Top 3 Reasons Why Dogs Chew on Wood and Sticks

Disclaimer: The content on is for informational purpose only. It is not intended to be a substitute for professional veterinarian advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of a veterinarian when in doubt.

Does your dog like to chew on anything that’s made of wood, whether that’s a wooden stick or wooden furniture you have at home? The reasons for this behavior might be harmless but the outcome can be potentially unsafe. Here are the most common reasons why dogs may chew and bite on wood and wooden objects.

1. Boredom and separation anxiety

Dogs will start looking for things to chew on if they get bored and anxious. Wooden furniture might be appealing to some dogs due to its durable but light-weight texture. This is a common reason for people who leave their dogs alone at home for a long period of time. It’s vital for dogs to get their playtime if you want to discourage the development of destructive chewing behaviors.

2. Taste and shape of wooden sticks

Some dogs may simply like the natural taste and shape of wooden sticks. The sticks they pick up from the yard may remind them of a bone. Most kinds of wood have the texture that makes it great for dogs to gnaw and chew on. Lignophagia is the term used for the abnormal behavior of chewing and eating wood.

3. Dietary issues and nutritional deficiencies

Dogs that aren’t eating a balanced diet may seek what they need from non-food objects. It’s not just wood, bark, or sticks that dogs may try to munch on. Some dogs are known to be obsessed with chewing grass, mulch, and plant roots. Dogs with poor diet will show other symptoms like fur loss and skin disorders.

How to stop a dog from chewing wood and sticks

Chewing wood and sticks isn’t necessarily a bad thing as long as it doesn’t happen too often. Chewing is a natural behavior for dogs and their curiosity will lead them to chewing all kinds of objects. There are, however, some safety concerns dog owners should be aware of.

Wood can splinter and can turn into sharp fragments. Dogs may accidentally swallow the sharp fragments. Some dog owners have mentioned taking their pets for emergency surgery as the sharp edges of the wood fragment penetrated parts of the dog’s digestive tract.

To be on the safe side, we would find some wooden dog chews that are unlikely to easily splinter and break into small pieces. Dogs should ideally have plenty of chew toys that are much safer alternatives to wooden sticks.

For wooden furniture, you could try spraying some kind of deterrent to discourage your dog from destroying them. Some dog owners have had luck with applying bitter apple spray on their wooden furniture. The same effect could be achieved with other non-toxic solutions using ingredients such as apple vinegar.


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