Can Dog Chews Help with Dog Anxiety?

Can Dog Chews Help with Dog Anxiety?

Almost everyone by now knows chewing is a natural instinct among dogs. Dogs chew on stuff for many reasons, like boredom, teething pains, and hunger.

Among those, anxiety is also a big reason why dogs display destructive chewing behavior. As dog chew manufacturers, we get a lot of queries regarding whether giving dogs chewing toys or treats helps them with anxiety.

In short, yes, dog chews certainly help in curbing dogs’ anxiety. But how? And are these chews the be-all and end-all for dog anxiety?

 Table of Content

Can Dogs Have Anxiety?

Yes, dogs can absolutely experience anxiety. Just like humans, they can feel nervous, fearful, or stressed in certain situations. Common signs include excessive barking, pacing, trembling, or withdrawal. It's important to provide love and support from the dog's parents.

Types of Dog Anxiety

Let’s start at the beginning. What kinds of anxiety do dogs have?

Dogs generally face four types of anxiety:

  • Separation anxiety
  • Rescue/shelter anxiety
  • Anxiety triggered by environmental factors
  • illness-induced anxiety
  • Generalized anxiety

Separation Anxiety

Separation anxiety, which seems to be the most severe anxiety-related problem among dogs, are behavioral issue dogs have when they are away from their guardians. This happens when the guardians leave or prepare to leave and is most extreme when nobody is around them.

Learn: A comprehensive guide to Separation Anxiety in Dogs

Rescue/Shelter Anxiety

Rescue/shelter anxiety is when dogs feel scared and uneasy at a new home after being rescued. Emotional abandonment and trauma they face before and during their time at the shelter cause this.

Environmental Anxiety

Environmental factors like loud noises and startling movements also trigger anxiety in dogs. This is because they do not know where the noise or the movement originates and if they are harmful.

Illness-induced Anxiety

And finally, illness-induced anxiety, as the name suggests, is anxiety triggered when dogs are sick. Health issues like Hypothyroidism, Thyrotoxicosis, Pre-diabetes, and hearing and vision loss cause unease in dogs.

Other than these, dogs can also have generalized anxiety, which means the triggers for those can not be determined.

Signs of Anxiety in Dogs

Signs of anxiety in dogs are excessive barking, pacing, trembling, or hiding. Tail tucked, ears back, and dilated pupils can also indicate anxiety. Changes in appetite or sleep patterns may occur. Pay attention to these cues to help your furry friend feel more at ease.

Destructive Chewing as a Result of Anxiety

While chewing is a natural behavior among dogs that they use to explore the world around them, destructive chewing, on the other hand, is not natural.

What is Destructive Chewing?

Destructive chewing is when dogs chew on things they are not supposed to and cause damage to those objects. If your dog is suffering from anxiety, they may resort to chewing as a coping mechanism, which can be harmful to your belongings and their health.

Chewing Toys to Relieve Anxiety

Chewing toys or treats can help alleviate anxiety in dogs. They provide mental stimulation and can redirect your dog's focus from destructive behavior to something more constructive. However, it's important to choose toys that are safe and appropriate for your dog's size and chewing habits.

How Do Chewing Toys Help with Anxiety?

Chewing toys help with anxiety in several ways:

  • Physical Stimulation: Chewing toys provide dogs with physical exercise, which can help reduce stress and anxiety.
  • Mental Stimulation: Chewing toys engage your dog's brain, helping to keep them mentally stimulated and prevent boredom.
  • Redirected Chewing: By giving your dog an appropriate outlet for their chewing behavior, you can redirect them away from destructive chewing habits.
  • Comfort and Security: Chewing toys can provide comfort and security to dogs, similar to how a security blanket might comfort a child.

Choosing the Right Chewing Toys

When choosing chewing toys for your dog, consider the following:

  • Size and Durability: Choose toys that are appropriate for your dog's size and chewing strength to prevent choking hazards or broken pieces.
  • Material: Look for toys made from safe, durable materials that can withstand heavy chewing.
  • Texture: Dogs have preferences for different textures, so offer a variety of options to see what your dog enjoys.
  • Safety: Always supervise your dog when they're chewing on toys to prevent accidents or ingestion of foreign objects.

By providing your dog with appropriate chewing toys and treats, you can help alleviate their anxiety and promote their overall well-being. Remember to consult with your veterinarian if you have concerns about your dog's anxiety or behavior.

Back to blog

Leave a comment