Why Dogs Play With Sticks
Ever Wonder Why Your Four-Legged Friend Loves To Pick Up Sticks?
Well, this might be a trivial curiosity, but knowing the answer to this question could help you better understand your dog. Who knows, the answer to your question could be one of the keys to help you form a stronger relationship with your pooch.
In this post, let us take a look at some reasons dogs love to pick up sticks.
Sticks Serve As A Natural Pacifier
Human babies love to suck on pacifiers to keep themselves calm and occupied. The same can be said with puppies who are 4 to 6 months old.
In this stage, puppies undergo teething which makes them feel uncomfortable and sometimes, in pain. To alleviate this discomfort, they would look for something to chew on and sticks are just among the right choices.
As they grow older, dogs tend to bring with them the habit of chewing on sticks. Thus, even if they are already adults, you would still see some dogs who are naturally drawn to sticks.
Dogs Chew On Things For Fun
Dogs are playful. They love to goof around and spend all day having fun. Chewing on things is part of their play and for this reason, it shouldn’t be a surprise to see them picking up sticks, too.
It is worth noting that some sticks resemble the shape of a bone. For some dogs, it’s a good substitute and since they love to chew and rip things apart, a stick could very well serve the purpose.
Keeps Their Teeth Clean
We brush and floss to keep our teeth pearly white and healthy. However, dogs don’t naturally do those things. So, what’s the alternative? They pick up sticks and chew on it. The biting and grinding motion against the wood could help in getting rid of plaques and food residue.
We Encourage Them
One of the reasons dogs pick up sticks is because they are used to playing fetch with you. Since sticks are just lying around on the ground, then it is easy to find. Even when you are not around, your dog may still play by himself and remember the times when you’re playing with him with a stick.
Pica is a kind of compulsive behavior that drives people to eat non-edible food such as hair, mud, paper, clothes, and others. Pica can also be seen in dogs. They may have an abnormal craving for things they are not supposed to eat which include wood and sticks. This is a big problem because it may cause nutritional deficiencies.
Pica develops due to the following:
- Lack of socialization
- Lack of exercise
If you believe your dog is exhibiting pica behavior, don’t hesitate to seek professional help.
To Get Or Not Get Sticks?
Now that you have read some of the reasons your dog loves to get sticks, you might wonder, should you tolerate this or even encourage it?
The answer is it depends. If picking up sticks leads to problematic problems, then you should stop your dog. If it is just part of a normal play, there’s no harm in letting him have some fun.
If you want to learn more, best is to speak to your vet. You can also do your own research. The more information you gather, the better your decision would be.