Why Dogs Need to Chew

Puppy outside, chewing on a branch

Whether you have puppies or adult dogs, you'll notice that your dogs experience life, in part, through their mouths. From playing fetch to eating dinner, dogs' mouths help keep them happy and healthy. Learn more about why dogs need to chew below.

Why Puppies Need To Chew

As puppies grow, they need to explore the world. Puppies can find out about the world by putting objects in their mouth and understanding things like texture, taste, and nutritional value. Beyond plain old curiosity, puppies also chew when their teeth are growing in, to help relieve pain and make the teeth strong. If puppies are bored or anxious, chewing may also be a way to alleviate those feelings. As our puppies grow, it's up to us to guide them by providing lots of healthy, safe options for chewing. 

Why Adult Dogs Need To Chew

Even after your dog has grown into her legs or ears, chewing is an essential part of her life. From treats to toys, chewing is a way for your dog to maintain her health and happiness. Adult dogs chew because it's fun, and it can alleviate boredom or anxiety. Adult dogs also chew to help keep their jaw and teeth strong, as if they were in the wild. Even though your adult dog is no longer a baby, be sure to provide plenty of chewable objects to keep your shoes, electronics, and furniture safe from their canines. 

Preventing Problem Chewing In Your Dog

Dog playing tug with owner

Although chewing is a natural and safe habit for your dog, if you're not careful, what they choose to chew on can be rather problematic. To avoid bad-chew incidents, be sure to provide appropriate chew toys for your dog and their preferences. 

Some dogs may prefer to tear things apart. If this is your dog, you might consider using the Tuffy brand of chew-resistant toys or another brand of chew-resistant toys to lengthen the time that your toys stay intact and your dog stays amused. 

The best way to prevent problem chewing is to give your dog safe chewing options and remove easy targets: shoes and other items on the floor, leftover food containers, towels at waist instead of eye level, and anything on the counters that could be removed by a dedicated dog. If you're leaving your dog unattended, a crate away from moulding, furniture, and doorframes is the best option, especially if your dog tends to get rambunctious while you're gone. While you're gone, be sure to provide plenty of safe chewing options for your furry friend.

Providing Safe Chews For Your Dog

White dog next to a stick

When you select a chew toy for your dog, be sure that it is sized appropriately and won't bother their stomach. Some traditional chew materials, like rawhide or bones, can upset your dog's stomach, or leave sharp fragments behind that they may digest. Sticking to products like Nylabone or Benebone may be a safer alternative for your pup. 

Remember, never leave your dog completely unattended with a chew toy. Even the best-made chew toys can cause issues if your dogs are left alone for too long. Take away any pieces of chew toys that are small enough to become a choking hazard. Monitor your dog's bathroom habits after consuming a large chew, especially if it's a new brand or flavor for your pup.