If you are a doggy owner you must have noticed your dog keeps chewing on his tag. This is not immensely an uncommon behavior of canine friends, but it might be quite a hassle for you.
Changing the tag every time your canine friend has munched it is definitely a hard task.
According to research, it has been found that younger dogs or specifically “puppies” are more liable to keep chewing on stuff much more than adult dogs. Chewing edible stuff is something else, but chewing on tags? Yes, it’s a thing to be considered.
We might be able to minimize this habit of our blossom buddies to a certain extent, but it would be futile to try to stop it completely. Why not give it a try though, right?
Dogs may keep chewing on their tags due to the teething period, anxiety, boredom, loneliness, attention-seeking, lack of mental stimulation, and they like the taste or the smell of the tag. This can be avoided with engraved tags, positive reinforcement, providing chew toys, & using a bitter spray.
Educating yourself on why your dog keeps chewing on tags might be requisite for you. So, let me take you through that short journey.
Table of Contents
Why does your dog keep chewing on its tag?
Let’s begin to enhance your knowledge!
1. “Its tooth fairy time”
When you were a kid I am quite sure you have engulfed all these “tooth fairy stories.” It happens for our blossom buddies too, which we called “teething”.
Dogs have 28 deciduous teeth and the dog will end up with 42 permanent teeth.
Puppies begin teething at around 2 to 3 weeks of age with deciduous teeth and begin to replace them with permanent teeth from the age of 2 months and by the age of 7 or 8 months, all the deciduous teeth are fallen off and are replaced with 42 permanent teeth.
This process will start to begin from incisors(2 to 5 months) and then will follow up with canine teeth(5 to 6months), premolars (4 to 6 months), and molars(4 to 7 months).
Chewing during this period is utmostly important to them, so if your blossom buddy is chewing his tag at any of these age ranges one of the reasons might be this.
2. “I am just bored dude”
In any case, did you forget to give your dog a toy to play with? Then I guess you’ll have to cope with the trouble bubble.
The doggy might be in the mode of “hey, you didn’t give me at least ball to play dude, I am just a hell of bored”.
As a dog parent, you might know a dog gets pleasure from chewing on stuff and getting a better way to explore nature. So, as you haven’t provided him with anything he might just be relying on that tag.
Suggested Reading: Do dogs chew more when in heat?
3. “I am lonely”
Did you leave the canine friend alone and leave for work? Is it only then your blossom buddy begins to chew his tag? Then it might be indicating to you the stress the dog has along with separation anxiety.
Chewing releases the happy hormones “endorphins” and that will help to ease the stress. Imagine, you biting nails during an exam, isn’t that some kind of stress relief for you even though it’s a bad habit?
The same goes with the doggy, it might not be able to think of something else to chew other than his tag around his neck.
Moreover, if the dog always tends to whine, won’t take his meals, isolate himself along with this habit of chewing his tag it’s a deep matter to be concerned about.
After all, they can’t make their own cup of tea and enjoy the day to relieve stress or separation anxiety, isn’t it?
4. Attention seeking.
You might have of course seen toddlers keeping on doing stuff that will tell them not to do. They’ll just be looking at your face with their “grinning sweet smiles”.
At this moment you know they are asking for your attention through this. It goes the same for doggies. It might be chewing on the tags just to get your attention!
Suggested reading: Why does your dog chew your wife’s shoes?
5. The taste or smell.
Dogs are often attracted to literally anything which has the smell of you! Yes, he would even chew out a “not washed” piece of cloth if he sense the smell rather than a new one!
So, in this case, if he feels like the tag “smells” like you, why wouldn’t he try it? The same goes for the “taste”.
6. Behavioral issues
Does your dog try to rip off everything he encounters? Your pillows, your shoes, and your valuables? If so the dog might be undergoing some kind of behavioral issues which is also a reason for chewing his own tag!
7. Lack of mental stimulation.
Last, but not least another reason might be that your dog is not taken out enough to play and get some training for improvement of both physical and mental health.
When this happens mental stimulation somewhat tends to decrease and indirectly follow up with unwanted habits just like chewing off the tags.
How to make a dog stop chewing on its tag?
