Dog Chewing Cardboard? Here’s How to Stop It!

It’s strange and a little concerning: your dog chews cardboard every chance they get! Why are they doing this? Why does your dog chew cardboard? Is it okay for dogs to chew on cardboard? How worried should you be, if it all? Will your puppy grow out of chewing cardboard?

Today, we’re going to answer each and every one of these questions and we’ll also cover what you’re most interested in: how to stop your dog chewing cardboard for good. Very soon, you’ll no longer have to stress about this. Continue reading below for our article “Dog Chewing Cardboard? Here’s How to Stop It!”

How to Stop Dog Chewing Cardboard

Dog Chewing Cardboard

To stop dog chewing cardboard:

  1. Keep your boxes stored where your dog can’t get to them.
  2. Be sure your dog is never without an acceptable outlet for their chewing like a toy they enjoy.
  3. If you need the boxes, spray something to deter your dog like a 1:1 solution of water and distilled white vinegar on the boxes’ exterior.
  4. The vinegar smell will not be detectable after sixty minutes, but your dog will still be repelled.
  5. Give a firm but calm “no” or “stop” the second when you notice that your dog is biting cardboard again.
  6. Do not get upset or yell, because if they’re behaving like this stemming from anxiety (which is very likely), this will only make their problems worse.
  7. Place them into a quick time-out in their crate or a closed-off room for about ten minutes.
  8. If you catch them starting to go towards the cardboard again, point them to one of their toys.
  9. Give them pets, praise, and a treat when they pick a toy rather than chewing on cardboard.
  10. Make sure that anyone else in the house is also using these steps.
  11. Stay consistent and patient.

This will get your dog to stop chewing on cardboard, but you’ll still need to do something about their misbehavior which is rooted in an underlying issue with anxiety. Not doing anything will just lead to your dog continuing to think that they are in charge and that they make the decisions, and things will only get worse for the both of you.

And for us to properly go over that, we must first talk about what makes dogs tick and has for thousands and thousands of years now. You’ve likely heard before that dogs are pack animals, and that in every pack there is a pack leader.

But when your dog chews cardboard, they are definitively telling you that they have no respect for you as the head of the family pack.

If they did, they wouldn’t chew up your cardboard boxes and ignore you when told to stop. They wouldn’t display any other types of anxiety-related disrespect or misbehavior. And they would immediately obey your commands at all times, and they would do so happily.

Show your dog that you are not just their pack leader, but one worthy of respect, and you’ll make all of these terrific changes your reality.

You’ll be better off for obvious reasons. But your dog will be too because they’ll no longer have to deal with all of the worry and confusion that their anxiety problems are currently burdening them with every single second of every single day.

Sounds like a terrific thing, wouldn’t you agree?

“Yes, absolutely, but how do I actually do this then?”

You should watch a tremendous free video series by a renowned trainer named Dan which is on this very subject: how to be your dog’s pack leader. In Dan’s series, he explains everything in ways that are very simple to follow and teach to your own dog, and he gets right to the point so that you can start seeing these critical changes in your dog before things escalate any further.

Start watching Dan’s free training series now by clicking here. And don’t stress, because no, you’re not going to have to yell or be mean to your dog. Dan never uses those types of methods. Not just because loving teaching techniques are the right thing to do, but also because they’re the fastest way to achieve permanent changes in your dog’s behavior.

Why Does My Dog Chew Cardboard?

Your dog chews cardboard for a variety of possible reasons. They could be teething, cleaning their teeth, or strengthening their jaw. Most likely, however, is that your dog is chewing cardboard because they’re going through anxiety, and the process of chewing releases endorphins which soothe and calm them.

It’s not particularly unusual for a dog to chew on cardboard, but if they’re doing so and then ignoring you when you tell them to stop, you also have a possible dominance issue on your hands in addition to whatever prompted them to bite on cardboard in the first place. They don’t respect your leadership and are clearly displaying that by continuing to misbehave.

You need to address this problem right away or you will only reinforce their disobedience, and also will allow their original problem (usually anxiety) to persist. Their misbehavior and destructive chewing will then only get worse and will begin to show itself even more frequently.

You’ll find your dog chewing blankets, chewing on the hardwood floor, chewing your door mat, chewing pillows, chewing sheets, and more. Doing nothing will lead to you finding things chewed up and destroyed all over the house, so I’m sure you can see why it’s important to take action now (and remember: if it’s anxiety, your dog is suffering during all of this).

To learn how to stop your dog chewing cardboard (and anything else) while also handling the problem at its root, go back to the first section now and we’ll walk you through exactly what to do.

Is It Okay for Dogs to Chew On Cardboard?

It is not okay for dogs to chew on cardboard. While it is not toxic to dogs, they cannot digest cardboard, meaning that it could become lodged in their digestive tract. This would require expensive, painful surgery to correct. In most cases, a dog that has eaten cardboard will pass it without issue but there’s no reason to take a chance.

Do your best to keep any cardboard boxes you have stored where your dog cannot get to them (go back to the first section now for more tips). Always be sure that they have an appropriate outlet, like a chew toy made specifically for dogs. Give them praise, pets, and small treats when they play with it to help them to form positive associations with choosing this over cardboard.

Will My Puppy Grow Out of Chewing Cardboard?

Your puppy will not necessarily grow out chewing cardboard. While they may be doing so due to teething which they will age out of, chewing is always going to be pleasurable to your dog even as an adult. Allowing your puppy to chew cardboard runs the risk of turning it into a learned behavior that they will continue to engage in (and enjoy) as an adult.

Begin the process of breaking your puppy of their cardboard chewing habit as soon as you spot it. Take the cardboard from them and store it where they can’t get to it. Give them a chew toy, and then shower them with praise, pets, and small treats when they play with it. Be consistent, and your puppy will soon learn that this is a much more desirable thing to chew on.

I’m sure you’re sick of finding your boxes ruined, so I’ll let you get started on things now. Good luck with everything, and thank you for reading our article “Dog Chewing Cardboard? Here’s How to Stop It!”