Chasing sticks and then chewing on them with relish – for many dogs this is a popular hobby. But why is it like that? Here’s the answer.
Many dogs seem to have an innate fascination with sticks: They want to retrieve them, just carry them around, play with them. Or just chew on it.
Your dog too? That could be because he likes the taste, smell, or texture of sticks – or all of them together. By the way, puppies and young dogs in particular like to chew on sticks.
Animal dentist Kirk Herrmann explains this to the “Dogster” magazine: “Young dogs chew on it more often because they are more playful – or when they are teething.” Nutrient deficiencies or other health problems could also be triggers for chewing sticks. But that is rather rare.
Dogs can get seriously injured when chewing on a stick
Regardless of the reasons your dog likes to chew on sticks or branches: This can definitely pose a health risk . Because the sticks split quickly and can lead to injuries in the throat and pharynx. Sometimes the dogs suffer severe blood loss as a result. It becomes even more dangerous when the trachea or esophagus are affected.
The stick can even pierce a dog’s oral cavity completely, as was shown by a case from Saxony last year . Tooth or tongue injuries are also not uncommon. If pieces of a stick end up in the stomach, they can cause digestive problems including vomiting, diarrhea, or loss of appetite. In addition, the splinters can damage the intestines or rectum as they exit the body. In the worst case, chewing sticks can even be fatal.
Give toys instead of sticks
Veterinarians, therefore, advise you to watch your dog when he is playing with a stick. The best way to prevent this from happening, however, is not to encourage your dog to look for a stick or instead give him a more suitable toy with which he cannot injure himself.
Veterinarians advise that dogs should not chew objects that you cannot press in with your fingernail or that the animal could accidentally swallow.
If your dog has chewed on a stick, you should watch it carefully and check for injuries in its mouth. You should sit up and take notice immediately if you experience these symptoms:
- Bloody stool
- Straining when defecating
- Loss of appetite
If you observe any of these signs, notice a tooth injury or sores in the mouth, you should definitely take your dog to the vet to be on the safe side!
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