Vets Warn – Never Play Fetch The Stick With A Dog

It is dangerous to let a dog play or fetch a stickA long time favorite for dog lovers, is to take Rover out for a game of fetch the stick.

Leading Vets are warning dog lovers not to throw sticks or let their dogs play with sticks, as it can cause serious injury to a dog.

Some dogs have even had to be put down due to the horrific injuries from sticks.

Dogs love to play fetch and owners enjoy seeing if Rover will catch the stick, but sadly the game of fetch the stick can lead to distress to the dog and owner.

Vets have been warning dog owners not to use sticks as fetch toys for years.  Re: The British Veterinary Association put a warning out on the BBC Radio 4 Today Programme in 2006, yet now 10 years later dogs are still showing up at veterinary clinics with serious injuries caused from sticks.

Stick Injuries are Common, Serious and Can be Life-threatening

Common problems caused when playing fetch the stick with a dog…

  • When the stick is thrown to the dog, the dog races off at speed after the stick.  As it lands to the ground the stick is rammed down the dogs throat as the dog speeding dog catches it. Needless to say, this can lead to many associated injuries including, choking to death and damage to the spinal cord that can paralyze the dog.
  • Splinters from the wood can penetrate into the dogs mouth, tongue, gums and throat and can require a few operations to be removed.
  • Many sticks have jagged or sharp edges at the ends that can cause cuts and bruising in the dogs mouth, tongue, gums and throat.
  • Sticks are dirty and can cause infections, including life threatening infections to the dog.

Some stick injuries are not obvious at the time they happen.  As reported by the Herald, this was the case with a 4 year old collie named Maya.  After playing fetch the stick, Maya suddenly started limping, became subdued, wouldn’t open her mouth, eat or drink.   Her owners thought she had just stood on something, until her jaw line became swollen.

They then took Maya to the vet.  The vet sedated her and pulled a long stick out of her throat. This was a shock to her owners as there had been no blood or any other clues.

The message is clear:
‘Only Use Dog Safe Toys to Play Fetch with your Dog’

Frisbee’s, rope tug toys and balls are safer fetch toys to use when paying fetch with a dog.
Exercise is essential for a dogs’ physical health and mental well being, but it should be both good fun and safe.

Please share this important message to help protect dogs from getting serious injuries from fetching a stick.