What to do if a dog ate drywall & Why dogs chew walls

As much as we adore our furry friends, there are times when their mischievous behavior leaves us scratching our heads in bewilderment. One such puzzling habit is when dogs develop a sudden affinity for chewing on walls. Including the notorious act of devouring drywall. Wes LOVED drywall! And I never really understood how he was even able to chew it in our apartment at the time. If you’ve ever come home to find chunks missing from your beautifully painted walls, you’re not alone. In this blog, we will talk about what to do if a dog eats drywall and why dogs even chew walls to begin with. We will delve into the curious behavior of why dogs chew walls, the dangerous side effects of dogs eating walls, how to stop dogs from eating walls, and safe ways for your dog chewing behavior.

dog sitting on a chewed up chair

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Why do dogs eat drywall (chew walls):

Puppies, like human infants, explore the world through their mouths. Chewing is a natural and instinctive behavior for puppies, serving multiple purposes at their developmental stage. When it comes to drywall, there are a number of reasons that can explain why dogs are drawn to chew on it.

Possible reasons why your dog is chewing walls:


Puppies go through a teething phase, typically between three and six months of age. During this time, their gums can feel sore and itchy as their adult teeth start to emerge. Chewing provides relief and helps them alleviate discomfort. The best way to limit their chewing on walls is to provide them with other chew options.

Exploration and curiosity

Puppies are naturally curious creatures, and their mouths are one of the primary ways they investigate their surroundings. Chewing on drywall allows them to explore different textures and tastes, satisfying their innate curiosity.

A bored dog and/or lack of stimulation

Puppies have boundless energy and need mental and physical stimulation. If they don’t receive enough exercise, playtime, or mental enrichment, they may resort to chewing as a way to alleviate boredom or release pent-up energy. Doggy Daycare is a great option for new dog owners for their pups to get extra playtime during the work days. Make sure to read all the great benefits of doggy daycare here in this post.

An Anxious Pup

Just like humans, puppies can experience anxiety and stress. Chewing may serve as a coping mechanism for their stress, providing a temporary distraction or outlet for their anxious energy. When Wes was a puppy he had separation anxiety, which is common in pups. I believe this was the reason he was always eating our walls.

Nutritional deficiencies or Eating Disorders

In some cases, puppies may resort to eating non-food items like drywall due to nutritional deficiencies. If their diet lacks essential nutrients, they might seek alternative sources to fulfill their nutritional needs. As pet owners, it’s important to ensure our dogs get great food and snacks to be healthy. Be sure to read this post on great protein supplements for your dog.

Click the image above to grab some great chew toys for your new pup and be sure to check out this blog post on other great puppy tips for new dog owners.

Negative Side Effects of dogs chewing walls (eating drywall)

It’s important to note that chewing on drywall can pose significant risks to a dog’s health, including intestinal blockages or ingestion of toxic substances present in the drywall materials. Be mindful if you live in an older home as well as they tend to have more toxic components such as lead paint.

Here are some potential risks and health issues associated with a puppy consuming drywall:

  1. Gastrointestinal blockage: Drywall is not easily digestible and can cause blockages in a puppy’s digestive system. A large amount of drywall or sharp pieces of drywall can get lodged in the esophagus, stomach, or intestines, leading to serious complications that may require surgical intervention.
  2. Choking hazard: If a puppy bites off chunks of drywall that are too large to swallow, they can potentially choke on these pieces. Choking is a life-threatening emergency that requires immediate action to remove the obstruction and restore the puppy’s airway.
  3. Intestinal blockage or inflammation: The materials used in drywall, such as gypsum and additives, can irritate the delicate lining of a puppy’s digestive tract. This irritation can lead to inflammation, abdominal discomfort, vomiting, diarrhea, or other gastrointestinal issues.
  4. Toxicity: Some types of drywall may contain additives, adhesives, or paints that could be toxic to dogs. Ingesting these substances can lead to poisoning symptoms, depending on the specific chemicals involved.
  5. Dental problems: Chewing on hard surfaces like drywall can potentially damage a puppy’s teeth. The excessive force exerted during chewing may cause fractures, chipped teeth, or other dental issues that can be painful and require veterinary attention.
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It’s important to address the situation promptly if you suspect or observe your puppy eating drywall. First step is to contact your veterinarian and closely monitor your puppy for any signs of distress, discomfort, or abnormal behavior is crucial. Taking preventative measures to ensure your puppy’s environment is safe, providing appropriate chew toys, and addressing any underlying issues contributing to the chewing behavior can help mitigate the risks associated with ingesting drywall.

How to stop dogs from eating drywalls?

