Dogs love to chew. In fact, they'll pretty much gnaw on anything. And if they're still a puppy, the chewing can become even more extreme. The habit itself isn't a bad thing. Dogs need to exercise their very powerful jaw muscles on a regular basis. Chewing also can clean their teeth and entertain them for hours!
But chewing can turn to the dark side. Some pooches have a taste for things that can hurt them. Lots of objects around the home are either poisonous or disastrous for your fur-baby's insides. Even some toys and snacks that are marketed for dog chewing have the potential to cause harm!
So how do you satisfy your four-legged friend's need for chomping while still keeping them safe? Below is a list of some of the dangerous chewing habits you need watch for in your pup.
Chewing on Sticks
A stick makes an awesome fetch toy when you don't have one on hand. They're free, found everywhere, and dogs love them! But if your mutt is prone to chewing once they have finished the retrieval, you may want to leave the sticks on the ground. Wood splinters can wreak absolute havoc once inside your beloved beast. They can pierce through the esophagus, stomach or intestines, which can lead to internal bleeding, and even death, if not treated promptly.
Munching Through Cords
It's no surprise that electric cords are not good chew toys. While the odd adult doggo has a fetish for wire chewing, this bad habit is most often seen in puppies. Curiosity takes over, and they simply have to sample cords, wires or even plugs. The risk of electrical shock is real with this harmful pastime. Make sure you puppy-proof your home and hide any loose cords. If you leave your little one out when you aren't home, ensure that there is nothing within the dog's reach that could hurt them if it ended up in their mouth.
Chowing on Rawhide
This product is sold with the sole purpose to be gnawed on by canines. Unfortunately, it's responsible for countless trips to animal hospitals around the globe. Chunks of rawhide are sharp and can easily become wedged at any point in your barker's digestive tract. This can be a medical emergency and often requires surgery to fix! Save both you and your pooch the trouble, and skip out on this sinister “treat”.
Playing with Old Toys
Any stuffy can turn evil once it starts to fall apart. Practically every toy on the market warns that you need to supervise your dog during play. This is because all toys can fall apart after being chewed on for too long. As soon as the object rips, tears or breaks, it's time to say bye to the play-thing. Don't worry about your furry friend being too nostalgic. If you replace the broken toy with a new surprise, your dog will probably be too busy having fun to even notice the loss.
So there you have it! These are just some of the most common dangers that can come from chewing. Thankfully, most dogs grow out of destructive chewing as they get older. Daily exercise and play will also help your pupper to overcome bad behaviors. Another main cause of excessive chewing is leaving your pooch at home for long periods of time, so if you must be away, arrange for someone to come and visit your furry family member.