It’s no surprise that dogs love to chew. And you’re probably also aware that most dogs chew on things when they’re left alone for too long. Chewing is an important part of a dog’s development, especially for puppies. But why do dogs love to chew? And more importantly, how can you take full advantage of it to bond with and train your dog?
Dogs love to chew for one simple reason: it feels good. We can prove this using science. A neuroscientist scanned the brains of dogs while they chewed on either a bone or a fabric toy and found that both stimuli activate the same region of the brain that's activated when dogs are rewarded with food.
The urge to chew is already in the blood of the youngest pups, because puppies love to chew. This is especially noticeable during the change of teeth, which usually occurs between the fourth and seventh month of life. The change of teeth can be quite painful for dogs, because the gums are often inflamed and itchy. But the four-legged friends know how to help themselves and try to support the change of teeth by chewing. This not only speeds up the eruption of the teeth, but also makes the pain more bearable. Chewing has a calming effect and even makes the four-legged friends happy - regardless of their age!
It's not only puppies who appreciate a tasty chew, but not only edible dog snacks, such as a bone or a chew stick, but also chewing toys delight many furry noses. This is because they don't just nibble out of hunger or appetite, but because it gives them pleasure. Endorphins are released when they nibble, which stimulate their mood and spread feelings of happiness. However, chewing is not only a true happiness maker for dogs, but also an efficient aid against stress. During the biting and chewing activity, the jaw muscles are constantly moved, which in turn can relieve tension. You can make use of this calming effect in stressful situations, such as New Year's Eve. With a chewing article you help your pet to relax and at the same time keep it occupied for a longer period of time.
Our fur noses want to be challenged both mentally and physically, which is why joint activities should be part of everyday life. Sometimes, however, there are situations in which the beloved four-legged friend may have to "keep themselves busy". But here, too, you as a dog owner can take precautions and offer your dog a species-appropriate occupation, namely in the form of a chewing snack. Hard dog chews, such as a Yak Chews or Antlers, are particularly hard and thus provide long-term nibbling fun. However, chewing is not just a nice pastime for dogs, but an essential part of dental care.