Why Do Dogs Suck On Toys

Why Do Dogs Suck On Toys? The 5 Most Common Causes

Many people rely on stress management to comfort themselves whenever they feel upset or anxious. Given that such activities provide a sense of relaxation and peace of mind, a number of these routines may ultimately develop into a part of what individuals do every day. Related coping mechanisms may be employed by animals, such as suckling on their favorite toy or blanket. 

Let’s first establish that dogs sucking on toys is normal. It’s important to realize that, like barking, sucking is a natural habit for dogs. So canines typically suck on comfort toys and blankets as a frequent means of relief or comfort.

Now let us look into the most common causes of your furry buddy’s toy-sucking addiction in order for you to comprehend it better.

Dogs Sucking On Toys – Is This Normal Behaviour?

Since dogs may possess an innate need to suckle on their mom’s breast in order to ingest her nourishment, they begin engaging in this behavior as soon as they are born. In addition to providing them with food, this activity also makes them feel comforted and relaxed. Several of the furry babies would remain to feed if the mother dog didn’t wean them. 

To feel the pleasure and associate it with suckling during their puppyhood, dogs usually suck on toys. Many adult dogs sometimes travel with their favorite chew toy throughout the day. Although this tendency is not unusual, there is typically an explanation.

So, let’s dive into the causes of your doggy’s habit.

Why Do Dogs Suck On Toys

The most frequent causes for dogs to suck on their toys will be discussed now that you are aware of how common sucking is with regards to dogs.

Let’s look more closely at these explanations, which span from longing for their mother’s warmth, to helping them reach their slumber. 

Your Pet May Be Teething

Teething is a common factor when it comes to puppies. Your little buddy could be going through a teething period if you observe them gnawing on everything from toys, comforters, and even your hands.

Puppies can experience distress as they develop their adult teeth, which may result in them biting on anything they can find to numb the pain and sensation.

They normally surpass this teething phase by the sixth month of their life; therefore, it’s crucial to offer them with suitable chewing activities throughout this time to assist them in alleviating the ache.

Your Dog Longs For Their Mother

If you find your puppy nibbling on toys or blankets, it might be because they desire their mother’s warmth. When pups are taken from their carer, they might seek a substitute sense of comfort.

Trying to suck on a toy might help them feel comforted because it will remind them of feeding on their mother, which will help them adjust to their new independent life. While some puppies lose this practice as they age, others could keep it even as adults. 

They Might Want A Snuggle Buddy

Nevertheless, even after they have been separated from their carer, some pups will continue to suck on their mom’s mammaries while they try to sleep. Consequently, they may grow up looking for items to feed on to aid in falling asleep, with several opting to do so with a soft toy.

Your Pet May Be Anxious

Your dog may also suck on a blanket since it comforts them when they’re scared or anxious. Much like how people may nibble on their fingernails when they are stressed, dogs may use this sucking habit as a coping method.

Dogs might become anxious for a wide range of factors, including hearing loud noises like firecrackers or thunderstorms, being without their humans, or coming into contact with unfamiliar individuals or pets. 

Your Furry Pal Is Trying To Comfort Themselves

Furthermore, certain animals could have a favorite toy or another comfort item that they snuggle up to when they’re feeling sad. Even though some dogs may use the blanket to suckle themselves to nap, some may keep it around in their mouths the entire time.

Providing the dog doesn’t develop territorial behavior, this habit is typically harmless and also serves as a source of comfort.

Dogs Sucking On Toys – How To Put An End To It?

Why Do Dogs Suck On Toys

Your pet’s propensity to suck on their favorite soft toy is probably brought about by an inner problem, perhaps tension or nervousness. Listed below are a few sensible strategies to take into account in order to handle this behavior:

Determine the Source of Their Anxiety

Dogs who are stressed out may resort to toy-sucking; hence it’s crucial to figure out what could make your dog stressed out. When your furry pal starts suckling on a toy or soft blanket, try to watch how they behave and what’s going around the vicinity.

Gradually, figure out how to reduce the source of this anxiety or give your dog the correct release for their tension. For instance, you can stream relaxing music, engage in some playtime with your companion to divert their thoughts, or employ various techniques to lessen your dog’s fear if the sucking becomes obsessive.

Stimulate Their Mind and Body

Remember to give your dog enough mental & physical engagement. Dogs that receive insufficient physical or psychological activity on a daily basis can grow increasingly stressed and anxious.

It is advised to give your walking buddy at least 20 minutes of physical activity per day (more than that for athletic breeds). Keeping them busy with intellectually challenging games or behavior modification helps ease their behavior. 

Offer Them Alternative Outlets

Give your dog an alternate way to decrease the sucking or nibbling. If your dog has a tendency to chew their toy, it might do so because they find satisfaction. Give your dog lots of other chew toys so as to use them as a proper channel for its chewing needs in hopes of changing this habit.

Consult With a Veterinarian When Necessary

You could require veterinarian help if your dog’s toy-sucking habit is getting out of hand and you have no way to curb it at your residence.

A veterinarian or behavioral specialist may be recommended for certain dogs, and in specific situations, prescribed medication may be required to lessen their compulsions. It is recommended that you get professional guidance if you are struggling to control your dog’s persistent toy-sucking on your own.

Sources

  1. Yin, S. (2013). Why do dogs suck on blankets? Veterinary behavior solutions. https://drsophiayin.com/blog/entry/why-do-dogs-suck-on-blankets/
  2. Landsberg, G., Hunthausen, W., & Ackerman, L. (2013). The effects of toys in dogs with anxiety-related and compulsive disorders. Veterinary Medicine: Research and Reports, 4, 17-25. https://doi.org/10.2147/VMRR.S34686

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