It is a joy to watch our dogs enjoy their walks or on the beach, holding a branch in their mouths and waving their tails. There are many funny videos on the internet of dogs running through doorways while carrying around a considerable component. Dogs are also known to grab sticks from their yard and chew.
While carrying small sticks is generally safe, chewing, moving, or playing with large posts can cause harm to your pet.
This article will examine why dogs love sticks and whether using them for play is a secure game.
Why Do Dogs Love Sticks?
Dog breeds like Golden and Labrador Retrievers and Pointers and Setters are bred or predisposed to hold objects in their mouths. This is because they relied heavily on when hunting. “Seeking for a piece of wood, chewing it could be a way of carrying this natural behavior,” says Best Friends Animal Society veterinarian Dr. Michelle Lugones.
According to Dr. Lugones, many dogs enjoy fetching sticks, mainly if their owners include them in their routine. You’ve likely seen certain dogs with posts that are way too big for their size. What is the reason dogs love large sticks? Based on Dr. Lugones, “They may appreciate the challenge but may not see that size as a problem, or maybe they love the way the weight of the stick feels in the mouth.”
Puppies particularly love the act of picking up sticks to play. This is a way they communicate with their surroundings. “Puppies typically use their noses and mouths to explore their surroundings, and this could lead them to discover the attraction of sticks,” Dr. Alison Gerken, a vet specializing in treating animals with behavioral issues within San Francisco SPCA. San Francisco SPCA.
Why do dogs love Chew on sticks?
Dogs love chewing on sticks for a variety of reasons. Domestic and wild dogs chew on bones as a part of their normal behavior. Dogs love chewing sticks because they are reminiscent of bones, and their texture is enjoyable to nibble on or place in their mouths. According to Lugones, Dr. Lugones.
Chewing on objects, says Chewing on things, says Dr. Gerken, also helps to eliminate plaque from teeth, keeping their teeth clean. “Chewing could also help relieve dental discomfort (such as teething pain during puppyhood or dental diseases among adults) and relieve stress, anxiety or boredom.”
But praising your dog for carrying a large stick or laughing at how your dog appears with the post in their mouth can make them think this is acceptable.
Are Dogs Eat Sticks?
It is a fact that chewing and eating sticks can cause health issues. “Sticks may break into smaller pieces that could be swallowed. If the fragments are too big enough to go through the digestive tract an obstruction that could be life-threatening could develop,” says Dr. Gerken.
A splintering stick when chewing may cause an infection or pain in the mouth. The post can also cause damage to the tongue or oral roof during chewing, which can result in injuries. Sticks may also get stuck between teeth, which can cause oral infections. Oral injuries are usually one of the most frequent issues that result in dogs being admitted to the emergency room.
If your dog has a habit of looking for sticks to snack on, it could be an indication of a disease called pica which refers to the obsession with eating food things. “The causes of pica could be anything from malnutrition digestive disorders, or underlying conditions or anxiety or boredom” Dr. Lugones.
If your dog’s behavior is experiencing signs of pica, take them to the vet to have an exam and screening tests to determine if any issues may be underlying. “If there’s no medical issue, they could talk about training strategies and behavioral methods to help calm the dog, reduce anxiety, and avoid more pica,” Dr. Lugones says.
Do Dogs Have the Right to Play with Sticks?
Although throwing a wooden stick at your dog to retrieve or catch might seem innocent, it is not. Dr. Lugones says it can cause serious injury when the dog fails to get the catch in the right spot, or the throw goes wrong.
“Injury to the throat, mouth face, mouth, or teeth could occur, and dogs might accidentally be struck by the stick if they fall with their body on it instead of taking it away,” she warns.
Suppose your dog accidentally gets into a stationary object, for example. In that case, an entrance or gate the size of a stick inside your mouth can also cause injury, according to the veterinarian Dr. Lugones. It could result in cuts or splinters that may occur in the throat, mouth, or neck or broken teeth. “These might sound crazy; however, veterinarians observe and treat animals in the emergency room for situations like these.”
How to stop a Dog from eating sticks
Due to the risk of chewing sticks Because of the risk of chewing sticks. Gerken recommends that pet parents refrain from playing catch or fetch with sticks. This means keeping your backyard free of posts in the best way possible and observing your dog’s behavior during walks without distractions such as phones or social media browsing.
“With the numerous pet-friendly toys that can be tossed, chewed, or carried, there’s no reason for pet owners to take the risk of letting their pet use sticks to chew,” says the doctor. Gerken. She suggests keeping an appropriate treat bag containing your dog’s favorite snack or having the small toy close outdoors to prevent your dog from chasing sticks.
To help with chewing on your teeth, it is best to chew toys for dogs and treats specially designed for teething or for keeping teeth free of plaque. The most durable toys, like Kongs and West Paw’s Zogoflex, can offer your dog enrichment and help them satisfy the urge to chew.
If your dog frequently seeks sticks, and it’s hard to eliminate all small branches from your yard, Then the vet, Dr. Gerken, recommends training your pet to wear a muzzle basket (not made from cloth) to stop them from reaching out for sticks.
“A basket muzzle permits the dog to snooze, drink water, and even eat treats however, it prevents dogs from grabbing objects that they shouldn’t consume, such as sticks. Muzzleupproject.com is an excellent source for teaching the dogs wearing muzzles.”
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