It was mentioned in chat that we have a couple questions that deal specifically with problems of dogs chewing on things, and in that case adding a [chewing] tag might be nice, but [chewing] already exists, and is set as a synonym for [eating]. But that doesn't really fit the questions I think. Nothing is being eaten, just chewed on.

To me, chewing is an act/behavior that's not necessarily related to eating (e.g. we chew gum, but don't really eat it). I can see it also being used for questions on rodents, as it's necessary for them to chew on things to keep their teeth from growing too long.

Should the tags be dissociated?

  • I've removed the synonym for now. We'll keep an eye on usage, but if you create the tag, please make sure you wiki it properly.
    – Joanne C
    Commented Mar 19, 2014 at 13:56

3 Answers 3


Remember, tags are there to help and ease the searching of answers and questions already posted. If tags and search engine is not good then we end up with duplicate questions posted over and over again.

When you have a dog that is barking excessively; you come to Pets.SE and check all the questions posted with tag. That's easy and effective use of tags.

was mentioned in the meta discussion about synonyms of . While pica and eating are rightful synonyms, a destructive chewing is not a synonym of pica. This is explained here: www.aspca.org - pica

"Destructive Chewing - The majority of canine chewing activity doesn’t lead to actual ingestion. However, when your dog gnaws on something to satisfy her urge to chew, she may swallow some pieces of whatever she’s chewing or tearing up. This is not considered pica."

In my mind definitely is a term apart from and the synonyming should be disconnected.

  • What more, chewing and barking are integral parts of a dog's life. barking has a tag, chewing at the moment has not. Commented Mar 19, 2014 at 12:19

I think we should break the synonym (chewing and eating are different, as noted in the question) but that we shouln't create a "chewing" tag without more analysis. It's just one of many undesirable behaviors, all covered now under the tag. Perhaps that tag should be split up (there's another meta question about that), but creating sub-behavior tags as they come up, with just a handful of questions each, doesn't seem like it'll lead to a good tag set in the end. Let's identify the larger clusters and think about the relevant tags as a group.

Questions that are (or were, pre-synonymn) tagged "chewing" that are really about eating should be retagged.

  • Splitting 'behavior' tag has not received much support. Making [chewing] synonym to [behavior] would only increase the number of questions under that tag. Commented Feb 21, 2014 at 16:35
  • I'm not saying to make chewing a synonym of behavior; I'm saying we shouldn't have a chewing tag, at least right now, until we've looked at the questions to see if it warrants one. What makes chewing different from other behaviors that don't have their own tags? (Real question, not rhetorical.) Commented Feb 21, 2014 at 16:38
  • We have [barking] tag. Maybe a generic unwanted behaviour tag would be good, maybe it would not be good. Should that not be discussed in another topic, perhaps? And yes, we definitely need a chewing tag, right now. It is another matter if it gets synonymized to another all-purpose tag later, but if there is no chewing-tag then somebody will surely make it soon. Commented Feb 21, 2014 at 16:50

Chewing became a synonym because once a pet starts chewing something, what does it do once it gets a piece?

The description of eating tag is "The "act" of a pet consuming or chewing on something, whether the action is appropriate or not (pica)."

There is a fine line between the two, and I do believe we had 2 questions conflating the two.


You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .