1. to crush or grind with the teeth; masticate.
2. to crush, damage, injure, etc., as if by chewing.
It is inherent in the nature of the dog. They chew because they can.
Puppies chew because when they are teething. The chewing helps with the gum discomfort, and they especially like to chew on frozen/cold items when they are teething.
A lot of dogs chew when they are bored, lonely, or suffering separation anxiey. (This I know from experience.)
Chewing helps relieve anxiety and stress.
Poor nutrition. The lack of some nutrients in a dog’s diet can cause a dog to chew things in an effort to fulfill its need for certain nutrients/minerals.
There is no doubt that some dogs can cause serious destruction when they chew. My first thought to seeing a new hole in the drywall, or a destroyed pillow, was not the problem of fixing or cleaning up, but to consider “how much drywall did Clover ingest? Is she going to die from eating the wallpaper? What happened to the zipper from the destroyed pillow? Where is the other shoe?” I am thankful that Clover never had to have surgery to remove an object that she ate, but wouldn’t be surprised if an x-ray of her belly today would show a playground of missing items including a pair of eyeglasses.
Let’s face it, I knew nothing about raising a crazy puppy like Clover. We lived and learned together. At the old age of 9, I still don’t trust her 100 percent, and I leave as few temptations in her path as I can. Its been a while since she ate a wall, but only two years ago, she ate the front door. I never thought she did it out of spite, but more as acting out some anxiety.
Cosmo? Forget it. He chewed a hole in a towel that I left on the floor in the bathroom. Once.
A final suggestion to anyone with a chewer? Crate training, Kongs, indestructible dog bones, supervised chewing sessions. And, be consistent with the training – be ever vigilant! Remove all temptation, and don’t take the destruction of your favorite book, shoes, handbag, jacket, couch, etc. as a personal vendetta. Its a dog thing.