Saturday, November 21, 2009

Should my Labrador Retriever chew on sticks?

Subject: Should my Labrador Retriever chew on sticks?

From: Reanne (USA)

Labrador Retriever Name: Berrin

Reader's E-mail - Reanne Writes:

When myself or my husband take our Labrador Retriever out to exercise or for a walk, he likes to pick up sticks, run with them in his mouth and chew on them. We also love to play fetch with him with a stick. Is this OK or should I not allow this to happen?


Reanne and Berrin the chocolate Labrador.

All About Labradors Answer:

Hello Reanne, a big thank you for visiting the All About Labradors blog and for your e-mail.

The information given here is to help you learn more about your Labrador Retriever and not to replace your veterinarian's or other professional advice. Disclaimer

The carrying and picking up of sticks, especially having owners tossing them to their Labrador Retrievers in a game of fetch has been going on forever. As for a safety issue I'm sure you will get arguments for both sides on this one.

In my lifetime of Labrador Retriever ownership, I have on more than one occasion thrown a stick to them for play. Nothing ever happened to any of my Labrador Retrievers from these actions. Moving on to the present, I no loner use sticks to play or do I let my Labrador Retriever girls pick up sticks to play with or chew on.

Here are some reasons of the dangers of letting your Labrador Retriever play with sticks:

Splinters can enter your Labrador Retriever's mouth can lead to painful infections that are difficult to heal.

Pieces of the stick can come off in your Labrador Retriever's mouth causing serious internal injuries.

Stabbing injuries can occur to your Labrador's chest/body, eyes, mouth, throat, etc.

Bacteria on sticks can cause serious infections in your Labrador Retriever mouth.

As far as playing fetch goes, there are many safe dog toy products to play fetch with at your local pet stores and online. Just make sure the toys you choose are much larger than your Labrador Retriever's mouth to prevent accidental swallowing.

Hope this will be of some help to you Reanne. Take care of yourself and Berrin.


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