Why Do Dogs Chew Things?

We certainly don’t like it as dog owners…coming home to find your couch ripped up and totally ruined kind of sucks.  Sooner or later, if you own a dog, something like this is probably going to happen.  So what causes dog chewing, and what can we do about it?

Dogs Chew When Left AloneFirst, we must understand the chew, and to understand the chew we must understand our dog.  A dog’s vision is not nearly as good as a human’s. They cannot see the full spectrum of colors that we can, and do not have depth perception, their vision is entirely based on movement.  A dog’s nose and mouth, though, are leagues beyond our own, and much more sophisticated.  Dogs explore their world primarily through their noses and mouths, as opposed to how we explore the world with our eyes.  So the reason babies explore places they can see and get to is the same reason that puppies will chew on everything they can get at, they are exploring their world.  Not only that, but chewing also helps with teething, and brings relief to their sore gums.  Fortunately, it is pretty easy to get them to chew on something acceptable, like a dog chew toy.  This will take some time, but if you give them a toy to play with, and use it to play with them it will help direct their desire to chew to an appropriate place.  Keep in mind that it will take some time, and it is up to you to help them learn by not giving them golden opportunities to tear up your stuff.  Some older dogs will also chew when they are bored or anxious, this can usually be solved pretty easy by just getting them some more exercise and play time; as most would much rather play with you than your pillows.  Actually, many dogs will chew things just to get your attention!