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What Happens if a Dog Eats Wood?

what are the risks if a dog eats wood

Dogs are always ready to eat whatever is in their surroundings. Undoubtedly, this is quite problematic for dog owners because they are not in a state to handle all the after consequences, but unfortunately, they have to deal with them.

Here we are discussing why dogs eat wood and why they shouldn’t. There is a possibility that you may have thought about what happens if a dog eats wood. It is important to know that it is not safe for dogs and can cause major problems. This is a two-fold problem where the damage may or may not be recoverable. If a dog has consumed a small piece of wood, the condition appears to be under control, but there is no guarantee of complete recovery if the piece is large.

In this article, you will learn everything about what happens if a dog eats wood and how you will be able to handle such behavior by your canines. Let’s get started!

Can dogs eat wood?

Non-edible objects are not safe for dogs, and likewise, is wood. If you notice your dog eating wood, stop them right away because it may cause so many problems.

With some dogs, this is quite common, and for some specific breeds, this is rare. Therefore, it is important to analyze your dog’s breed and understand why they are doing so. If it happens once in a while, there is a chance that they might be going through some behavioral changes they cannot deal with.

Note: Do not accept this behavior from your dog because it can cost them their lives if not controlled. Do not wait too long to reach out to the doctor if you have consumed wood.

Why is wood a bad option for dogs?

Eating wood is a bad option for dogs because:

  • If a dog has consumed small pieces of wood, then splinters can lodge in its mouth and esophagus, resulting in damage.
  • If a dog has consumed large pieces of wood, it is responsible for causing the most significant problems, including damage to the stomach lining and perforated intestine. It also interferes with the bowel movements of the dog.

Note: Either your dog has consumed a small piece of wood or a large one, but both of them cause so many problems for you.

What are the complications that take place when a dog eats wood?

As we have already discussed, wood is not a consumable item for dogs, and hence it will contribute to some complications if they eat it. The major problems a dog might face include:

  • Damage to the esophagus lining
  • Interference with bowel movement
  • Perforated intestine
  • Gastrointestinal issues
  • Abrasions to the mouth
  • Choking hazards
  • Diarrhea
  • Tooth damage
  • Airway obstruction

“It is important to note that if a dog is eating wood, the owner cannot leave him in the same condition. Firstly, it is important to check whether they have eaten a small piece or a large piece and then reach out to the veterinary doctor right away.”

Why do dogs eat wood?

If you notice your dog eating wood, it is important to understand why they are doing it. There are several reasons for it. This includes:

It is a natural behavior

First of all, understand that eating well is their natural behavior. Because chewing is a part of their lives, they use their mouths to analyze the environment and understand it. In young dogs and puppies, this is a way to relieve the pain due to teething. But if you have an adult dog and they are eating, it is entirely normal for a while, but don’t let them develop a habit because wood-eating is not safe in either case.

They are feeling bored

Do not forget that dogs also have emotions, and they also feel bored. There is a possibility that you have left them alone for a longer period of time and are not paying attention to their wants and needs. They start feeling bored and, as a result, start eating wood. As a four-legged friend, you need to pay attention to them and understand what they are up to. If you notice them in a state of boredom, try something that can make them active.

Separation anxiety

Separation anxiety is also very common with dogs. If you are not paying attention to them and they are feeling isolated, they will begin to do such things in order to get your attention. Separation anxiety leads to destructive behavior like chewing wood. Do understand that your dog has become anxious, and they are doing everything possible to get relief, but somehow the things are not helping them out. For a while, in this situation, it is advisable to analyze the entire episode of the past week to determine whether you are giving him sufficient time or not.

How to stop a dog from eating wood?

For every problem, there is a solution, so if you want your dog to stop eating wood, there are several tips you can adapt. This includes:

Pay attention to your dog

Do not leave your dog alone. If they are feeling alone for a longer period of time, they start doing things that can get your attention. Therefore, it is important to set up a proper schedule where you are giving them sufficient time to feel happy and relaxed.

Training plays a big role

Dog training is really very important. One can consider it a situation where you are teaching a little baby to behave properly. Therefore, teach your dog good habits. If you notice your dog eating wood, stop them and handle the situation calmly.

