Exploring their surroundings
Dogs are naturally curious, and like young kids, pups have the urge to explore the world around them by putting random objects into their mouth. After all, your canine friend doesn’t have hands to grab or feel the texture of any objects. This means there’s only one way to find out all about that soft blanket or smelly shoe: popping it in their mouth and giving it a chew.
Chewing is an instinctual and totally normal behavior for dogs. They even use it as a form of self-care. Teething puppies, for example, will chew on objects to relieve the pain caused by their brand-new teeth coming in. If you spot your dog chewing on themselves, a skin issue or bug infestation is likely the cause. Make sure to reach out to your vet if the behavior persists.
When a dog gets bored, they like to sink their teeth into stuff. This behavior isn’t necessarily bad. You can see it as the dog equivalent of us fiddling with a pen during boring meetings to entertain ourselves. So, as long as your dog picks the right objects, their chewing shouldn’t be a problem. Just try to provide your dog with plenty entertainment and chewing options while you’re gone, especially if you don’t want to find your shoes or sofa destroyed.
If your dog only displays unwanted chewing behavior when you’re away, they might suffer from separation anxiety. Some dogs, especially those that are restricted to a small part of the house and feel insecure in there, might dig or chew items in an attempt to escape. Resolving anxiety in dogs is not always easy and might require the help of your vet or a dog behaviorist.
Dogs that were recently put on a low-calorie diet might start chewing objects in the hopes of finding hidden food. Especially items that smell like food are at risk. So, if your dog believes your sweaty trousers or stinky socks smell like aged cheese, you better keep them out of reach of your craving canine.