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Dog's eating sticks bad?

dannyg1001
March 31st, 2010, 12:27 PM
As a kid my border collie was very much an outside dog, with plenty of fields and space to roam, for the 15 years she was alive she loved to find sticks and chew all the bark off them... I never really gave it a thought.

Now my new puppy has developed a taste for eating sticks when I take her out to the dog parks. Its got me thinking, is this bad for them? Can the bark get stuck in their throat and/or make them sick?

I take them off her of course, but it kind of ruins the walk because as soon as she spies one, she loses interest in her ball!

If she insists on chewing on them, should I take a knife and strip the bark off it so she doesnt swallow anything?

What do you reckon?

luckypenny
March 31st, 2010, 01:12 PM
Does your pup actually eat the bark/sticks? I've yet to have a dog who doesn't thoroughly enjoy chewing on them but haven't had one yet who eats them. I do check their mouths once done to ensure that no splinters are stuck anywhere.

If you notice your puppy swallowing pieces, you can teach her to bring sticks to you by trading her a treat. This way she gets to play with her sticks and get rewarded when offering them to you. You can even use sticks for retrieve games instead of her ball if she values them more.

BenMax
March 31st, 2010, 01:28 PM
If the dog is ingesting the sticks it can result in medical intervention. Try placing the sticks with approved dog toy to replacement.

dannyg1001
March 31st, 2010, 01:38 PM
Its hard to say if shes swallowing the bark or not... i'll have a closer look tonight.

BenMax.. if she is eating anything its not the stick itself its the bark from the stick.

I think im gonna strip the bark just in case, better safe than sorry.

Etown_Chick
March 31st, 2010, 11:31 PM
I've seen plenty of dogs eat the bark. Baffling to me, what could it possibly taste like? ewww

dannyg1001
April 1st, 2010, 11:01 AM
Took her out last night... kept her away from sticks for as long as I could. For an hour I threw the ball on the field and it was when we went over to play in the tennis courts she found a stick.

I stripped the bark off and threw it, only for her to start chewing off, and eating the end of the stick!!!! :shrug:

Any ideas, other than keeping her away from sticks, how to correct this?

dannyg1001
April 1st, 2010, 11:02 AM
I've seen plenty of dogs eat the bark. Baffling to me, what could it possibly taste like? ewww

I might try some tonight and let you know :thumbs up

I am also in Edmonton! Can you recommend any good places for me to take her, I havent lived in Canada very long so I dont know the city very well! Came over from England not too long ago!

hazelrunpack
April 1st, 2010, 11:09 AM
I suspect that she may outgrow the fascination with sticks, dannyg. :fingerscr Just keep redirecting her and with luck she'll lose the urge to eat them all as she gets older.

Some of our dogs still enjoy the occasional twig or small stick. Sometimes they throw the sticks up in the morning with a little bile before breakfast :eeew: but we've had no lasting damage from them (*sounds of hazel hastily running through her anti-jinx routine* :o)

Bark, on the other hand, can be deadly if they start stripping it off a tree trunk or a log in large quantities. Enough bark can cause a blockage. But generally, what they'd get from small twigs and sticks isn't enough to hurt them.

Chris21711
April 1st, 2010, 11:32 AM
Luckily we have never had any misfortune with our dogs chewing on sticks.....that being said another member on this forum has....Gail P's dog Lightning ended up have a piece of a stick lodged under his tongue.

Here is her thread explaining that experience, if you scroll down she shows a pic of the piece, it is alarming :eek:

http://www.pets.ca/forum/showthread.php?t=66880&highlight=Gail

dannyg1001
April 1st, 2010, 12:08 PM
Luckily we have never had any misfortune with our dogs chewing on sticks.....that being said another member on this forum has....Gail P's dog Lightning ended up have a piece of a stick lodged under his tongue.

Here is her thread explaining that experience, if you scroll down she shows a pic of the piece, it is alarming :eek:

http://www.pets.ca/forum/showthread.php?t=66880&highlight=Gail

YIKES!!!!

Poor dog!

Longblades
April 1st, 2010, 06:54 PM
what could it possibly taste like?Depends on the species. All my dogs have liked sumac. Never tried it myself. I have tried Yellow Birch twigs which smell and taste like wintergreen. Nature's own toothbrush and breath freshener. A wounded Sugar Maple may drip sap down the trunk which tastes very mildly sweet in Spring. If the sap drips and freezes you get a sapsicle, a real treat on a hike in the bush. :)

As to the stick eating, some swallow, some don't. Both my Lab pups ate the whole stick, bark, wood, everything. They grew out of it but we did get little piles of chewed stick barf. Fortunately no injuries. A couple of small pieces got wedged sideways between one's upper teeth and caused her distress till I reached in a pulled them out. I do give current pup a hunk of cherry to chew on sometimes. It's quite a hard wood and he doesn't get very far with it but enjoys the same chewing he'd get with a bone.

I watch to make sure not too much chewed wood goes down the gullet.

I stripped the bark off and threw it, only for her to start chewing off, and eating the end of the stick!!!! Yeah, I was going to say, I'd leave the bark on. Swallowing the bark is going to be less troublesone than swallowing the wood with it's potential to splinter and puncture, I think.