Preventing and Repairing Wood Damage Created by Dogs

National Dog Day is a time to show our pups a little extra love and attention! Even when they are puppies going through their chew-phase dogs can bring us an unimaginable amount of joy and affection. This special dog day is the perfect time to let your pooch run around outside while you repair the spots on the deck that they decided to eat.

Preventing and Preparing Wood from Dogs

Why Dogs Chew on Wood

It’s important to understand why your dog decided to snack on your deck so you can take steps to keep it from happening again. Both puppies and adult dogs will chew on soft woods and even hardwood decking for a variety of reasons, and sometimes there’s no clear indication of why they suddenly start doing it. However, there are several common causes for why dogs chew on wood.

  • They seem to like the taste and texture.
  • When they are puppies, dogs use chewing as a way of exploring the world around them. However, older dogs may still chew because they are curious.
  • Boredom, loneliness or stress can cause them to chew on things in general.
  • Younger dogs may be going through a teething phase.

How to Repair Woods That’s Been Chewed

Dogs will typically chew the areas of a deck that are easier to get their mouths around, like rails or the edge of deck boards. How you go about it fixing the chewed spots depends on where it’s at and how bad the damage is.


With a rail the easiest and best way of handling the repair is to simply replace it. The process for doing so will depend on how the railing is constructed, but it should be a relatively quick fix. Carefully remove the damaged post, cut the new one to size and secure it into place using deck screws.


The first step to repairing a chewed up deck is to clean the surface with a mixture of liquid laundry detergent and water. Use a bristle brush to gently scrub the gnawed surface. Rinse the soap off and let it dry for 2-3 days.

Second use wood filler and a putty knife to spread the filler over the damaged surface. Leave a very thin layer just above the surface.

The final step is sanding the area after its had time to dry. Use medium-grade sandpaper and sand the spot down so that the surface is level.

If the decking is chewed up to the point where chunks are missing the only option may by replacing it entirely.

How to Keep Them From Chewing on Wood

Chewing on wood not only damages your deck, it can also be a serious health concern for your dog. Splinters and small, sharp pieces of wood can cut up their mouth, throats or intestines. The tips below will help you avoid both problems.

  • Treat the spots they like to chew on with a bitter spray.
  • Monitor your dog when they are outside. As soon as you see them move in to chew on the deck correct them. This will have to be a regular process until the bad habit gets broken.
  • Make sure they have plenty of chew toys, and give them plenty of praise when they gnaw on them.
  • If they are teething get the dog a few teething treats so they find relief with those instead your wood deck.
  • Give them a little extra attention and cuddle time.
  • Exercise them more.


If you need to replace the chewed wood on your deck TimberTown Austin can help. We have a huge selection of wood, and if you only need a few small pieces for the fix you may be able to find them for cheap in our “scrap pile”.

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