Why Do Dogs Like Retainers

Why Do Dogs Like Retainers?

Dogs are known for their curious nature and tendency to chew on various objects. One peculiar object that many dogs seem to be attracted to is retainers. Whether it’s a clear plastic retainer or a metal one, dogs often find them irresistible. But why exactly do dogs like retainers?

1. Texture: Retainers have a unique texture that dogs find appealing. The smooth surface of the plastic or metal feels good on their gums and provides them with a satisfying chewing experience.

2. Scent: Retainers often retain the scent of their owners. Since dogs have a strong sense of smell, they are naturally drawn to objects that carry the scent of their favorite humans.

3. Taste: Some dogs might find the taste of retainers interesting due to the materials used in their construction. The retainers may have a slight taste from the saliva of their owners as well, making them even more appealing to dogs.

4. Attention-seeking behavior: Dogs crave attention and may exhibit behaviors like stealing and chewing on retainers to get noticed. They may have learned that when they grab a retainer, their owners react quickly, giving them the attention they desire.

5. Chewing instinct: Chewing is a natural behavior for dogs. It helps them relieve stress, exercise their jaws, and keep their teeth clean. Retainers provide a convenient and accessible object for dogs to satisfy their innate chewing instinct.

6. Similarity to toys: Retainers resemble chew toys in terms of shape and texture. Dogs may mistake retainers for toys and instinctively chew on them for entertainment.

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7. Availability: Dogs tend to target objects that are readily available to them. Since retainers are usually left unattended on counters, in open drawers, or on nightstands, they become easy targets for dogs to snatch.


1. Is it harmful for dogs to chew on retainers?
Yes, it can be harmful. Dogs can damage retainers by chewing on them, potentially leading to expensive replacements or even injuries if they swallow any broken pieces.

2. How can I prevent my dog from chewing on my retainer?
Keep your retainers stored in a secure place out of your dog’s reach. Consider using bitter apple spray or other deterrents to discourage chewing.

3. What should I do if my dog has swallowed my retainer?
Contact your veterinarian immediately. Depending on the size and material of the retainer, it may need to be removed through medical intervention.

4. Can chewing on retainers cause dental problems for dogs?
Yes, excessive chewing on retainers or other objects can lead to dental issues such as broken teeth, gum injuries, or misalignment.

5. Are there any alternatives to retainers that dogs can safely chew on?
Yes, there are numerous dog-friendly chew toys available in the market that cater to the chewing needs of dogs.

6. Can retainers be harmful if ingested by dogs?
Ingesting retainers can potentially cause obstructions in the digestive system, leading to serious health issues. It is vital to keep retainers out of your dog’s reach.

7. Can dogs outgrow their chewing phase?
Yes, dogs typically outgrow their intense chewing phase as they age. However, it is important to provide appropriate chewing alternatives during this period to prevent destructive behavior.

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In conclusion, dogs are attracted to retainers due to their texture, scent, taste, and similarity to chew toys. It is important to keep retainers out of a dog’s reach to prevent any harm or potential health issues. Providing appropriate chew toys and training your dog to chew on them can redirect their chewing instincts and keep both your retainers and your furry friend safe.