Why Sticks Are NOT For Throwing!

Why Sticks Are NOT For Throwing!

There’s no such thing as a free anything, which believe it or not includes sticks for dogs.

It might seem quite the most natural thing in the world whilst out walking with your best friend, to pick up a stick and hurl it into the distance. A great game until something goes wrong.

BBC’s radio 4 devoted a program to this very subject last year as the British Veterinary Association had reported a rise in the number of truly horrific injuries sustained by stick chasers. This program was ‘sparked’ by a story in a Scottish newspaper about a smooth-coated collie that sustained a horrific stick injury. Poor Maya, the collie in question had a 10cm stick lodged in her throat, which had both punctured her tongue and dislodged her larynx. Sadly, this sort of injury and worse is not uncommon.

Other radio stations and newspapers around the world picked up the Radio 4 broadcast. The story appeared on the front page of the Times and was aired as far away as New Zealand and Japan. Yet I would be surprised if regular dog walkers did not see some form of dogs and owners playing with sticks on a daily basis.

The BVA has issued clear advice:

1. Stick injuries are common, serious and can be life-threatening – with problems caused, for example, by running on to a stick that has landed in the ground, and by infections caused by penetrating fragments of wood

2. Exercise is essential for dogs’ physical health and mental wellbeing, but it should be both good fun and safe

3. Use dog-safe toys as alternatives to sticks

This doesn't mean that the fun and often neccessary exercise of chasing something has to stop however or become a constant rotation of dog-safe toys . As there are many safe alternatives to a stick that have an exstreme durability and long life. However often the price can be misleading about an items durability so below I have listed 5 toys that are sure to be great fun and compleatly safe stick replacements.


1. Ruffwear Gnawt-a-Stick Dog Toy- A Toy : This drift wood inspired toy is one of the closet things possible to a like for like stick replacement. With its durability and brightness it is sure to make sure any pooch soon forgets about all the sticks around them.

2. Bionic Urban Stick Dog Toy- 100% recyclable and dishwasher safe. This product has been carefully desinged to fit the natural curvature of a dog's mouth and has ridges along the top of the stick to make it feel as though the toy is being chewed through.

3. Kong Squeezz Crackle Stick Dog Toy is a unique and enticing crackle sound, which is ideal for quiet play and also is flexible so it can not be snaped.

4. Planet Dog Bamboo Wood Chuck with Ball Dog Toy- Engineered with 100% sustainable bamboo & reused cork scraps, the Wood Chuck is light and easy to throw. Wood Chuck's 4-pronged claw coupled with the pliant nature of Planet Dog's Orbee-Tuff products garentee that the ball can travel long distances.

5. Kong Sqrunch Dog Toy in American Football- stimulated by sound with an enticing squeak and an engaging crunching sound to choose from during playtime.

Peter Chamberlain

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