Do you ever wonder why your pooch loves chewing sticks so much — and if it’s a good idea?
Our canine companions munch on sticks for lots of reasons. For one thing, sticks are often just the right size to get a good jaw hold. Some are also enticed by the earthy smell and taste. And for pups, chewing can ease the discomfort of teething.
But no matter the cause, there are plenty of reasons to nip the habit in the bud. First of all, some sticks are from trees — like black walnut, black cherry, yew or red maple — that are toxic to dogs. And sharp splinters from any type of stick can damage a dog’s mouth or throat. Once chewed down, sticks can also be inhaled or swallowed and obstruct the airway or digestive tract.
One last thing — if sticks are off limits, be sure to replace them with fetch toys during outdoor playtime.