Why Do Dogs Eat Drywall? (Find Out Now!)


Why do dogs eat drywall

It has been proven time and again that a dog can truly be a man’s best friend.  A dog offers constant companionship, provides protection from strangers, and always greets you at the door when you get home. Dogs also do some strange things sometimes, like spinning around in circles and eating drywall.

Dogs chew on or eat drywall for a number of reasons.  They could be frightened of something, bored to tears, anxious, or simply seeking your attention.  Drywall in itself is not necessarily dangerous, but this behavior is a call for help that needs to be addressed.

To follow are some possible causes why your dog has an appetite for the inedible.  Read on and see how you, as a responsible pet parent, can help your fur baby overcome this distressing behavior. 

6 Reasons Why Your Dog Eats Drywall

Your Dog Is Scared

If your dog is alone and something frightens them, they may chew through the walls simply to try to escape.  Even more so if your dog finds themself in a room with the doors closed.  The source of fear could be anything; a loud knocking, a large truck barreling down the street, thunder or fireworks.  

Sudden loud noises such as fireworks or thunder are very common reasons for a dog to get startled, at the very least.  Many other dogs not used to such stimuli will try to run for their lives.  Even when the loud noises cease, they may still be chewing on the wall to attempt to run away.

Soothe your frightened pet, calm them down and take them to a different area in the house.  Putting them in another room may help them disassociate from their anxiety and fear.

Your Dog Is Anxious

Dogs can get anxious too and will find a way to let you know.  Causes of anxiety include separation from their owners, loud construction work nearby, or being left alone.  

If a dog is in a small room or stuck in a tiny closet, they will chew their way out.  Separation anxiety is, unfortunately, a common occurrence in household pets, not just dogs.  Birds have been known to pluck out their feathers, cats claw furniture, and dogs destroy property by chewing on it.

If your dog is relatively new to the family, try not to leave them alone for long periods of time.  Ensure that at least one member of the family is around them most of the time.  Dogs revel in human companionship and will resort to destructive behavior if this is not provided.

Your Dog Is Bored 

Dogs are energetic creatures that want to play, drive around in your car with you, and do just about anything.  Of course, you will encounter the occasional dog who would love just to laze around and sleep a lot.  Also, the older the dog, the more they would want just to relax all day.  

Whether your dog is a playful pup or a boisterous 7-year old, they will need activities to keep them occupied.  Otherwise, they will find other ways to expend all that pent-up energy, including chewing on walls.  Help them along by playing fetch, taking them on long walks, and simply spending time with them.

To ensure that your drywall stays intact, also have a variety of toys for your best friend to play with.  Take note that their chew toys are made of non-toxic materials and are not easy to pull apart and swallow.   Chewing is an instinctive dog activity that keeps their jawbones strong and teeth clean. 

Your Dog Hears Something In The Walls

That’s right; your pet may not be the only critter scurrying around the house.  Your dog’s sense of smell and hearing are thousands of times keener than that of a human’s.  You may not hear anything going on inside the walls, but your dog sure can. 

Many creatures such as mice, roaches, crickets, even snakes can make a home inside your house walls.  Your dog may hear noises made by these unwanted guests and start chewing away at the wall.  As a descendant of wolves, dogs still retain that instinctive “chase and kill” impulse and just want to get at the unwelcome intruder.

Observe when this behavior started and listen for animal activity on the other side of the wall.  If your dog barks at the wall in between chewing, then you may be housing another creature in the house.  Schedule an appointment with pest control services and see if they can find what your dog obviously smells and hears. 

Your Dog Is Seeking Attention

Dogs do all sorts of things to try to gain our attention.  They bark, run around like crazy, even steal something from you and run away with it.  If none of these actions distract you, they will do something drastic like chewing the walls.  

Most people would look up, yell at their dog and shoo them away if they start being destructive.  This only encourages the dog because gnawing at the walls is the only activity that causes you to pay attention.  You will need them to stop, of course, but better yet, prevention is key. 

As the most loyal and loving member of the family, your dog deserves your time, love, and attention.  When they start barking, you know they’re trying to tell you something.  Do not ignore them, or they will resort to drastic measures.  

Your Dog Has Pica

Dogs that have the compulsive need to eat inedible materials like wood, paper, and plastic may have a condition called pica.  This behavior needs to be addressed immediately, as swallowing non-food objects can be extremely harmful to your dog. The causes of pica may be behavioral, psychological, or brought on by a nutritional deficiency of some sort.  

Unfortunately, many dogs live in homes that do not supply even the basic needs of good nutrition, love, and security.  These factors can contribute to pica and will result in the dog chewing anything that’s around them, including walls.  

If you suspect pica, take your dog to the vet for an examination to find out the possible cause.  This may take a while to be determined before the proper course of treatment is administered.  In the meantime, ensure your dog is fed good, nutritional meals and gets all your love and attention.  

What To Do If Your Dog Eats Drywall

Do Not Yell At Your Dog

Yelling will only result in your dog cowering from you and start fearing you.  Approach your dog with love, do not yell, and remove them from the premises.

Put Your Dog In Another Area

Allow your dog to roam another part of the house.  Or better yet, take them outside for a walk or a game of fetch.  They may need to expend some energy or simply want attention from you. 

Inspect The Wall For Unwanted Critters

With your dog safely tucked away somewhere else, put your ear against the wall and listen for activity on the other side.  Your dog may simply be warning you of pests living inside the house. Employ the services of a professional for a more thorough inspection.

Spend More Time With Your Dog

Not only to assuage their fears and anxiety but also to observe them closely for any undiagnosed medical or behavioral issues.  Take note of when the wall-eating behavior starts and stops, and see if a pattern emerges.  

See The Vet

Bring Rover, of course. If the taste for drywall does not cease, it is time to seek medical attention.  The vet needs to check and see if no foreign objects are in your pup’s gastrointestinal tract.  

In the same visit, the vet can also determine if the food your dog is getting provides the nutrition they truly need.  Further visits may be necessary if the vet notes pica as a possible cause for the unwarranted chewing.

Related Questions

Why does my dog eat poop?

Coprophagy is the medical term for this unfavorable dog behavior.  Two possible reasons dictate why a dog eats their own poop.  In the wild, when wolves scavenge for food, nothing may be available, and they may resort to eating fecal matter to survive.  

However, with our domesticated dogs, coprophagy still happens but for an entirely different reason.  When a puppy has an accident, we may unthinkingly get angry and nag the dog for the act.  This results in a negative feeling in the pup, and it may eat the poop to avoid getting scolded.

Why does my dog keep spinning around? 

Spinning around and trying to catch their tail is a fun activity many dogs engage in.  However, if the spinning seems more than usual, you may need to take your dog for a check-up.  Nonstop or constant spinning may indicate more severe health issues. 

Medical ailments such as seizures, ear infections, even brain lesions may be the reason why your dog can’t stop spinning.  Another factor could indicate a genetic trait that is inherent in certain breeds. A type of compulsion may also be the culprit, and this may require an examination from an animal behavioral specialist. 

Stacy Randall

Stacy is a lifelong animal lover who truly believes life just isn’t complete without pets. She’s had pets her whole life (including three dogs and a cat living under the same roof, somewhat harmoniously). She currently resides in NOLA with her husband, son, and two pups, Scooby “Dooby” Doo and Zoey. Stacy always makes a point to learn everything she can about her fur babies, and she has been writing about the pet-parent life for over two years.

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