If your puppy has developed a taste for drywall and you find yourself facing a chewed-up wall, it’s important to take swift action to prevent further damage and ensure your puppy’s safety. 

Here are the steps you should take if your puppy eats drywall:

  1. Assess the situation calmly: Determine if your puppy has consumed a small amount of drywall or if it’s a more significant ingestion. This evaluation will help you decide on the appropriate course of action.
  2. Contact your veterinarian: Reach out to your veterinarian immediately and provide them with a detailed description of the incident. They can guide you on the potential health risks associated with ingesting drywall and advise you on the best steps to take next.
  3. Monitor your puppy’s behavior: Keep a close eye on your puppy for any signs of distress or discomfort. Symptoms such as vomiting, diarrhea, lethargy, or loss of appetite may indicate an underlying issue. Note down any changes in behavior or unusual symptoms to share with your veterinarian. You will want to watch your dog’s bowel movements closely for the next few days to make sure there is no blood within their poop.
  4. Remove access to the damaged area: Limit your puppy’s access to the affected wall or room to prevent further ingestion and potential harm. Use barriers or gates to restrict their access until you can repair or secure the damaged portion.
  5. Replace the drywall or repair the area: Once your puppy is safe and secure, it’s essential to repair the damaged wall promptly. Consult with a professional contractor or handyman to assess the extent of the damage and undertake the necessary repairs. Ensure the new materials or repairs are pet-friendly and non-toxic.
  6. Address the underlying cause: Dogs often chew on walls due to boredom, anxiety, or teething. Identify the root cause of your puppy’s destructive behavior and address it accordingly. Provide them with plenty of appropriate chew toys, engage in regular exercise and play sessions, and consider crate training or professional obedience training if necessary.

Safe ways for your dog’s chewing behavior (Dog Chews & Dog Toys!)

When it comes to redirecting a puppy’s chewing behavior away from unsafe items like drywall, providing them with safe alternatives is essential. Below are some great options for safe dog chews, dog toys and other great ideas to help reduce your dog from chewing walls:

Provide appropriate chew toys:

Offer a variety of chew toys specifically designed for puppies. Look for toys made of durable materials, such as rubber or nylon, that are safe for them to chew on. Interactive toys with treat-dispensing features can also keep puppies engaged and mentally stimulated.

Frozen or chilled toys:

Freezing or chilling certain toys, such as rubber teething rings or toys filled with water, can relieve a teething puppy’s gums. The cold temperature helps numb the discomfort and encourages them to chew on the appropriate items.

Rope toys:

Rope toys are excellent for promoting healthy chewing habits. Puppies can gnaw on the ropes, which helps clean their teeth and massages their gums. Just ensure the ropes are sturdy and free of small, easily swallowed pieces. Tug of war is a great way to get out some excess energy from your pup.

Edible chews:

Offer edible chews that are specifically designed for puppies. These include rawhide alternatives, bully sticks, or specially formulated dental chews. Make sure to choose chews appropriate for your puppy’s age, size, and chewing ability.

Reinforce positive chewing:

Whenever you catch your puppy chewing on an appropriate item, offer verbal praise, gentle petting, or a small treat as positive reinforcement. This helps reinforce the idea that chewing on the right things is rewarding and encourages them to continue the behavior.

Environmental enrichment:

Create a stimulating environment for your puppy to alleviate boredom and prevent them from seeking inappropriate chewing outlets. Provide puzzle toys, and interactive feeders, and rotate their toys regularly to keep their interest piqued. It’s also great to get out and try different activities with your new pup to wear them out so they are not bored. Check out this blog post on 12 great activities you can do with your pup to exercise.

Supervision and redirection:

Always supervise your puppy, especially during its teething phase. If you catch them attempting to chew on something they shouldn’t, calmly redirect their attention to an appropriate chew toy or bone.

By providing them with safe alternatives and reinforcing positive habits, you can help them develop healthy chewing habits and protect your home from destructive chewing incidents.


Discovering that your dog has developed a habit of chewing on walls, particularly devouring drywall, can be perplexing and concerning. In this blog post, we delve into why dogs chew walls and provide practical steps to address the issue. We explore common causes such as teething, curiosity, boredom, anxiety, and nutritional deficiencies. Understanding these underlying factors helps in implementing effective solutions. The blog emphasizes the importance of promptly contacting a veterinarian to assess any potential health risks. It guides removing access to damaged areas, repairing the walls, and addressing the root cause of the behavior through appropriate chew toys, exercise, and training. By following these strategies, dog owners can protect their homes and redirect their furry friends toward healthier chewing habits.

One Comment

  1. Thank you. This post was very informative and would’ve saved me a bundle of money way back when. Now I know what to do if I embark on this journey again

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