Why Do Dogs Like Wood

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Because they enjoy chewing on objects, dogs often chew on wood. This explains why chew toys are so common among dogs and why chew bones and treats are so well-liked by them. Even while it’s pretty typical for dogs to chew on wood (especially if you throw sticks or small logs to them when you play retrieve), your dog will appreciate it if you encourage them to stop. Why?

Why does my dog have a wood obsession?

For a dog, chewing is common behavior. Their desire to chew is a result of their innate ability to maintain the condition of their teeth as well as their basic instincts. Although our furry friend isn’t a wild dog, domestication hasn’t made them less inclined to gnaw and bite things they come into contact with. Dogs’ DNA is hardwired to love to chew!

The head of the U.K. Canine Behavior Association argues that chewing is like a human opening a door and peering into a room for a dog because it allows them to explore their surroundings. A dog will find branches and wood to chew on to be really satisfying, and your yard is essentially their playground to explore.

Even though we can’t completely eradicate our dogs’ want to chew, we can try to understand why it’s there and give them healthy alternatives.

Reasons Your Dog May Be Chewing Wood

Your dog may be using your yard’s sticks and wood as chewing objects for a variety of reasons. It’s crucial to familiarize yourself with the problems underlying canine chewing because this innate tendency can be exacerbated by other disorders. Here are some of the most typical reasons, from tooth discomfort to boredom:

For young pups and growing dogs, tooth pain is a very frequent cause. Puppies will endure pain from their developing teeth, much like kids do. Chewing on objects can assist to ease the pain caused by their teeth shifting and growing, which can be extremely uncomfortable. It offers them the same comfort that a child’s cool teething ring does for a teething baby.

Boredom: Our pets may act destructively when they are bored. When your dog is overtaken with boredom, he could try to find something to do. Even if it’s dangerous, chewing on a stick can be the ideal answer to that issue!

Separation anxiety: Similar to boredom, this condition makes a dog engage in negative behavior. An anxious puppy may feel the desire to chew, and chewing and eating wood may provide them with a release from their anxiety.

They enjoy the taste: Surprisingly, your dog can find the yard’s twigs and bark to be quite delectable. They may very well be consuming the bark for nutritional purposes. Don’t be surprised if your dog seems to like chewing on your tree; some types of bark are known to be appetizing to dogs.

Need to chew: Some dogs simply chew more naturally than others. Some dogs need continual chewing stimulation and will gnaw on anything they can reach if given the chance.

Dogs who have pica are compelled to consume non-food objects. Anything can, in fact, make a dog feel pica. This unusual disorder may be brought on by nausea, stress, worry, hunger, or underlying medical issues. You may need to discuss this potential problem with your veterinarian if you notice that your dog is continually chewing and consuming unrelated stuff.

Why It’s Dangerous

When dogs chew wood, the wood is broken up into multiple sharp bits by their teeth, which can harm the dog’s body in a variety of ways. Imagine these fragments as a multitude of tiny splinters that are eager to wreak havoc on any area of the body they come into contact with. When your dog plays with foxtails, a similar thing happens, and trips to the vet end up being very costly. Chewing wood has a number of dangers, including:

Teeth damage: A dog chewing on a stick can be using a lot of force with each bite. A tooth may break or chip if it is chewed on a hard object, such as wood. Broken teeth can hurt and can become infected. Additionally, it may result in dental abscesses.

Abscesses: When chewing sticks and wood, thousands of tiny bits float in the mouth. These minute fragments may get stuck in the gums and start an infection under the tissue. The infection could progress to the point of an abscess if the splinters are left in the mouth. Abscesses are excruciatingly painful and can result in significant edema in the affected area.

When swallowed, sticks and pieces of wood can be extremely abrasive to the esophagus, causing damage. The esophagus may be harmed, and there may be excruciating discomfort. Imagine how difficult it would be to swallow a sizable piece of wood!

Wood and sticks are not easily digestible because they are not intended for consumption. Twigs can persist in a pet’s intestines or stomach, causing GI obstruction. A GI obstruction or blockage can be lethal if surgically treated.

