ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Why do dogs eat wood?

Updated on July 6, 2009

People have different reasons in getting a dog. Dogs are hunted, utilized to herd and guard livestock, used to perform farm works and guard the family. Dogs though are most commonly kept as companions. Dogs are much loved and highly valued because they are loyal and affectionate animals. A responsible owner would spare no expense to provide the dog with the best care and high quality food. However, dogs do have some very disconcerting eating habits. An owner would certainly be puzzled by the dog’s habit of eating feces, vomits, dirt, mud and many other non-edible things. A new dog owner would surely be surprised if he finds the new sofa without a leg because the dog has eaten the wood.

Click thumbnail to view full-size


Pica is the habit of eating non-edible things. We know that dogs have great appetites, they are voracious eaters but it would still be perplexing to the owner if the dog that is provided with enough food would still eat things with no nutritive values. There is no definitive reason for this abnormal eating habit of the dog.

An attention-starved dog

Dogs are pack animals. In the wild they stay together. Domesticated dogs consider the family as its pack. Because of busy schedules the family may not have time to spend with the dog. Often times this would result into a lonely pet that craves for the attention of its people. The dog will be destructive…dig holes in the garden, chew the carpet and eat wood to gain the attention of the master. The dog will surely be scolded. But for the dog negative attention would be much better than no attention at all.

Nutrient deficiency

Some dog experts believe that the wood eating habit of the dog can be its way of filling up the nutrient deficiency in the diet. Low grade commercial dog food mostly contains cereal fillers. Various studies have been conducted on the behavior of dogs but the dog’s uncanny ability to know what is wrong with their system was never explained. The nutrient deficiency theory however is not accepted by some dog owners given that even if a dog is fed premium quality foods, the dog would still manifest the wood eating habit.

Is wood eating dangerous for the dog?

Dog owners would agree to the need of stopping this bizarre eating habit. Not only would it be too expensive to change the wooden door or the furniture eaten by the dog but this habit can have dangerous repercussions to the health of the dog. Wood splinters can get embedded on the mouth and can perforate the esophagus and the intestines of the dog. Wood can block the throat and the intestines as well.

Wood Eating Dogs

ben eating a chunk of wood

The Dog Who Loves Wood


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • profile image

      Flo Martin 

      5 years ago

      I also have adog who eats copious amounts of sticks the whole thing,she swoollow.s all of the stick .

      What is the best thing to do? She is four years old.

    • profile image

      haley blanche 

      6 years ago

      My dog (pit bull) eats big pieces of wood, she ate an entire log in one hour, she carries them around with her too ( she's two) she plays ball gets two walks aday and three bowls full of food, she continues to eat it even after she gets splinters, don't know what to do with her

    • profile image

      John B 

      6 years ago

      My dog (an English Setter) eats wood and hard plastic. If the wood had not become lodged in his esophagus we would not know that he had hard plastic in his stomach. The vet had to scope him (3 hours sedated)to unlodge and retrieve the wood then explored this stomach and found the hard plastic. The plastic was retrieved through his esophagus. We were told that it would have eventually killed him because it was cutting the lining of stomach plus would eventually cause cancer. He gets great food and lots of attention. Can't figure out why he does this.

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      My Dog is an outside dog and gets plenty of exercise as well as attention. He also is feed kibbles and bits dog food by the weight scale on the bag, but yet he continues to eat and swallow wood. Whether it be sticks or chunks of wood. He is 3 years old and is still very playful. I do not know how to stop this behavior. I fear my dog is going to become ill from this bizarre behavior. When he was a puppy he got very sick and it took weeks to get him well again, whereas all 4 of his siblings and mom and dad died. No known cause. This is when he started this habit. Does anyone have any idea of how to stop this behavior?

    • profile image


      9 years ago

      My puppy (well he's 8 months old) is the stick eating king, I tell you. And, he enjoys a nibble on our trim from time to time. Has all the stimulation, attention, best food in the world. They're just programmed to chew and it becomes habit. Great hub.


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)