Is it still just a stick if it's bigger than you are? (Photo: Jaromir Chalabala/Shutterstock)
Many dogs love sticks. For some, it's the thrill of the chase when the stick is thrown. Others just like the satisfaction of gnawing on wood. And some just like carrying around their prize like a trophy. Plus, it doesn't hurt that sticks look a lot like bones. What's not to love?
More than you might think, say many veterinarians who caution against letting dogs play with sticks. They've seen injuries ranging from splinters on a dog's tongue all the way to punctures in a roof of a dog's mouth or throat. Veterinarian Jason Nicholas points out that dogs that chase sticks often experience more damage than dogs that gnaw on them. So you may want to consider chew toys with less risk of injury.
Hopefully the only thing these dogs had after playing with sticks was a case of happy exhaustion.
Like this pup who couldn't keep his Eyes open, but had to keep his stick close by.
This puppy loves his stick so much, he doesn't care how goofy he looks when he plays with it.
And this puppy is just gnawing on his stick.
But sticks aren't just for puppies. This senior dog found a whopper of a prize.
Lots of dogs are overachievers, often choosing sticks that are way bigger than they are.
And some aren't happy with just one.
Because why have one, when you can have two?
Some dogs will go to extremes to find their sticks.
Even if it means doing a little gymnastics when they're wearing a cone of shame.
Others will spend time shredding the bark.
And still others will share.
And then there's Lancelot, a rescued American bulldog/boxer mix who loves sticks so much. This time he found one that's more like a branch and might be just a little too much for him to handle. You go, Lancelot.
Mary Jo DiLonardo writes about everything from health to parenting — and anything that helps explain why her dog does what he does.
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