Pieces of sticks can get stuck in your dog’s throat due to the uneven shape of the wood and sticks they may swallow. Extreme distress and breathing problems may result from this. Any condition that makes it difficult for your dog to breathe is a significant medical emergency.

Each of these side effects can be excruciatingly painful, result in a serious infection, and even be lethal if untreated. Contact your vet as soon as possible if you think your dog has eaten wood or sticks and you are concerned about any of the aforementioned situations.

Block Off Areas With Mulch and Sticks

We frequently overlook mulch while talking about sticks and wood. Many types of mulch contain pieces of wood and branches and can harm a pet just as much if they eat them. Mulch’s strong aroma makes it even more alluring to dogs. It’s best to safely fence off any areas of your yard that include mulch to deter your dog from getting tempted. Mulch is just as dangerous as other types of sticks and wood.

Provide Other Entertainment

You must give your dog a risk-free chewing option if you want to teach them to stay away from wood and twigs. You can ideally discourage your furry companion from the risks of stick chewing by providing them with an alternative way to pass the time or a different object to help them with their mouth ache. Kongs, rope toys, nylabones, and any item that emphasizes how indestructible it is are a few examples of useful toys. Give them a lot of choices so they won’t feel compelled to fall back on their old routines. If it can withstand vigorous chewing, it is ideal for the task.

Clear The Yard of Sticks and Wood

It’s cruel to try to teach your pet not to chew on wood while the yard is full of sticks! Imagine attempting to follow a diet while surrounded by all of your favorite goodies. We can’t expect our dogs to have that self control since it is too tempting. To make the training process for your partner a little bit simpler, do your best to go through your yard and remove any sticks and wood fragments. For greatest results in keeping your yard clear of sticks, repeat this technique every few days.

Don’t Encourage The Behavior

Never use twigs as a form of play if you’re attempting to get your dog to give up the harmful habit of chewing on wood. It can be alluring to fling a branch at the park, but consider how perplexing this could be. A dog won’t be able to comprehend why a stick is appropriate for play in some locations but not in others. Making learning as simple as possible for your beloved friend is important since training requires cooperation from both parties.

Additionally, I’ve seen dog toys that are designed to resemble sticks and large pieces of wood. This appears too similar to the actual threat, and it can confuse your dog as they learn to avoid the real danger!

Keep Them Active

When they have too much energy, dogs often act out. A bored dog with pent-up energy is a problem waiting to happen and may start anxiously gnawing. A dog that is exhausted is considerably less prone to become bored or restless. A more well-behaved dog who is less inclined to turn to stick chewing will result from spending more time with your furry companion and assisting them in burning off their energy. A excellent way to occupy an active pet is to take them on walks, to the park, play catch, and other activities that keep them moving.

Negative Reinforcement

You might need to use negative reinforcement if your dog is consistently chewing on wood and does not appear to respond to other actions made. This can entail using bitter sprays to cover wooden furniture or other objects, using a noisemaker to alert you to these harmful behaviors, and saying “no” firmly when you see your dog chewing on inappropriate items. Each person has a unique training technique, thus this might vary drastically for each dog.

Story of A Dog Who Ate Wood

The tale of Mervyn, a beloved dog that passed away after consuming mulch that also included sticks, is told here. The family of Mervyn wants to raise awareness of this potential hazard that might be in your yard and, hopefully, spare other pet owners who weren’t aware of the risks any misery!

A cheerful, healthy hound mix, Mervyn was. Smell is what drives hounds, and Mervyn enjoyed sniffing about the property. Mulch in a modest flower bed gave hours of entertainment. The little lizards were burrowing themselves in the mulch, and Mervyn wanted to capture them. In an effort to catch one, he even even dug up the sprinkler system. He entered the house through the dog entrance with mulch on his nose, which didn’t seem to be a huge concern. We were unaware that he had actually consumed the mulch. He felt a little fatigued the next day and didn’t want to eat as much. He began experiencing diarrhea and didn’t appear to be himself. It was already too late when he arrived at the procedure. It was impossible to save his digestive tract. His intestines were severely irritated by the mulch since it rubbed through in several spots. His abdomen had become contaminated with intestinal waste. On the operation table, Mervyn was put to death to end his misery. Losing such a lovely pet over something so typical was extremely painful. We had no idea that Mervyn’s desire to dig for lizards would lead to his death because he seemed like a typical dog.

