Dogs love to chase sticks! You can throw it, and they’ll usually go after it, running as fast as the wind! But what happens if your dog likes to eat sticks? Can sticks make a dog sick?
Has your dog eaten a stick? Are you worried the stick will make your dog ill? If so, you’ve come to the right place. We understand it can be scary when your dog eats something like this.
We’ve put together some information about sticks and whether they can make a dog sick. Let’s get started!
Why Do Dogs Eat Sticks?
It’s very common to see your dog running around with a stick in his mouth. He may even chew on it as if he’s chewing a bone. That’s not usually a problem. However, a dog eating sticks is a potential problem.
There are many reasons that dogs may eat sticks, including:
Anemia: the dog may have a low red cell blood count, which may cause a condition called pica. Pica makes a dog (and other animals & humans) eat non-food items.
Nutritional or mineral deficiency: some commercial dog foods contain artificial ingredients and fillers that can make it harder for your fur baby to get the nutrients he needs. So, he may try to eat sticks to get these nutrients.
Digestive problems: some dogs may have digestive conditions that make it difficult to absorb nutrients, such as inflammatory bowel disease (IBS), tumors, worms, gastritis, and stomach inflammation.
Dental or oral issues: chewing on sticks may be a dog’s way of getting some relief from the pain of broken teeth, cavities, gum disease, and more.
Hunger: a dog may also eat sticks out of hunger.
Behavioral issues: dogs sometimes eat or chew on sticks if they’re feeling bored, anxious, out of habit, or looking for attention.
Dangers of Eating Sticks
Sticks are usually OK for dogs to chew on; however, eating a stick is quite another matter. Eating sticks can cause serious medical conditions, but not all sticks.
The main dangers a dog faces from eating sticks include:
Toxicity: some sticks may be poisonous to dogs
Digestive tract: sticks may become lodged in the digestive tract and cause obstruction. Sharp pieces of wood could also puncture or tear any part of the digestive tract.
Toxicity: some wood can make a dog get sick; for instance, sticks covered in pesticide
What to Do If Your Dog Eats a Stick
If your dog has eaten a stick, it’s a good idea to call the vet. In many cases, the vet may say to monitor your dog for symptoms or behaviors that aren’t normal to him. However, they may also ask to see your dog right away. Each situation is different. So, it’s best to call your vet right away to get their guidance on what to do next.
Prevention is Always Best
Finally, it’s best to keep your dog from eating sticks. That usually means picking up sticks and branches in the yard, not letting him get sticks in the park and on walks, etc. It may also be helpful to provide your dog with safe chewing alternatives. And always ensure your dog is healthy, eats a healthy diet, and doesn’t have an underlying medical condition that’s causing him to eat sticks.