Throwing sticks for your dog to fetch is something that almost everybody has done at some point in their lives. In fact, it’s something that most of us do without thinking twice. We do it since it is fun and it is something that we have grown accustomed to over the years.
Some would even describe it as a social undertaking that everyone who owns a dog is expected to perform. But throwing sticks for pets to catch is endangering the lives of the pets. This is the message that vets are now trying to spread. The Australian Veterinary Association came out recently and condemned this behavior saying that it is very dangerous and should be stopped.
There are many reasons why playing fetch with sticks is very harmful. The harmful effects have always been there and people have just been overlooking them. It has however reached a point where the health effects of playing fetch should no longer be ignored.
They are very serious and when preventive measures are taken, it will reduce incidences where dogs are hurt, sometimes critically. People need to be made aware of the risks so that they know the dangers that they are exposing their dogs to when they play fetch.
One of the major reasons why the vets claim that playing fetch with your dog is harmful to their health is because of the horrific injuries that can occur with the game. The vets claim that the most serious injuries that they have commonly seen are usually as a result of playing fetch with the dogs using sharp sticks.
The injuries are at times very serious and they may lead to the death of the dog. While the dog is running after the stick it will only focus on the stick and ignore other things completely. The dog may end up getting tangled in some fence or the dog may even fall. If the stick has some sharp and protruding features then it can definitely lead to some horrible injuries because the dog may catch the stick at an awkward angle and that will make the sharp edges injure the dog.
Internal bleeding is actually very common in dogs and most people do not realize this. Playing fetch with your pet will involve a lot of force and pressure on the mouth of the dog. When you throw the stick the dog will try as much as possible to catch the stick with its mouth. It will catch the stick and the impact at the time of getting hold of the stick may be very high.
The impact will not instantly lead to visible injury or bleeding but the animal will have been hurt. Internal bleeding will take place since the impact probably ruptured some blood vessels beneath the stick. Some sticks are also very hard and they will lead to soreness and discomfort in the mouth when they are used in this game.
The vets claim that in some cases the injuries are so serious and the dogs have to be admitted in hospital. The frequency with which this occurs is actually high since one dog is admitted almost monthly with stick related injuries in most vet clinics.
The dogs are usually in a tremendous amount of pain and discomfort. The pain and suffering may at times be too much and the vet ends up recommending euthanasia so as to free the dog from its suffering. People who have seen stick related injuries never play fetch with sticks since they know how serious the injuries can get.
The splinters and the infectious debris also play a very big role in predisposing the animal to infections. Splinters will cause a lot of injuries to the pet and cause them unimaginable pain. We all know how it feels to have a splinter stuck in your hand; now imagine the splinter is in your mouth.
The debris if infected may make your pet ill since bacteria and other harmful organisms will easily attack your dog.
Animal experts also warned that the shape of the stick posed the biggest threat to the health of the animal. Some sticks have shapes that will certainly cause the animal injury and they should be avoided. Safer alternatives should be considered so as to ensure the health of the dog is maintained.