer various textures like rubber, rope, and bone.
  2. Rotate novel toys to prevent boredom.
  3. Choose durable chews sized for the dog.
  4. Stuff Kongs and puzzles with treats.

Giving your dog appropriate outlets for his chewing instincts lessens undesirable behaviors. Chewing satisfies a basic need, so provide acceptable chews. With patience and diligence, you can steer him toward positive chewing habits.

Give Your Dog Lots of Exercise and Play

Wear him out with daily adventures to satisfy his energetic spirit. Give him vigorous walks, jogs, play sessions, and training exercises. Make time for fun in this stimulating routine. An exercised dog will gladly rest rather than chew wood from boredom.

Tips for Promoting Healthier Habits

Tips for Promoting Healthier Habits
First and foremost, using positive reinforcement will help shape better chewing habits in your dog. Proper training techniques, like redirection and command training, should also be consistently used to teach appropriate chewing.

And be sure to address any underlying causes, such as boredom, anxiety, or lack of exercise, that may be contributing to the wood chewing.

Positive Reinforcement

Jump aboard the positive reinforcement train and reward your pup’s good behavior as it happens. Immediately praise and treat him when catching good chewing habits to reinforce them. Use chew toys and brain games for even more rewards. Soon, your dog will learn which behaviors earn yummy treats and extra playtime.

Proper Training Techniques

Stake your claim in steady seas, captain, and chart the course with compassion’s currents steering you towards calmer coves. Approach training as a partnership, not a battle of wills. Redirect chewing urges to appropriate outlets with diversion, not domination.

Deterrents have their place, but look within to resolve the root. Your dog’s better nature yearns for your gentle guidance.

Addressing Underlying Causes

Unleash happiness within; boredom breeds destruction. Address the underlying causes of wood chewing with prevention, training, and exercise. Redirect your pup’s urges to healthy chews instead of sticks or furniture for optimal dental health and wellbeing.

Regular playtime helps relieve stress while teaching acceptable behaviors that won’t damage your home or items in it. Keep departures low-key when leaving so as not to trigger anxiety in your pet. Provide stimulating toys and treats if needed during absences for a sense of security without destructive habits forming later on down the line.

Chewing is natural – redirecting these instincts can provide lasting joys!

Products to Deter Wood Chewing

Products to Deter Wood Chewing
As your dog’s chewing habits likely stem from natural instincts, we encourage using humane deterrents first before considering harsher training methods. Two all-natural, safe repellent sprays made in the USA are Grannick’s Bitter Apple and Four Paws Keep Off.

Just apply these odorless-to-humans formulas directly to objects you want to protect from your pup’s teeth.

Grannicks Bitter Apple Spray

You’d do well to try Grannick’s Bitter Apple spray on pieces your pup tends to gnaw. This safe, humane deterrent applies an unappealing flavor to discourage chewing on wood. Simply spritz problem areas to protect your belongings and pup’s health. The water-based formula is alcohol-free, non-toxic for dogs, and made in the USA.

Redirect chewing urges towards more constructive outlets like chew toys. Ultimately, address underlying causes like boredom to resolve the wood chewing habit entirely.

Four Paws Keep Off Dog and Cat Repellent Spray

Keep your beloved pet away from furniture, shoes, and other objects with Four Paws Keep Off Dog and Cat Repellent Spray for up to two weeks!

  1. Water-based and biodegradable formula.
  2. Odorless to humans while repelling pets.
  3. Apply directly to areas to protect.
  4. Reapply after heavy rain.
  5. Made in the USA and cruelty-free.

The odorless-to-humans Keep Off spray deters destructive behaviors like wood chewing for up to 14 days. Simply spritz the water-based formula on that wooden door or table leg your pup loves to gnaw. This humane deterrent does a perfect job of keeping Fido focused on appropriate chews.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

How much wood chewing is normal for a puppy?

It’s normal for puppies to chew, just redirect their energy towards good chews. Provide appropriate chew toys and praise them when they use those instead of wood. This satisfies their urge while keeping them safe. As they mature, destructive chewing should decrease.

What health issues can develop from chronic wood chewing?

Chronic wood chewing poses serious health risks, such as intestinal blockages or perforations that may require surgery. Providing safe alternatives and addressing underlying causes is key to preventing hazardous obsessions before they start.

Distract your dog with appropriate chew toys and never leave them unsupervised with access to inappropriate objects.

Should I give my dog chew toys that are made of real wood?

I wouldn’t recommend real wood chews. They can splinter and cause mouth injuries. Choose safer chew toys like nylon bones, rubber toys, or responsibly-sourced rawhides. Variety prevents boredom, so rotate different textures. Supervise all chewing until you’re sure what’s appropriate.

How can I make sure my dog is getting enough mental stimulation?

Try rotating different puzzle toys, varying walks, learning new tricks, and scheduling regular playtime to keep your dog mentally engaged. But don’t overwhelm your dog; introduce changes gradually. A content pup is a well-behaved pup.

Is it okay for my dog to chew on sticks from my backyard?

It’s best to avoid letting your dog chew on sticks. While chewing is normal, sticks can splinter and cause choking hazards or mouth injuries. Provide safer chew alternatives like rubber toys. Supervise outside time and redirect your dog’s chewing impulse onto more appropriate items.


You and your furry friend have an unbreakable bond. As a dog owner, you know that they’re far more than just a pet – they’re family. That’s why it hurts to see them engaging in harmful habits like chewing wood. The good news is there are effective techniques we can use together to curb this behavior for their health and safety.

With patience, consistency, and an understanding of their needs, we can help guide them toward healthier alternatives. If we focus on promoting the best for our dogs, they’ll thrive as our closest companions for years to come.

Avatar for Mutasim Sweileh

Mutasim Sweileh

Mutasim is the founder and editor-in-chief with a team of qualified veterinarians, their goal? Simple. Break the jargon and help you make the right decisions for your furry four-legged friends.