Dog Chews on Towels? How to Stop + Help! [10 Easy Steps]

As dog owners, we often encounter behaviors that leave us scratching our heads, and one such example is when your dog chews on towels. Though this might seem cute at first, it’s a habit that can quickly become a nuisance, not to mention the potential health risks if they ingest towel material.

In this guide, we will explore the possible reasons for this behavior and provide a step-by-step process to help deter your pet from their towel chewing habits. We’ll also discuss whether it’s safe and what to do if your dog actually eats a towel. Is it just a phase for puppies or do they actually see towels as playful companions?

Ready to put an end to this perplexing habit? Let’s dive into the solutions below!

Dog Chewing Towel: How to Stop the Behavior

Dog Chews on Towels

To stop dog chewing on towels:

  1. Keep your bath towels stored away where your dog can’t get to them when not in use.
  2. Be sure your dog always has a safe outlet for chewing like a toy they have fun with.
  3. Spray something to deter your dog, such as a 50/50 blend of water and distilled white vinegar on your bath towels.
  4. The vinegar smell will be gone after about 60 minutes, but your dog will continue to be repelled.
  5. Give a calm, firm “stop” or “no” immediately when you see that your dog is again chewing on your towels.
  6. Don’t get angry or scream, because if they’re misbehaving like this stemming from anxiety (which is incredibly likely), this will only make their problems worse.
  7. Put them into a short time-out in a closed-off room or their crate for approximately 10 minutes.
  8. If you catch them beginning to go towards the towels again, point them to a favorite toy.
  9. Give them pets, a treat, and praise when they choose a toy instead of chewing up your towels.
  10. Ensure that everybody who lives in your house is also following these steps.
  11. Be consistent and patient.

These steps will get your dog to stop chewing on towels, but it’s important to remember that the underlying behavioral issue (anxiety) that was causing all of this to begin with will still be present. And until you address that, any positive changes you see are only going to be temporary.

“Well, how do I make them last then?”

By getting your dog to truly choose to follow your direction, that’s how. I tried many times to write out how you can do that before deciding it made more sense to just link you to the free video series that explains it better than I’d ever be able to.

The series is by a man named Dan who is one of the world’s leading dog obedience trainers. In it, he teaches you how to put an end to things like when your dog chews on towels and all other misbehavior using his fast and easy-to-follow methods.

In the first video, Dan will reveal to you why the two most common methods of dog training only doom you to failure. You can watch the video now by clicking here. Follow the proven system he’ll show you in his series and you’ll never have to spend another second worrying about your dog chewing on towels ever again!

Dog Chews on Towels: Why They Do It

dog chewing towel

When dogs chew on towels, it could be due to a variety of factors including anxiety, boredom, and teething. Understanding the reasons behind this behavior is the first step towards addressing it. Let’s take a closer look:

  1. Anxiety: Dogs often use chewing as a coping mechanism for anxiety or stress. If they choose to chew on a towel, it might be because the item carries your scent and offers them some comfort.
  2. Boredom: If your dog isn’t getting enough mental and physical stimulation, they might turn to chewing on household items, including towels, as a way to entertain themselves.
  3. Teething: Just like human babies, puppies go through a teething phase. Chewing on soft items like towels can provide relief from the discomfort associated with growing new teeth.
  4. Diet: In some cases, inappropriate chewing can be a sign that your dog’s diet is lacking in certain nutrients. It’s always a good idea to check with your vet if you notice any unusual behaviors.

While it’s important to discourage inappropriate chewing, remember that chewing is a natural behavior for dogs. Providing appropriate chew toys can help satisfy this need while protecting your belongings. If your dog is still chewing inappropriate things or showing other signs of anxiety, go back to the first section now where we’ll explain how you can help them.

Not doing anything will give your dog tacit approval to continue, meaning their disobedience will only get worse. You’ll soon see that your dog will chew the rug, chew the bed sheets, chew the pillows, or maybe even chew the door mat. I’m sure you can see how frustrating this would get, so it’s important to start taking care of things now.

Dog Chewing on Towels: Is It Safe?

Chewing on towels is not safe for dogs, though the behavior itself is natural for them. Towels can pose a risk of choking, blockage, or other digestive issues if pieces are torn off and swallowed.

