Why Dogs Chew On Toys
With so many dog toys on the market, it's easy to see that dogs love to play with and chew up toys. If the owner is lucky, the desire to chew will be limited to toys provided to the dog and not household items. Understanding why they chew may help owners select appropriate toys to satisfy the dogs needs.
The main reason why dogs chew is instinct. Until dogs became domesticated, they needed to practice chewing on items to prepare for hunting. They learned how to shake and tear prey by practicing on toys found in nature. These maneuvers also helped build the jaw muscles used for killing and eating it's prey. This instinct has been passed on to domestic dogs as well. While most don't need to hunt for their food anymore, they still enjoy the thrill of the hunt.
Teething and exploration
Like human babies, puppies cut teeth for the first six months of life. Chewing on toys helps the teeth cut through the gums while relieving some of the discomfort the dog is feeling. Dogs also use their mouths to explore their world, like babies do. They learn what is and isn't allowed to be chewed on as well as what tastes or feels good.
Dogs will often use chewing as a way to express their emotions. A dog is more likely to chew on toys if he's bored, scared or lonely. Being home all day while the family is out may cause him to act out through chewing. Toys that squeak or roll provide entertainment for him when the owners are at home. However, they may not be safe when home alone. Toys that are hard to completely chew up or break parts off are a safer choice during those times when he's by himself.
Whether the dogs know it or not, chewing on toys benefits them. Chewing on toys provides a simple way of cleaning their teeth, keeping them healthy and free from dental pain. Because the teeth are cleaner, the breath is usually fresher because there's less bacteria growing in the mouth.
Providing toys for the pet dog to chew on helps provide entertainment, keeps them healthier and happier. They'll be less interested in chewing things they shouldn't, making everyone in the household happier. Watching them play with toys designed for dogs provides entertainment for the whole family while offering them opportunities for exercise.