Why Do Dogs Eat Wood?

With years of domestication, if you’re expecting that your dog will stop chewing wood, then it’s not possible. It’s your dog’s instinct that he loves to chew.

If, like many pet parents, this question bothers you… why dogs eat wood?

Dogs eat wood for a variety of reasons, common reasons include killing boredom or keeping their teeth healthy.

Some dogs develop this habit of chewing wood from puppyhood. Mainly, this happens when you use wood logs or sticks while playing a fetch game with your dog. They develop an instinct to eat wood and eat or chew wood bark, sticks, wood chips, and even paper, a wood product.

The habit sometimes doesn’t go even when your puppy becomes a dog. He may continue to chew wood and even eat it, which can be bad for him later.

To avoid any situation that may harm your dog, you need to understand the root of this behaviour and the possible ways to cope with this. Here you’ll find the answers for why your dog eats wood and how you can stop him from doing so.

Reasons Why Dogs Eat Wood

Reasons Why Dogs Eat Wood

Some of the reasons why your dog chews or eats wood are:

Boredom

Lack of engagement is a prime reason why your dog chews wood. If you don’t have enough time to play with your dog, you’ll find him chewing or eating wood to kill boredom. There are high chances of this behaviour when you’ve used wood sticks during fetch sessions in your backyard or the park.

Your dog will most likely pick up the wood again and chew it without understanding it’s not good for him. To avoid this situation, you can keep your dog engaged with his favourite toys.

Natural Instinct

Dogs, as foragers, have this natural instinct to chew and explore everything around them with their mouths. Your dog will more likely be attracted to the wood as you’ve used it in the fetch game.

If your dog had developed this natural instinct when he was a puppy, then you can’t change it. He will chew or eat wood whenever he can. But you can give him some safe and soft chewing objects to satisfy his natural desire without being harmed.

Teething

Many dogs chew wood due when they are sprouting teeth. It not only helps to alleviate pain for their teeth and gums, but they also explore the world around them with their mouths.

You can give your dog some teething treats in this case.

Separation Anxiety

Dogs take your absence quite seriously. If you’re gone for a day, you’ll see your dog doing the weirdest things due to separation anxiety. Eating woods is one of them.

It’s your dog’s way to coping stress by keeping him engaged when you’re not nearby.
In many dogs, severe anxiety needs vet help and training to get rid of the stress.

Pica

Pica is a disorder that is common to both animals and humans. It makes both eat inedible and harmful objects. There are many causes of pica including, malnutrition, parasites, vitamin deficiency, diabetes, etc.

If you see your dog eating wood frequently with symptoms, including diarrhoea, vomiting, weakness, etc., then you need to consult a vet. Your dog may have pica, and the condition may become worse with time.

Is Wood Bad For Your Dog?

Eating both small and large pieces of wood is harmful to your dog.

• Small pieces struck in the mouth and oesophagus will be painful and damaging.
• Large pieces are even more problematic as they result in perforated stomach and intestine lining and can block your dog’s bowels.

How To Stop Your Dog From Eating Wood

How To Stop Your Dog From Eating Wood

To stop your dog from eating wood, you have to keep him away from wood. This can be particularly challenging if you have a yard or live in an area near the forest. Here are some tips that you can follow to keep your furry buddy safe.

Clear The Yard

Go to your yard and see if there are some pieces of wood, sticks, or logs. Pick them all from your yard. It’s challenging and time-consuming, but you don’t have to do the perfect job, but you must try to pick most of the wood pieces.

Your dog will often go to your yard, and if he finds wood pieces there, he will never be able to give up this bad habit.

Give Him His Favourite Toys

Chewing is an instinct of dogs, and you can’t deny that. It’s one of the reasons that dogs chew wood when they don’t find anything else. Give your dog new or his favourite toys to chew to divert his attention from wood.

Don’t Let Him Get Bored

If your dog is bored, you can’t stop him from roaming in your yard and eating or chewing wood to entertain himself. To cope with this condition, you must keep your dog engaged.

For this, you can free some time from your routine to spend with your dog. Dogs are social animals and love to spend time with you. It helps to get rid of bad behaviours.

Discourage Eating Or Chewing Wood

Whenever you see your dog eating or chewing wood, stop him immediately. Take the wood piece from him and give him something else to chew.

Dogs are quick learners, and they will soon understand that this is bad behaviour if you take action before it becomes a habit.

Summary

Eating or chewing wood isn’t an unusual thing. Many dogs eat wood for many reasons, including boredom, healthy teeth, natural instinct, or separation anxiety.

Wood isn’t dog food and can thus harm your dog. Either your dog swallows small pieces of wood or large pieces; both damage your dog’s health.

You must need to stop your dog from eating wood. For this, you can divert his attention to kill boredom. You can give him some new toys to chew or spend time with him.

Remove wood from your yard and discourage your dog every time he tries to eat or chew wood. With patience and training, you can stop your dog from eating wood.

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