When your beloved pooch brings you a stick and gives it to you like it’s a treasure, it surely melts your heart. But have you ever wondered why dogs like sticks? Here are some possible theories.
Many dogs will pick up wood sticks and chew on them. In fact, some dogs never fail to bring home a stick after every walk around the neighborhood or in the woods. There are several possible reasons for this affinity dogs have towards sticks:
Bones are some of a dog’s favorite things to chew on. Sticks are the same size and texture as bones. Many dogs like sticks simply because they look and feel similar to bones.
Dogs explore the environment with their mouths and picking up sticks is a natural way to do this. Many dogs, especially puppies, will pick up sticks out of curiosity. They love to forage and find treasures and sticks are easily available. Plus, sticks have interesting smells and give lots of information about where they’ve been.
Some dogs like sticks because they think of them as toys. If your dog loves to bring you a stick during walks, it could mean she wants to play fetch. You might notice your dog picks up an average sized stick that is neither too big nor too small for her mouth. Dogs are really good at picking up toys from nature that are ideal for playtime.
Many dogs like sticks because of their chewy, spongy texture that is perfect for gnawing on. Certain breeds like Labradors are particularly fond of keeping something in their mouth, such as a stuffed animal, ball, or toy. Sticks are just another thing for keeping the mouth busy.
Dogs will sometimes pick up sticks because they have an enticing earthy smell or the smell of wild animals. This is instinctive behavior because dogs are attracted to all kinds of smells. In fact, sticks may not be the worst thing your dog likes. Some dogs even eat cat poop. This too is a natural behavior of wanting to explore and ingest things with different smells.
Dogs find eating wood sticks satisfying because of the taste and texture. Also, chewing on sticks releases endorphins and makes your pooch feel good. Some dogs will gnaw on sticks to relieve stress and anxiety.
If you dog has a newly acquired habit of eating sticks, it could indicate a nutritional deficiency. Try to assess if you’re giving your dog the best dog foods. Talk to your vet about disorders like pica (a compulsion to eat non-food items) or other digestive conditions. It may be that you need to give your dog more of certain foods like boiled chicken, which is a rich source of protein. Or your vet may recommend some dog supplements to fill any gaps in your dog’s diet.
While picking up a stick or playing with it is perfectly fine, experts warn that you should not allow your dog to eat a stick or even chew on it. Chewing in general is good as it removes tartar from your dog’s teeth.
But the risk with chewing a stick is that shards can break off and your dog can swallow them. If they are sharp enough, the shards can potentially cause bleeding in your dog’s gastrointestinal tract. If a piece of wood is too big to pass through your dog’s digestive system, it can cause an intestinal obstruction.
Plus, splinters can get stuck in your dog’s teeth, leading to infection. It’s best to give your dog chew products designed for pets.
Many dogs like the taste of sticks. They have an earthy taste and contains lots of fiber, which feels satisfying to eat.12 January, 2023