Chewing Shoes Is My Dogs Pastime

Why Does My Dog Like Chewing Shoes?

Dog laying with one of his owners' shoes. Why dogs are chewing shoes.

The age-old belief is that dogs like stinky feet. It can only seem like the logical explanation for why our dogs seem to be obsessed with our shoes. They sniff them, they’ll sometimes roll around on them, and occasionally, you’ll catch them chewing shoes belonging to you.

Puppy smelling some very sticky shoes and passing out. They like chewing shoes with your smell.

It’s an interest in our shoes that all our dogs seem to share, and it’s definitely something odd to witness. Most annoying is when our dogs try to turn our them into toys – especially if they’re our “good” ones. But there is a scientific explanation for why our dogs seem obsessed with our shoes.

Shoes Are Not Toys! Stop Chewing Shoes!

Shoes laying around the house easy access for dogs to get.

The easiest explanation for why our dogs end up using our shoes as their own personal toys is because they’re very accessible. Think about it. Most of us will leave our them out wherever we take them off, whether that is in the bedroom beside the bed, by the front door, or in the living room. Unless your dog knows how to open a closet door, our shoes can be easily grabbed and then destroyed.

Bringing Smells Home

person standing near black dog on rug
“What sweet smells did you bring home today?”

But another reason that our dogs love our shoes is that they can smell everywhere that we’ve been and it’s exciting. We wear our them to the park, to the grocery store, to our friends’ homes, to the office, to the mall – literally everywhere. There is no way that our dogs would not be interested in the different smells that inadvertently come home with us.

That excitement might mean that they get a little carried away sniffing and that leads to unwanted playtime.

Furthermore, our dogs find most of the textures in our shoes to be quite fun.  Leather in particular is quite fun for some dogs.  

But sometimes it isn’t just interest and a love for your personal smell. Puppies will often chew on shoes because they’re teething and similar to babies they need something to chew on to relieve the discomfort.

Chewing Because of Stress

But if your adult dog is taking chunks out of your Chucks, then it could be because they’re experiencing some kind of anxiety or stress. When dogs feel stressed they might chew on things to help alleviate their anxiety.

Look for other signs of stress like

  • excessive licking,
  • decreased appetite,
  • increased sleep,
  • isolation,
  • digestive distress,
  • shaking,
  • excessive barking, or
  • bathroom accidents

If you think that your dog might be experiencing stress then it’s best to talk to your vet about the appropriate course of action to take to get them to stop.

Frankie Loved Papaw’s Slippers

I remember when Frankie would always insist on stuffing his nose into every single one of our shoes whenever we’d get home and take them off. He loved to sniff papaw’s house slippers. It was always funny when he scooted with the slipper as he was sniffing them.

Pug with slipper shoes.

Chloe Loves Smelling Mommy’s Shoes

When I was working at dog boarding and veterinary clinics, Chloe would stop me as soon as I entered the house to smell my shoes. She wouldn’t stop smelling my shoes until I put them in my closet and closed the door. She would following all the way to the closet with her nose stuck smelling my stinky shoes!


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