Ellen Britt for CNT #wooftips
Playing “fetch the stick” with your dog is one of those fond memories that likely goes back to childhood. Yes, dogs love to run after a stick, grab it and bring it back to you (maybe!) only to have you toss it and start all over again. In fact, dogs will likely find sticks to drag around the yard and chew even if you don’t throw one for them.
So what’s wrong with an innocent game of fetch?
It’s not the game of fetch that’s the problem.
It’s the stick.
You should never allow your dog to run around with a stick in his mouth, because as much as your dog enjoys this, it could end very badly.
Every single year, people innocently throw sticks for their dogs to fetch. And every year, dogs are seriously injured and even killed by this activity. Here’s what happens:
As they are running, one end of the stick gets stabbed into the ground while the dog is in motion. The other end of the stick can impale your dog, either by penetrating into his body or by being forcefully pushed down his throat.
Either way, these injuries are painful at best, and lethal at their worst. Not to mention the emotional trauma inflicted on both the dog and their person.
So here’s a tip: “Stick” with a soft rubber toy or ball to throw for your dog. He’ll be just as happy and even better, he will be safe!
By Ellen Britt
Dr. Ellen Britt has loved dogs since she was a child. She is particularly fond of the Northern breeds, especially Alaskan Malamutes. Ellen worked as a PA in Emergency and Occupational Medicine for two decades and holds a doctorate (Ed.D.) in biology.