After knowing the reasons, you might be eagerly waiting to know how to prevent it.
Let’s untangle the tangled stuff!
1. Use an engraved tag.
One of the best options in order to prevent the dog from chewing its tag is by using a collar belt in which the tag is engraved to it.
It will not only prevent the dog from chewing the tag, but also it will be durable and more visible.
2. Provide the doggy with suitable toys and chewable stuff.
A handful of toys will surely aid in minimizing the chewing of the tag. The toys will aid the dog in reducing boredom and will keep his concentration on that.
Soft toys and rubber stuff might help you a lot. Moreover, chewable stuff like kong toys, bully sticks, rawhide bones, or any other type of natural chews will make sure to keep your blossom buddies entertained. Keep the dude out of boredom!
By the way, here is why do some dogs eat their beds and what to do about it.
3. Positive reinforcement.
This is indeed another satisfactory method to use to reduce the “dog and tag relationship”.Let me tell you how to try this out.
Each time your dog tries to chew off his tag without yelling at him and saying “no”, just tell him emphatically that he’ll get a treat if he didn’t do that.
As you cannot always be giving treats, you can use words such as “My good boy” and pat off his head kindly. With the time being, he’ll get used to it and will minimize munching off the” tag”.Compliments always bring a smile, don’t they?
4. Bitter apple spray.
Bitter apple spray is non-toxic and safe to use. So, why not try it out on the dog collar? This will definitely discourage the dog to not to chew the tag.
By the way, here is whether hot sauce can stop dog chewing behavior.
5. Take a walk along with you.
Long walks are vital for the mental stimulation of the dog. If you are a dog parent make sure to take your dog for a walk for at least 1 hour.
While walking with your pooch check out for his behaviors.If he is chewing out on the tag make sure to get it out of his mouth slowly and give him something chewable. Then just give a pat and praise on him.
6. Exercises other than walking.
Provide your buddy with exercises for both physical and mental stimulation. Make sure you have a playing time adjusted just for your blossom buddy.
Fetching games, going to dog play areas, and training for a few commands would be great. Moreover, if you are going to go for a few days outing make sure that you will give him an outstanding time period while with you.
This will also help in minimizing the risk of getting separation anxiety.
7. Dog camera.
Let your dog know that you are watching him where ever you are! Use a dog camera in which you can broadcast your voice through it!
It will let your dog that you are there for him and will even help in reducing separation anxiety while you achieve what you need!
The above are just a few tips on how to prevent your doggy from chewing off the tag. Try them out!
Should you worry if your dog chews on its tag?
So, as you might know, the answer is a definite “yes.”Wondering why you should worry about the dog chewing on its tag?
One of the biggest concerns is that it might loosen up while he is chewing it and the dog might accidentally gulp it up which can cause intestinal blockage and prevent food from getting through it. This will cause your dog to vomit and much more.
Furthermore, the peristaltic movements will get hindered as it tries to push out the chewed tag and will also result in hindering the blood supply.
These symptoms may vary according to where it is blocked, duration, and so on. If you ever get ahead with this type of scenario don’t be late to take the poor doggy to a veterinarian.
Things to be aware of.
Let me point out a few important things that you should be aware of.
1. No harsh wordings: First off do not punish him. As in there is no point in trying to show him the damage that he caused for his label. he might not even figure out what you are talking about if it was a few seconds ago, it will just break his poor heart.
2. Be patient: If this chewing habit was with him for a long time, it might be hard for him to get rid of it. So, have patience and let the time and proper training do that for you and your doggy good health.
3. No duct tape: This is clearly a “No” and inhumane and won’t be helpful. People have tried this out keeping the dog near the chewed object and keeping his mouth plastered with duct tape and due to a long period of time, the poor buddies even have lost their precious lives.
4. Leaving the dog in his pen: Try not to keep or let your dog in his pen for a long time with nothing. Long time spent in the pen will give him the chance to chew things up, as in his tag.
They say “you can trust your dog to guard your house, but never trust your dog to guard your sandwich!” They try to chew out everything if they get a chance to, even if it’s his tag! So better keep an eye on it!
Hope I guided you, folks, on why your dog keeps chewing the tags and how to prevent it, and much more.