With vets telling us that stick injuries in dogs are becoming increasingly common, dog owners are being warned against the perils of throwing wooden sticks for dogs to retrieve and catch etc.
For those with dogs that enjoy the thrill of the chase whilst out on a dog walk, what are the safer alternatives?
For a long time, Frisbee or flying discs have made for great dog throwing toys and retrieval devices. Travelling a fair distance, they come in various colours, so even when they are lying flat on the ground, you can see where it is!
They are also a great shape to carry too on the way to the park or beach. Most dogs also find carrying their beloved Frisbee home easier too.
Many dog owners have coat pockets full of unused pooh bags, and the odd tennis ball or two, ready for the next exciting dog walk.
Tennis balls, hard non-chewable balls, and so on have long been favourites for dogs and their owners. For those that found throwing the ball far enough away a challenge, the handy ball ‘flipper’ arms that appeared on the market some years ago offered a solution.
Recently, there has been another addition with glow-in-the-dark dog balls, perfect for autumn mornings or evening walks. Activated by movement, these balls allow you to see where it and your dog is!
Like sticks, balls can become lodged in the throat or mouth of a dog. Essentially, you are looking for a ball no smaller than a tennis ball. Neither are you looking for one that is much bigger, either? Balls that are too big are not comfortable for your dog to retrieve or carry back to you. However, you may like to read Luke’s guest post on The Finchley Vet.
Plastic’ throwing sticks’ – the safe alternative to stick throwing.
It seems a little perverse to suggest throwing sticks, but these are large, plastic, rigid sticks that tend to be much larger than the dog. Neither do they splinter
They can be thrown at a distance from you but have to be retrieved in a way that makes them easier to carry horizontally in the dog’s mouth. Many of these throw sticks are heavy plastic and do present a choking hazard.
Plenty of other objects are far safer for your dog to retrieve than sticks. What will you use?
Should the worst happen and you have an accident whilst enjoying a lovely walk with your dog, please remember the number one rule. DO NOT TRY TO REMOVE IT. Seek immediate veterinary help – full details of the Sticks and the Dangers can be found here.
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