Should dogs chew sticks? The answer depends on what your dog does with the stick, and what kind of wood it is. Having eating or swallowing bits and splinters from a stick can have dangerous consequences.
Chewing on a stick that splinters can result in sharp points lodging in your dog’s mouth, Even piercing the esophagus and causing tears. Wounds caused by sticks can also cause infections.
Sticks that are small or break off into smaller pieces can be swallowed completely. These can get lodged in the throat and result in obstruction or infection of the respiratory tract. This is a high risk of choking.
Splinters and small pieces that have broken off a stick can also perforate their intestines or stomach lining, and obstruct your dog’s bowels.
Even if your dog isn’t trying to eat the stick, they can still do damage. The stick could become wedged in the dog’s mouth with the pointy ends digging into the palette and preventing them from closing their mouth. Even during a game of fetch with a stick, they could be impaled by it when they go in for the grab.
If your dog was eating sticks and is throwing up, consult your vet. They may have caused some internal damage.
Ideally, you stop your dog playing with or chewing on sticks. Not only because of the potential health risks but also to discourage them from chewing other items such as wooden furniture in your home.
Why do dogs chew on sticks
You may be wondering why does my dog eat sticks. There are many reasons your dog may enjoy chewing on a stick.
- We often use them as a toy and throw them for a dog. This encourages them to play and even chew the stick. They don’t know the difference between a stick and a safe chew toy
- Puppies will often chew anything in sight to help alleviate discomfort while they are teething. While sticks may alleviate some of the teething pains puppies experience, they may also encourage puppies to reach for other wood items to chew such as your wooden furniture
- Dogs can be drawn to the earthy, natural taste of the stick. It may also have a lot of natural smells on it.
- Dogs like to explore and finding a stick and chewing it can become a fun game.
- Sticks are similar in shape and size to a bone. This makes it a natural thing for them to want to chew.
How to stop dogs chewing wood.
The key to stopping your dog from chewing sticks and wood is to discourage the behavior from the start. Remove any access to sticks as best as possible. Remove any sticks laying on the ground in your backyard.
When you take your dog for a walk don’t pick up a stick and throw it for them. If you want to play fetch while on your walk, take a ball or suitable toy with you.
If your dog has chewed your wooden furniture you can spray it with a stop chewing spray for dogs.
Provide your dog with chew toys. Generally, a dog will chew on things they are not supposed to when they are bored. Chewing also provides stress release for dogs. Many dogs hold stress in their jaw and chewing releases feel-good endorphins. To learn more about dog toys read “Not all dog toys are created equal”
If you are present when your dog is chewing wood correct the behavior by saying “leave it”. Then redirect their attention to a toy. they will soon learn what they can chew and what is off limits. Or reinforce the fact that they dropped the stick with a treat and praise.