Woof! Here's How to Fix Wood Chewed by Your Furry Friend

Laura Hennigan
Written by Laura Hennigan
Updated January 14, 2022
Golden retriever laying by kitchen table
Photo: Photographee.eu / Adobe Stock

Don’t get doggone mad—there’s an easy fix for chewed wood

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Dogs are furry, loyal, sweet friends. They’re almost always down for a game of fetch or a good belly rub, and there’s no denying having a canine companion brings joy to a home. Unfortunately, it can also bring minor annoyances, such as chewed-on wood furniture, trim, steps, and railings. 

While frustrating, rest assured that the fixes for these small damages are straightforward, inexpensive, and can be taken care of in under two hours. So you can get right back to loving on your pup and offering them more appropriate chew toys.

Difficulty: 2/5—Flex your DIY muscles.

Time: 1 to 2 hours

Tools 

  • Putty knife

  • Paintbrushes 

Supplies:

  • Sandpaper

  • Wood glue

  • Epoxy wood filler

  • Primer

  • Matching color paint or stain

  • Wood wax

3 Steps to Fix Chewed Wood

1. Scrape and Sand

Man using sanding paper to restore a chair
Photo: Halfpoint / Adobe Stock

If you walk into your dining area and see bite marks all over the legs of Grandma’s antique chair, take a deep breath and a step back. You can fix chewed wood by first scraping and sanding the damaged piece. 

  • Scrape off any hanging pieces or old adhesive.

  • Sand the area gently, going with the grain. 

  • If there are any splinters sticking out that won’t sand down, try applying a very small amount of wood glue, then taping them down and letting the area dry overnight. 

2. Fill in the Gaps

Filling furniture hole with wood filler
Photo: ImagESine / Adobe Stock

Whether it’s your brand new couch or kitchen table, the second step to fix chewed wood is as simple as the first. 

Next, you will want to use epoxy wood filler and a putty knife to fill in bite marks and gouges. You can also try using a drywall joint compound for deeper gashes. Once dry, sand down until smooth. 

3. Apply Primer and Paint

Using brush to varnish a wooden furniture
Photo: Pamela Au / Adobe Stock

The final step to fix chewed wood will have your furniture looking good as new. 

Apply a thin layer or two of either matching paint or stain to give the wood a uniform look. If you use a high-quality primer designed for interior use, it will provide the best coverage. But it may take more than one coat, depending on the damage.

Additional Questions

How can you keep your dog from chewing wood furniture? 

All dogs love to chew; it’s part of their natural instinct. But setting up boundaries and deterrents can help make sure Fido focuses on appropriate options instead of damaging the wood in your home. 

Dogs will often turn to chewing things they aren’t supposed to when they’re bored. Help bust boredom with a frequent rotation of new toys. After playing with something for a few days, trade it out for a different option. Then re-introduce the older toys every few weeks. The mental stimulation will help keep their attention on places other than your trim.

Can exercise help dogs stop bad habits, like chewing on furniture? 

A tired dog is a happy dog. When possible, be outside with your pet to encourage plenty of movement and exercise. When you can’t be with them, consider investing in a secure dog fence to keep them safe while also letting them run around.

Are taste deterrents a good way to stop dogs from chewing things they shouldn't? 

There are several different spray deterrents on the market, all designed to prevent dogs from taking bites. The bitter taste helps deter chewing on all types of surfaces, particularly wood.

How can you reduce your dog’s stress, so they don’t act out? 

Some dogs chew on wood and other objects when they feel stressed or anxious. If your dog is showing signs of anxiety, make an effort to spend extra time with them when you are home. You may also consider using a thunder vest or sound machine to help reduce stress while you are away.

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