As curious creatures, dogs are more likely to find their chew toys independently. But have you ever thought, Can dogs eat sticks? Are they safe for them?
Well, not really. Sticks are unsafe for dogs, and dogs can suffer from major problems from chewing on sticks. So being a pet owner, you must correct their habit. Chewing sticks can damage your dog’s teeth and soft tissues around them.
If you want to know more about, can dogs eat sticks? You are in the right place; read this article till the end to get all your answers.
Why Do Dogs Like Sticks?
Before we jump into further detail regarding, can dogs eat sticks? It’s important to know why dogs like sticks. He might be reacting to the instinct to chew. Or the sticks might contain something tasty such as bird poop or human food.
Here are some reasons why your dog like to eat sticks:
Low iron leads to a condition in dogs called pica. As a result, your dog is prone to eating non-food items. Anemia can occur in dogs due to numerous factors like intestinal bleeding, parasites, or leukemia.
Giving your dog more treats than meals or not feeding him a well-balanced diet might cause nutritional deficiency. This can occur if he is consuming low-quality commercial dog food containing preservatives. Because of nutritional deficiency, your dog tries to get nutrients from other sources, like sticks.
Oral or Dental Problems
In case of dental issues like gum disease or cavities, your dog tries to chew sticks to reduce the discomfort. However, doing so makes the problem even worst.
Behavioral issues like boredom, anxiety, or seeking attention can be a cause that your dog wants to eat sticks.
It might be possible that your pup is teething and likes to eat whatever comes his way. But sometimes, you might never know why your dog is eating sticks.
Is It Safe For Dogs To Chew Sticks?
Can dogs eat sticks? Are they safe for them? Unfortunately, No. Most vets don’t recommend allowing your puppy to play with sticks regularly. Why? That’s because chewing sticks might cause injury to their mouths. Pieces of sticks might get stuck between gums and teeth or in the roof of the mouth. These pieces might cause injury to the tongue or cheeks.
Did you Know?
We have written many articles about what dogs can eat. But did you know about this one? Can Dogs Eat Tortilla chips?
In the worst-case scenario, chewing sticks is toxic for dogs because of fungal poisoning. Sticks of black cherry, yew, and walnut trees can cause stomach and breathing problems in dogs. Therefore, it’s best not to allow your dog to eat sticks.
What Happens If A Dog Eats A Stick?
Dogs cannot digest sticks; as a result, any swallowed stick might cause a risk of choking. Besides, any bowel obstruction can harm your dog if he has consumed a stick.
Broken sticks can be sharp and might perforate the gut. In addition, sticks that pass through the gut lead to uncomfortable constipation.
Signs Your Dog Has Eaten Sticks
It’s important to keep an eye on your dog if he has eaten sticks. Symptoms like gut pain, including vomiting and adopting the “prayer position”, might show the possibility of gut blockage. Therefore, these symptoms need to be treated immediately.
Here are certain conditions when a vet’s visit becomes necessary. These include:
- In case of any symptom of gut obstruction
- When you observe any signs of irritation in your dog
- Your dog seems to be choking
- Your dog is struggling to defecate but not producing feces
How to Stop Your Dog Eating Sticks?
It’s easy to say that you should stop your dog from eating sticks. But how to do it?
Well, you can do it by redirecting their chewing instinct to safe chew toys. You can give them several suitable chew toys and encourage them to use them.
Another way is to use the “leave” command. This can be quite helpful in case your dog is more likely to eat everything when you are outside. You may also use it to reduce the number of sticks in your garden while training your dog.
Sometimes, boredom can cause a dog’s destructive behavior, like chewing. In this regard, puzzle toys can be a good source of entertainment for dogs and reduce their boredom.
To sum up, Can dogs eat sticks? Unfortunately, no. Sticks are dangerous for dogs as they might cause obstruction or can cause internal injury. Various reasons like anemia, dental problems, or behavioral issues trigger your dog to eat sticks.
Instead of sticks, you can give your dog puzzle toys and other safe chew toys for entertainment and play.