Why dogs eat wood - and is it dangerous?

Many dogs eat wood or at least like to chew on it. But unfortunately, this preference can be dangerous for the four-legged friends. You can find out why this is the case and the reasons behind this dog behavior here. Dogs eat wood for a variety of reasons - Image: Shutterstock / Aneta Jungova

It is best to keep your dog from eating or chewing wood. Otherwise there is a risk of injury or poisoning. To stop your dog from eating wood, you may need to use a few tricks. But above all, it is important to find out the reasons for this behavior. That is the key to your success.

Dogs eat wood because it is their instinct

Chewing is completely natural behavior for dogs. This is how they discover their environment and look for something to eat. Your pet doesn’t actually need it because you feed it regularly, but certain instincts are difficult to turn off.

Dogs will never stop chewing, but instead of eating wood or bark, you can give them safe alternatives such as special chew toys.

Boredom as the cause of wood eating

If your dog eats wood or bark, instinct alone is not always the only cause. There is often more to this behavior, which is why you should watch your dog closely. He might be bored.

If your four-legged friend is under-challenged and gets little attention in the form of games, then he is just looking for another occupation - and this can be, for example, eating wood.

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Your dog eats wood? Maybe he's afraid of separation

Eating wood can also indicate that dogs suffer from separation anxiety. This occurs especially in dogs that are left alone for a long time and have to look for a replacement for their owner throughout the day.

For example, they can develop conspicuous dog behavior such as eating wood. Often only a professional dog trainer or dog psychologist and lots of care will help.

Parenting mistakes can encourage undesirable behavior

Perhaps, with your demented behavior, you are encouraging your friend with the cold nose to do exactly what he is not supposed to do, namely to eat wood. Because in this way he definitely gets the attention he would like.

When puppies chew on wood: change of teeth?

Young dogs in particular eat wood or chew on it when teething. As with us humans, it is good for them to take a bite of something when their teeth make their way through the gums.

Behavioral disorder Pica syndrome: dog eats inedible things

Pica syndrome is not only found in humans, but also in dogs. It is an eating disorder that involves eating things that are generally understood to be inedible, such as wood, hair, feces (coprophagia) or earth.

The causes of this disease can be metabolic disorders or gastrointestinal problems. A veterinarian can make a more accurate diagnosis.

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Dog ate wood: anything can happen

Dogs eat wood more often, you should better take away the branch or log, because there are some dangers that can lurk in the wood for your darling. Here are some of the most common:

• Small pieces of wood can pierce the palate, tongue, gums or lips.
• Larger pieces of wood can get stuck between the palate and the upper teeth.
• Larger pieces of wood can irritate the dog's digestive tract. The result: the four-legged friend vomits.
• Swallowed pieces of wood can injure the esophagus, stomach or intestines and lead to internal bleeding.
• Inhaled wood particles can block or injure the airways.
• Some plants such as lilac, mountain ash or horse chestnut are poisonous for dogs, and poisoning could result.

Barter: Stop dogs from eating wood

But what to do if the dog eats wood? To prevent your four-legged friend from following this behavior, you should carefully remove the wood from it. Exchange the piece for an even more interesting toy that is safe for your darling.

Chew toys in particular are a good substitute for wood. Nothing can flake off or be swallowed here, thus eliminating possible sources of danger. You'll probably have to try a few variations until you find your dog's favorite toy. But once he falls in love, he will soon no longer be interested in the wood.

Keep dog busy: Engage him more closely in the family

Another option is to integrate dogs more into the social structure of the family or circle of friends. Dogs are pack animals and do not want to be alone. Give your pet the opportunity to be right in the middle of the action. Play with it sufficiently and challenge it regularly with small tasks. So it does not get bored and does not come up with stupid ideas.

If these tips do not help, it is advisable to have your fur nose examined by a veterinarian and, if necessary, to consult an animal behavior therapist or dog trainer. He knows other exercises with which he can playfully keep the dog from eating wood.