Mervyn suffered a terrible gastrointestinal disorder brought on by ingesting wood. The abrasive sticks and the obstruction that caused the buildup of foreign material in his intestines caused serious damage to his intestines. Even though his owners took him to urgent care, it was too late for this adorable dog.

The danger that this pastime poses for your dog is best illustrated by Mervyn’s tale. It’s crucial to be aware of the risks and how to keep their environment safe because we all want what’s best for our canine friends.

What occurs if dogs consume wood?

One of the most well-known outdoor activities you can perform with your dogs is playing fetch. When playing fetch in the park or when out for walks, many dog owners throw sticks for their dogs. Throwing sticks or pieces of wood presents an issue since many dogs will start utilizing them as toys and will start gnawing on the stick. When chewed, wood quickly splinters, and the pieces could become stuck in the dog’s mouth and cause an illness. Additionally, swallowing wood chips can result in intestinal blockage.

Sticks have the potential to cause painful and real harm. Sticks can pierce a dog’s mouth, eyes, esophagus, abdomen, or even heart if they splinter. They may become stuck in the digestive system, causing intestinal obstructions, or they may become lodged in the throat, choking your dog. 2


Rocks are frequently used by dogs as playthings when they’re bored. Additionally, dogs may attempt to swallow a rock if it has food particles on it (for instance, rocks near your barbecue), believing it is food. Rocks can strangle your dog or result in an intestinal obstruction that needs to be surgically treated.

Bones, Hooves, and Antlers

Owners frequently offer their dogs bones, hooves, and antlers because they believe that chewing on these is natural for dogs because of their wolfen ancestors. Domestic dogs can mistakenly ingest the smaller-sized bones after they have chewed them down. The bone may end up stuck in the intestines if this occurs.

Bones, hooves, and antlers can also split, leaving pieces that need to be removed during an emergency visit because they are lodged in the mouth, throat, or intestines. In addition, they can erode dental enamel, leading to broken teeth, fractured teeth, and gum infections1.

Why do dogs consume wood and bark?

As the expression goes, taste cannot be measured. First and foremost, your dog enjoys the flavor and sensation of chewing on sticks in his mouth.

A form of fiber called cellulose can be found in tree bark. Given that fiber promotes healthy digestion and colon health, several dog food producers even include cellulose to their products. Additionally, it encourages a sense of satiety.

It’s likely that your dog is hungry or simply needs a little extra fiber in his diet if he has been gorging himself on the trees in the yard. Think about increasing the amount of food you eat at meals or choosing foods with more fiber.

Why chew on wood in the house do dogs?

Chewing comes naturally to dogs. Imagine the wolf ancestors of your dog shredding a prey animal to pieces. There is a purpose for those pointed teeth. Additionally, chewing helps dogs exercise their jaws and brush their teeth. Most importantly, it’s enjoyable. Dogs may pass the time and amuse themselves very well by chewing. Expecting your dog to never exhibit this innate behavior is unrealistic.

However, why do dogs gnaw on such peculiar objects as odourous shoes or the remote control? Thinking like a dog is the key. Although those shoes may not smell good to you, they are full of valuable sensory information to your dog and, most importantly, they smell just like you. The same goes for the remote control and other items you wear or use frequently. In a dog’s world, smell takes precedence above taste.

But what about baseboards or table legs made of wood? It might just be your dog making use of what’s available. The baseboards are right there at mouth level for a dog who is stressed out or bored. Also, texture might be important. Even though they are hard, plastic and wood probably have enough give for a pleasing crunch. Separation anxiety, however, might be indicated by destructive chewing, such as that done around window or door frames.