British Veterinary Association warns against letting dogs fetch sticks

dog fetch stick toy

Quick news item: You may have seen the recent BBC report declaring that fetching sticks can be dangerous for dogs. The reason the organization recommends not fetching sticks is the same reason that many vets warn against allowing dogs to chew bones – because small pieces can cause choking or get lodged in the digestive tract.

The BBC reports that British Veterinary Association president Sean Wensley said, “We don’t want people to stop owners from playing and exercising with their dogs. We just want them to know they can protect their pets by using safe dog toys.”

Stick injuries occur on a regular basis, according to workers at pet hospitals. One vet, Cameron Muir, was quoted as saying, “It’s a risky business throwing sticks. We often have to put dogs under anaesthetic to remove splinters, and sometimes have them in for repeat surgeries.”

The BBC article notes that Labradors and border collies are among the most likely breeds to experience injuries from sticks, probably because those types of dogs in particular love to run and fetch.

This news should come as no surprise to dog owners who have been using toys like the iFetch or the ChuckIt! launcher. Part of the reason these toys are so popular is because they are safe alternatives made of material that is unlikely to splinter and cause injury.

We’ve obviously been doing our best to promote the use of safe pet toys on this site, but it’s always interesting to see a mainstream news report that offers findings from professionals to back up the idea of sticking with toys. If you haven’t yet taken the plunge and purchased a recommended fetch toy, take a look around Doggie Fetch for some product ideas that can provide hours of entertainment and fun for your pooch.

Photo credit: Creative commons user sheila_sund

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