Dogs have a passion for sticks. This is evident when you play fetch with your dog. You may also see your dog carrying a stick with them when you walk them in the park or run with them in the woods. But do you know the reason behind dogs’ fascination with sticks? What makes sticks so appealing to our dogs that they want to fetch, carry, bring home, and chew them?
What is it about sticks that dogs love so much?
Here are some of the usual explanations for why fur babies find sticks so attractive.
1.Sticks are nature’s dog toys.
Vet Explain Pets says that one of the reasons why dogs enjoy fetching and chewing on sticks is that sticks are wonderful playthings for your fur baby. And sticks as playthings are amusing and exciting for your dog.
Dogs have an innate desire to chase, catch, bite, and rip toys apart. They love to fetch sticks because they have fun playing. And sticks are like any other dog toy, they give hours of enjoyment to our dogs. And they can nibble on them for hours without losing interest.
2.Sticks = playtime.
Most dogs enjoy a classic game of fetch with a stick! In large open spaces, many dogs will bring sticks with them to show that they want to play fetch with you! They will usually drop the stick in front of you for you to toss it.
3.They bring out a dog’s innate hunting instincts.
Dogs have innate hunting and foraging drives and sticks enable them to exercise these impulses. This is likely one of the reasons why your fur baby likes discovering, carrying, fetching, and shredding sticks.
4.Sticks resemble bones.
Sticks are long and resemble the form of a bone, making them attractive to dogs. Besides this, dogs also have a great sense of smell. Their sense of smell can prompt them to sniff, lick and taste anything that they find interesting.
Sticks have an earthy and musky smell and taste that dogs find appealing. Furthermore, the texture of sticks is also something to think about as it is also a part of why dogs love it so much. Dogs find a stick’s spongy-like wooden texture ideal for nibbling.
5.They help relieve mouth problems.
Dogs have the urge to chew on things to ease the pain of toothaches and sore gums—and yes! They find sticks perfect!
6.Sticks and the praises that come with them.
Dogs may also feel positively reinforced by the compliment they receive from their fur parents whenever they fetch and bring home sticks and will therefore keep doing these behaviors if they start linking it as something a good dog would do!
Are sticks harmless for our furry friends to nibble?
Chewing sticks is a choking hazard and can cause intestinal blockages or injuries from splinters. Carrying sticks in the mouth is harmless and as enjoyable, but pet parents should not encourage their dogs to chew sticks. Chew toys and dog feeding mats better support safe chewing and foraging behaviors.