To fetch or not to fetch? The safety of sticks

Throwing sticks whilst out on a walk is a very common activity for many dog walkers. Pooches chase after them and love carrying them along, a majority of the time without any consequences. Recently, however, the British Veterinary Association and animal charity Dog’s Trust have warned that there are possibilities of serious injuries caused by playing fetch.

There are two main issues that can come from your pup chasing after a stick.

In some cases the stick can point out and cause nasty penetrative wounds, into the mouth or neck as the dog is approaching it at a high speed and unable to stop in time.

There are other cases where splinters or shards of stick can flake off and become embedded or lodged in the mouth or throat, infection is a common outcome due to the bacteria found in the wood but these are less easy to spot and can sit dormant until other symptoms arise such as a swollen jaw or lack of appetite.

In the most severe cases this can be fatal, or cause serious injuries, but are very rare. A specialist hospital that see serious cases reported that they see two to three referrals a month.

The easiest way to discourage your pup from seeing a stick as a toy is by training otherwise, using positive reinforcement when they use a more appropriate toy when out on a walk. Why not replace a dirty twig with our Busy Buddy® Waggle™, with a peanut butter treat inside to give them a safe and yummy alternative!

There is no greater pleasure than taking your canine companion on an engaging and safe outdoor walk and with such a wide range of substitutes on the market, your pup can be treated to something safer than a stick.

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