Should You Allow Your Dog To Play & Chew on Sticks?

Should You Allow Your Dog To Play & Chew on Sticks?

Author WDF Staff


Many dog owners have witnessed their dogs carrying a stick during their daily walks. Some dogs chew on the stick, while others would like to take him home. But why is that? Why do dogs seem to love sticks so much? Dogs and puppies love to explore the world around them, and sticks have a lot to offer. Stay with us and find out if this is normal dog behavior or if you should stop it immediately so it won't become a bigger problem.

Why do dogs like sticks?

Currently, there are no correct answers to this question, only guesses. Every dog is different, and while some will not react when it comes to sticks, others will go nuts and lose their mind. Sticks are known to have different textures and smells, and because of that, dogs will love to chew on them. Some owners suggested that sticks remind them of bones; since dogs love bones, so they naturally love sticks.

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Can a stick serve as a toy?

For many dogs, sticks will be a great toy they can play with. Since sticks come in different sizes and shapes, you can understand why your dog loves them – it is like he gets a new toy every day.

We witnessed a dog carrying sticks bigger than him, and when we thought about it, the dog could see this stick as a challenge to move around. 

dog carrying a big stick

Why do dogs carry sticks?

If your dog loves sticks, he will probably try to take some of them home. Dogs look at sticks as a reward and trophies, and because of that, they want to take them home with them. If you own a hunting dog breed, there is no surprise why your dog like to carry sticks. They were bred to retrieve the game, and they could see a stick as a thing they needed to retrieve.

Remember how it all started – most probably, you found the stick and threw it at your puppy. Maybe he didn't like the sticks that much at that time. But when you start throwing sticks for them, they learn that this will create playing time with their owner, and now your puppy connects sticks with play. This could be why your dog likes to carry sticks around – to continue playing later.

cocker spaniel with a stick

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Should you allow your dog to carry and chew on sticks?

When it comes to sticks, you should be extra careful. Since they are shaped differently with sharp edges, there is a possibility that your dog will hurt himself. By chewing, the dog could break the stick into smaller pieces that will be small enough for the dog to swallow but big to go through the gastrointestinal tract. This could cause a lot of problems for your dog.

Although chewing could help with tartar removal, if you want your dog to have healthy teeth, your should get him some chew toys since chewing sticks can cause sticks to break and stick between his teeth and cause pain and infection.

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Should I play fetch with a stick?

Again, you should be very careful. Sticks can be very dangerous if you decide to play fetch with them. They could easily break, and sharp edges can hurt a dog's mouth and tongue. If you have already played fetch with your dog using sticks, you most probably sometimes notice blood in the dog's mouth.

bulldog with a stick


Many dogs love to play with sticks, and that is totally fine. You should forbid chewing on the stick since it can cause different health problems for your dog. Allow your dog to carry a stick around, and he will be happy. They will look at sticks as rewards and trophies, and they will want to take home.

World Dog Finder team

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