Don’t Play With Sticks
DO NOT THROW STICKS (or let your dog play “try and get the stick from me” with other dogs)
Want to play fetch with your dog? Then use a ball, frisbee or other soft toy. Why? Because many dogs have been injured while playing with sticks, some even fatally! (my sister lost her dog that way)
It may be cute watching dogs either retrieve a thrown stick or playing together trying to get the stick from each other, but that is an accident waiting to happen; I am surprised that more dogs do not get eye or other injuries this way.
Common stick injuries may affect the eye, mouth, chest or abdomen, all of which can cause serious problems.
Dogs usually sustain stick injuries through either chasing or chewing. Some types of injuries that sticks commonly cause include:
-Splinters in the tongue, gums and/or soft pallet
-Impalement in the eye
-Penetration of the chest, with resulting organ damage
If your dog is injured from stick play, it is imperative to visit the vet immediately (call in advance to advise them that you are on your way and what the injury entails). If a stick is impaled in the dog, avoid temptation to remove it yourself as this may causes further damage .If the stick has penetrated the dog’s chest, try to keep the dog lying upright rather than on its side during the drive to the vet.
When I am with my dogs at the park, I do not allow my dogs to play with sticks and I routinely pick up sticks (big or small) and throw them over the fence.
It is just not worth the risk, especially when there are other safer alternatives for your dog to play with like a ball or rope.