Do not encourage them

If you are encouraging them to do any bad behavior, your dog will get stimulated towards it and start doing it because you are giving them attention. Therefore, in any case, if you notice your dog doing such things as eating wood, stop them right away. Encouraging such situations will not contribute to any result and will lead to the development of bad behavior only.

Distract your dog

When dogs get used to licking or eating such things, they just need a moment to do so. Well, in that case, you need to distract your dog to stop it. You can simply engage in different activities, like playing some games or letting them do exercise for a while. Just try, and they will not get a moment to resume the same activity.

Keep woods away

If you notice your yard has a lot of wood pieces and your dog is going towards the same place, again and again, it is advisable to remove them immediately. When your dog does not see wood around, he will try to stop his cravings for it. Also, try to spend some more time with them in this case, because if they do not find you around, They look for other things to fulfill the same craving.

Get some chewable toys

The market is flooded with some chewable toys that are especially for dogs. To stop your dog from eating wood or wood chips, bring these to them.

What to do if my dog won’t stop eating wood?

If even after dog training and including distraction in their routine, your dog won’t stop eating wood, there are possible measures to adopt to stop it. This includes:

  • Spray the wood with something your dog does not like. Right now, some sprays are specially designed to keep dogs off furniture. But while spraying it, be sure not to do it on their faces because it can lead to other problems.
  • Whenever a dog tries to eat wood, stop them right away. Negative reinforcement is very important to fix such bad behavior.
  • Call their name and let them come to you. Until and unless your dog is not coming to you, keep calling their name.
  • If you notice your dog eating wood and not listening to you even when you call their name, put them in their “bad room” and don’t pay attention to anything they are doing.

Chewing non-living things is common in dogs, and as a dog owner, you must take the necessary steps to prevent such behavior. If your dog is still not getting the things, then take your dog to the dog training center and let them get trained by professionals only. 

What to do if my dog eats burnt wood?

If your dog has eaten burnt wood, first inspect their mouth to see if there is any remaining piece. Remove any piece that is in their mouth as soon as possible. There are possible chances that after eating burnt wood, the dogs may experience gastrointestinal issues, and if they have consumed a large piece, it may lead to choking hazards as well. Ultimately, burnt wood is also not safe for them.

Why does my dog eat wood and bark?

If a dog eats wood and barks, understand that it is their behavioral response. In this condition, separation anxiety is the culprit. You need to pay attention to your dog and analyze what they are doing. Handle them calmly in this state because they need you to overcome the situation.

Is it safe if my dog ate cedar wood chips?

Likewise, wood and cedar chips are also not safe for dogs. These are responsible for causing gastrointestinal issues, choking hazards, and abrasions to the mouth. These are also responsible for transmitting bacteria to their guts.

How to find out if your dog has pica?

Pica is a condition where a dog starts to feed on non-food items. If your dog has a habit of doing so, then you need to get the treatment as soon as possible. Some symptoms to check out include:

  • Nibbling on pillows
  • Eating non-food items
  • Eating food
  • Consumption of clothes
  • Gnawing on cardboard or rocks
  • Start chewing plastic toys.

What to do if, after eating wood, my dog is pooping blood?

If, after eating wood, your dog is pooping blood, do not wait to reach out to the veterinary doctor. This calls for an emergency because there is a possibility that there is some damage to their large intestine or rectum. Internal bleeding can also be a cause of pooping blood.

What if my dog has consumed treated wood?

In order to burn the wood or to prepare it for some particular process, people treat the wood, which makes it even more toxic. If somehow, dogs have consumed the treated wood, there is a chance you need to reach out to the veterinary doctor right away.

What we learned from all this

Eating wood is not safe at all and can lead to many problems. If your dog is eating wood, wood chips, treated wood, or any other part of the wood family, it is advisable to pay close attention to them and stop them from doing so. Never encourage your dog to eat wood because this makes them habituated and, later on, will contribute to health issues. 

If somehow your dog has eaten wood, reach out to the veterinary doctor immediately because ignoring it can cost them their lives as well. Also, let the veterinary doctor know about the entire episode so that they can conclude where to start and how to treat a dog for better results.

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anuja saxena author at anifirm

I am a dog lover who spent her childhood in the company of a friendly Labrador Retriever. I believe that pets make our lives more enjoyable and stress-free. So, here I am, attempting to share my experiences and knowledge to improve the lives of pets and pet owners.