Here are a few more reasons why it’s unsafe for dogs to chew on towels:

  1. Choking hazard: Small pieces of towel can be a choking hazard if your dog accidentally swallows them.
  2. Digestive blockage: If your dog swallows larger pieces of towel, these could cause a blockage in the digestive tract, which is a serious and potentially life-threatening condition.
  3. Toxicity: Some towels may have been treated with chemicals or could be carrying harmful bacteria or mold, especially if they’re damp. This could lead to health problems if your dog chews on them.

If your dog has a habit of chewing on towels, it’s important to discourage this behavior. Providing safe and appropriate chew toys can help satisfy your dog’s need to chew. To learn how to stop your dog from chewing on towels while also addressing the root cause of the misbehavior, go back to the first section of this article now.

Dog Ate Towel: What to Do!

If your dog ate a towel, it’s crucial to act promptly. This is considered a veterinary emergency, as it could lead to a potentially life-threatening situation known as a blockage or gastrointestinal obstruction. Here are the steps you should take:

  1. Don’t Panic: Keep calm. Your stress can affect your dog and make the situation worse.
  2. Don’t Induce Vomiting: While it might seem like a good idea, inducing vomiting can cause more harm than good, particularly if the towel gets stuck in your dog’s throat on the way back up.
  3. Contact Your Veterinarian: As soon as you realize that your dog has swallowed a towel, get in touch with your vet or an emergency veterinary clinic. They can provide you with the best course of action depending on your dog’s size, health status, and the size of the towel swallowed.
  4. Monitor Your Dog: While waiting for veterinary advice or on your way to the clinic, watch your dog closely. Signs of a blockage include vomiting, lethargy, loss of appetite, and changes in bowel movements.

Always remember that prevention is key. Keep towels and other potentially harmful objects out of your dog’s reach. Provide appropriate chew toys and ensure your dog is mentally and physically stimulated to prevent destructive behavior. Learn how to prevent the behavior in the first section of this article.

Puppy Chewing on Towels

Chewing is a natural behavior for puppies, but what if your puppy has taken a liking to your towels? This can be a bit of a concern, and here’s why.

Puppy Teething

Puppies go through a teething phase, just like human babies, which usually happens between 3 and 7 months of age. During this period, they’re likely to chew on various objects to alleviate the discomfort of their teeth growing in. Your towels, being soft and easy to grab, can be an appealing option for them.

Risks Involved

However, allowing your puppy to chew on towels can pose several risks. First, there’s a choking hazard if your puppy tears off and swallows a piece of the towel. Second, ingesting towel fabric can lead to intestinal blockages, a serious and potentially life-threatening condition.

Preventing the Behavior

To prevent your puppy from chewing on towels, ensure they have suitable alternatives. Provide teething toys that are safe for them to chew on, and make sure these toys are more appealing than your towels.


Teach your puppy to leave the towel when you catch them chewing on one. Go back to the first section of this article now where we’ll teach you how to stop the behavior while also addressing what’s causing it to begin with.

Why Do Dogs Like Towels to Play With?

Dogs often find towels appealing playthings due to their texture, smell, and the interactive fun they can provide. Here are some of the primary reasons your dog might be so interested in towels:

  1. Smell: Dogs have a keen sense of smell. Towels, especially those used by their favorite humans, can carry comforting scents that your dog finds attractive.
  2. Texture: The soft, chewy texture of a towel can be satisfying for a dog to bite into. This is particularly true for puppies who are teething.
  3. Tug-of-War: Towels are often used in games of tug-of-war, a favorite canine game that allows dogs to exercise their natural pulling and tugging instincts.
  4. Nesting: Some dogs might like to arrange, scrunch, or ‘dig’ in towels, as it satisfies their innate nesting behavior.

While it’s okay to let your dog play with a towel under supervision, remember to keep them out of reach when you’re not around. This will prevent your dog from potentially swallowing parts of the towel, which could lead to health problems. Learn how to stop the behavior by going back to the first section of this article now.

I’m sure you’re sick of finding your bath towels ruined, so I’ll let you begin now. Best wishes with everything, and thank you for checking out our article “Dog Chews on Towels? How to Stop + Help!”

The Author

KB Williams

KB Williams

Hey there! I'm a dog behavior expert and lover of travel. Since 2016, I've been sharing my knowledge of dog training and behavior while exploring the Pacific Northwest with my two rescues.