Dogs have been known to help relieve stress in people for centuries. There is a reason why working dogs are used in high-stress environments such as police stations, prisons, and hospitals. But what happens when the dog is the one stressed out? How can dogs reduce their stress level? One of the most effective ways for a dog to reduce its stress is through the act of chewing.
Chewing is a way that dogs can self-soothe and reduce their stress. By allowing working dogs to chew on durable Nylabone chews or other chewing toys, they can channel their energy into something productive. This releases endorphins, which have a calming effect on the dog’s body and mind. Chewing also distracts them from their stressful environment and releases all their aggression, anxiety, and anger, allowing them to feel more relaxed and focused.
If you’re struggling to find ways to help your stressed-out dog, look no further! This article discusses how chewing can help reduce a dog’s stress levels and whether there are any complications with it. So, without further ado, let’s get started!
8 Reasons Why Chewing Helps Reduce Stress in Working Dogs
Dogs that are feeling stressed often use chewing to relieve their tension. Here are 8 reasons why it works:
Chewing Is an Innate Dog Behavior
You may have often seen dogs chewing on different objects like branches, bones, and anything hard that can fit in their mouth. Dogs tend to chew almost everything they find. It is because chewing is something they are made for. They have been gifted canines by nature for the purpose of chewing away hard bones and flesh. Due to their aggressive and predatory behavior, they always have the urge to chew.
Chewing Releases Endorphins
Endorphins are hormones produced in the brain and spinal cord. They are often associated with pain relief, pleasure, and addiction. But do you know that endorphins also play a role in stress relief? When a dog chews on something, it triggers the release of endorphins, which can induce a calming effect. This could help reduce stress in working dogs that are under a lot of pressure and feeling overwhelmed.
Chewing Encourages Focus and Concentration
It can be challenging to focus and concentrate on a task for an extended period. This is especially true for working dogs that are constantly bombarded with distractions and stimuli. Chewing can help these animals focus their attention on one thing, allowing them to concentrate better on the task at hand. This could result in improved work performance as well as a reduction in stress levels.
Chewing Helps Relieve Physical Tension
Did you know that dogs can get stressed, just like people do? Just like us, they can feel physical tension in their bodies when they’re stressed. Chewing helps to relieve that tension, allowing them to relax and be less anxious.
Chewing Stimulates Blood Flow
Dogs that are feeling stressed can benefit from the increased blood flow that comes from chewing. This helps to improve circulation and reduce fatigue and helps dogs remain calm despite their stressful surroundings.
Chewing Relieves Boredom
Dogs can become stressed when they are bored, just as people can. When dogs are bored, they may become restless and destructive. This is why it is important to provide them with plenty of toys and activities to keep them occupied. Chewing is one way for dogs to relieve boredom and reduce stress.
Chewing Reduces Aggression, Anxiety, and Anger
Dogs that feel stressed may become agitated and display aggressive behaviors, which can be dangerous in a high-stress work environment. It is important to provide working dogs with a way to relieve their tension and aggression. Chewing is one such way that helps reduce stress levels and can keep dogs calm and focused. In addition to the release of endorphins, chewing can help stimulate blood flow and distract dogs from their surroundings. This can help reduce the chances of an aggressive outburst and keep working dogs safe and stress-free.
Chewing Helps Stop Destructive Behaviors
Chewing helps dogs vent their pent-up energy and frustration, keeping them from engaging in destructive behaviors like digging, excessive barking, and chewing on furniture. It also provides an outlet for any aggression they may feel.
Is chewing bad for my dog?
Chewing is not inherently bad for dogs and can be an important part of their stress relief. However, it is important to provide them with safe toys that are designed specifically for chewing. These toys should be made from materials that are safe for dogs, such as rubber or nylon, and should be regularly checked for wear and tear. It’s also a good idea to supervise your dog while they are chewing, just to make sure they don’t swallow any pieces that may cause choking or gastrointestinal blockage. Additionally, it’s important to regularly check for signs of tooth decay and gum disease, as these can be a result of inappropriate chewing habits.
Providing working dogs with safe toys to chew on can help reduce stress levels while keeping them safe. With the right chewing toys, your dog can enjoy stress relief and stay healthy.
Can my dog chew a bone?
Chewing on bones can be a natural and enjoyable activity for dogs, but it’s important for owners to understand the potential dangers and best practices. Bones can splinter and cause serious injury or blockages in the digestive system. Choose large, raw bones without added flavoring or seasoning. Always supervise your dog while they chew, and take the bone away once it has become small enough to be swallowed whole. It’s also a good idea to consult with your veterinarian to determine if bone chewing is appropriate for your dog’s individual needs and health concerns. With proper care and attention, bone chewing can be a safe and healthy activity for your furry friend.
Chewing is a natural behavior in dogs, as they need to use their mouth and jaws to explore and understand the world. Toys can provide comfort and help reduce stress, but owners must ensure that chewing toys are safe for their dogs. It is important to select quality toys made from appropriate materials that are not easily destructible, such as rubber or nylon, and to keep an eye on your pet’s chewing activity. When done in moderation, chewing can be beneficial for a dog’s mental and physical health.
So, next time your dog is feeling stressed, why not give them something safe to chew on? It might just be the stress relief they need.
Dr. Mohsin Iqbal (DVM, RVMP)
Dr. Mohsin Iqbal is a licensed veterinarian with more than 5 years of experience in veterinary medicine. After receiving his DVM degree from The Islamia University of Bahawalpur, Pakistan, he worked as a
veterinarian in both government and private sectors. He has a deep passion for animal welfare and has been working for various animal welfare organizations since he was a student. Being President of Animal Rescue Organization Pakistan (AROP), he has been actively involved in animal rescue and welfare activities. In his spare time, he enjoys spending time with his rescue dogs and cats.