It is generally thought that chewing releases endorphins which are considered nature's feel good hormones. Dogs who may be stressed or anxious are often thought to be chewing more to release some of their stress through this activity. Dogs use up lots of energy by chewing and for many dogs using their teeth and mouth can release pent up frustration . A much better way to do this than with a suitable chew toy than your lovely furniture! So consider how your dog releases his or her stress as they cant tell us , or write to us and for dogs who love to chew it actually may be a necessity to deal with how they feel.. Adult chewing of home items can often be related to boredom or anxious so if you think that this might be the case consult a professional who can help you.
Good idea to puppy proof your house on their arrival but also to consider a wide range of suitable chewing toys ;
- Don't leave valuables where puppy can get his paws on - shoes, human food, remote control, socks, pants, mobile phones etc
- Plenty plenty of safe objects for the to chew on such as filled Kongs, ( right size for your puppy), Tripe sticks, Yakers ( brilliant chew bars made from Yak milk) , Stagbars, Nylabones, lots of great Busy Buddy toys and cooling or freezing them to helps to soothe gums. Sterilized bones or roasted bones are also available but dogs should always be supervised in case of bone splinters.
Chewing can have a social aspect to it as well for dogs. Sarah Whitehead wrote about dogs who came to visit other dogs in their home which seemed to encourage the resident dog to get the chew toy out from the bottom of the toy box! Does it help with bonding and signals a sign of acceptance and friendship?. Or is it competitive between the dogs? She went on to describe it as perhaps a social etiquette similar to us having a 'cup of tea ' together! There is also evidence that suggests it might send a message of strength, determination and safety both through visual means and scent. It certainly appears to be a good bonding experience and is contagious. One dogs chews the other one starts to chew!
In summary, i think that all dogs are individuals as we are and as such like different items to chew and there is definitely more than one chewing style and motivation among dogs. Certainly most dogs love to chew and rather than an optional extra it appears to have an essential role in our dog's lives. But for sure, what is safe for one dog to chew may not be safe for all to chew.