Letting your dog play with a stick seems like the most natural thing in the world. After all, dogs enjoy nothing more than chewing on wood, which is why sticks are one of their favourite playthings. But, according to Vets Now, the UK’s leading provider of emergency pet care, sticks are far from good for your dog. In fact, they can be dangerous and, in some cases, fatal.
Splinters from the wood can potentially cause cuts to a dog’s mouth and tongue, and there are also risks around sticks getting stuck in their throats or penetrative flesh wounds. In fact, academics from the Royal Veterinary College found dogs suffer as many injuries playing with sticks as they do on Britain’s roads.
Dave Leicester, who is Head of Telehealth at Video Vets Now, which offers video calls with an emergency vet within minutes no matter where you are in the UK, is urging pet owners to ditch the stick during playtime.
“It’s one of the lesser known hazards for dogs, but stick injuries are much more common than many people think and can result in serious infections and other complications. Our vets and vet nurses have treated horrific injuries across our emergency clinics as a result of dogs playing with sticks, from splintered pieces being lodged in the dogs’ throat right through to accidental impalement.
“I’d urge other owners to only throw well-made toys for their dogs. There are loads of things which are far safer than sticks.”
And if you do find yourself worried that your dog has sustained a stick injury contact a vet immediately, or your nearest emergency vet if your daytime vet is closed. If you’re looking for veterinary advice or peace of mind, you can arrange a video chat with one of the emergency vets from the Vets Now team. Which means no matter where you are, or what you’re doing, expert consultations and advice is on hand, within minutes.
A ten-minute video consult costs £24 and is refundable if Vets Now recommend an in-person follow up within 24 hours. For more details and how to book visit: Online Vets | Video Chat With Our UK Based Vets | 8am-11pm Daily (vets-now.com)
But here at Lords and Labradors, we don’t want it to come to that. And so, when it comes to a dog’s favourite game of fetch, it’s time to ditch the stick and think safe toys instead. We have a number of brilliant throwing and outdoor toys for dogs from premium brands including Chuckit, KONG and NERF that offer safe playtimes for you and your pup.
From Chuckit, one of our favourite options is the Breathe Right Stick. It's great for games of fetch and the integrated holes mean that your dog can breathe freely when they're carrying the 'stick' back to you. A wonderful alternative to a natural stick.
For dogs who like to chew and play games of throw & retrieve, we'd suggest the KONG Classic with Rope. This has all the chewing capabilities of the original KONG dog toy, but with the addition of a rope making it ideal for throwing games outdoors and easy for your dog to carry in their mouths.
Finally, if you're looking for the perfect throwing toy to take to the beach or park, then look no further than the NERF Trackshot Launcher. This has the soft feel of a plush toy, with a tough outer layer that means it will withstand being chewed and carried. What's more, the toy can be launched up to 75ft, making it great for extreme games of fetch in open spaces.
Of course there are many other dog throwing toys to choose from in our shop, where it's always worth browsing to see what's new!