Why Does My Dog Eat His Toys?

By John Martin - September 10, 2022

Dog eating toy

Dogs are playful creatures and sometimes, they tend to cross the line! It is normal for dogs to eat things that are not food and to hurt themselves with destructive behavior.

It might be due to young dogs teething, older dogs developing anxiety or just a case of playfulness without a limit.

In any case, read on to know why your dog can’t stop eating his toys and what you can do about it.

What Is A Dog’s Normal Chewing Behavior?

It is a good place to start by putting it out there that it is normal for dogs to chew their toys.

Especially with puppies that are just developing teeth, it is often a source of motivation for them to chew on things to distract themselves.

Just like how we, as babies, used to chew anything we got our hands on, dogs tend to chew on toys and even furniture at a young age.

Dogs tend to explore with their noses and mouths. It makes complete sense that they would use their senses of smell and taste to understand the world.

Other reasons could also point to them trying to:

  • Find stimulation
  • To simply pass time
  • Relieve their anxiety
  • Out of sheer curiosity
  • Keep their jaws strong
  • Clean their teeth

And a few more reasons as per what stage of growth they are in. What most dog parents need to understand is that your dog doesn’t know what is okay to chew and what is not.

To them, everything looks like a bone or a stick that they can chew. Even arms of chairs or a towel they found rolled up in your closet.

Is It Bad For My Dog To Chew His Toys?

There is no other response for this. It is not recommended for dogs to chew their toys, as it can lead to severe injuries or problems in the future.

Your dog might seem to be ripping a plush cushion. But if even a tiny particle of dust or fluff enters their system, it could lead to abdominal pains.

Some of the common signs that your dog has swallowed something includes:

  • Hunching their backs
  • Coughs
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Loss of appetite
  • Laziness or unusual tiredness

If you begin to notice these symptoms, especially after you have seen them chewing a nylon toy or a plush pillow, rush them to the vet at the earliest.

Also Read: Is My Dog In Heaven Waiting For Me?

What Could Happen If I Let My Dog Chew Uncontrollably?

Well, the basic case is a period of indigestion. There was a time when a dog ate a wasp by mistake and spent a week with a swelling around his mouth.

It would also result in them shredding or tearing your toys and things. A dog is not attached to possessions like we are and tend to discard things without a second thought.

The worst case is when they swallow things they shouldn’t. This could result in a need for emergency care and your dog must be rushed to the vet.

Chewing too hard or for a long period could even result in fractured teeth. If they swallow fertilized grass or dirt, you might have to deal with even poisoning.

How Do I Prevent My Dog From Chewing Dangerous Things?

You cannot leave your dog unattended to chew on things. Read on for some ways you can doggy proof the house and protect your curious pooch.

Set A Routine For Them

Dogs mostly chew things around them out of boredom. It is a great idea to keep them occupied with something to do during the day.

Take them out for a walk twice a day and let them explore a new place every day. This will stimulate their minds and give them something to focus on.

Establishing a routine will also prevent dogs from getting stressed or anxious. It is good to let them know what’s coming and how their day will map out.

If things are varying every day and they are uncertain, you might notice repercussions. Their uncertainty can manifest in different ways that are often unpredictable.

Get Them Specific Chew Toys

Chew toys are safe. Chew toys are good. They are the best option for overactive puppies that chew whatever is given to them.

Remember how our mothers used to give us pacifiers to chew when we were kids? It is the same with dogs and getting them unique chew toys could make a world of difference.

This way, both parties win and you can easily clean the toys later too. It works best if you can get them sticks that aren’t sharp, dry bones, and rubber toys to chew on.

It is less likely for them to bite off chunks of puzzles and swallow them. Swallowing toys could lead to severe health problems for dogs, as we have outlined above.

Put Valuable And Hazardous Things Out Of Reach

This is the best and simplest option. Leave your plush items in your bedroom and keep the door locked during the day. Put breakable items on high shelves.

Keep the fence or back door closed and avoid letting your dog roam around without your eagle eye over them.

If they have repeatedly shown an interest in chewing something, keep it out of access. If your dog likes chewing your towels or plastic cups, keep them behind locked doors.

Puzzle Toys To The Rescue

Puzzle toys have been making their rounds in the market for years. You could even store a bit of your dog’s daily food ration in them.

The idea is to simply give them a puzzle that is filled with food and they have to crack it open to get to it. This will keep them engaged for hours and it is a safe toy to give them.

It works equally fine if you give your dogs edible toys or squeaky ones to play with. They are safe and will keep your dog happy at the same time.

Spray Items With Chewing Deterrent

This is an ingenious hack that has worked every single time. All you have to do is take a piece of cloth and spray it with some deterrent or any other foul-tasting product.

Let your dog smell it and taste it for a while. Chances are that they will retch or drool uncontrollably. They now associate this smell with this particular taste.

Now you can go around spraying the deterrent on other objects in your house. Your dog can smell the foul odor when it approaches and will probably stay away from the objects.

The beauty of this hack is how lasting it is. Your dog will never again approach items that give off the deterrent smell. This is a great way to train puppies as well.

Also Read: Why Has My Dog Starting Pooping In The House At Night?

Summing Up

You might now have an idea of how you can train your dogs and let them know what is safe to chew.

It is not advisable to let your dogs, especially new pets you have just brought home or puppies be left alone.

Give them dedicated chew toys or any edible ones to let both parties win. The best way is to create an aversion to certain objects from the starting stage.

Be sure to have an eye over them and keep them occupied with other things. At the end of the day, as long as your dog is distracted and engaged, it won’t chew toys.

Use this as a sign to go on a walk with them or take them to the store for a new chew toy!