Pet Care

Why Dogs Like Sticks So Much?

Dogs are amiable creatures. They make the perfect companions for humans, as loyal friends and pets. However, their need to play and jump around can be a tad too much. In that case, it is always wise to consider taking your dog out for a walk, jog, or even running. Better yet, taking the time to play with him every once in a while is an excellent idea. 

When it comes to playtime, dogs have a preference for some things over others. Other than toys, it is not unusual for a dog to cling on a stick so much. Something about sticks gets them excited and ready to play. It makes you wonder, why do dogs like sticks that much? Here are some reasons to explain it:

The taste

Sticks do not taste anything close to the best grain free dog foodHowever, they do have their taste that is pleasant to dogs. The earthy, musky flavor of sticks is often appealing to dogs. A stick makes a perfect alternative to a bone. This way, since dogs can’t have bones everywhere they go, a stick will do.

The shape

Admittedly, sticks look a lot similar to the shape of bones. When there is no one around to chew on, the closest shape to that of a bone is a stick. This is especially so for the dry pieces of branches that fall from a tree.

To alleviate dental-related pain

Especially for puppies, chewing on sticks is their way of easing dental-related pain. Sometimes the behavior is typical for puppies that are teething. Biting on a stick can help rub the gum area to reduce itching.

As toys

Dogs are hunters by nature. It is common to find a dog gathering a couple of ‘treasures’ they gathered from their hunt. Even though the items might not be precious enough to merit as treasures, the dog is proud of their quest. Sourcing their own toys is fun for them. In the same way, dogs can chew on sticks because they found it. If your dog is used to staying within the confines of your compound, any chance they get to be elsewhere, they will look for a stick to chew on.

Stress reliever

The art of chewing helps relieve stress for dogs. It is why you will find a dog chewing on your favorite shoe or even on your furniture. This behavior can be corrected by providing chewing items for your dog, including toys, dental chews, as well as bones. However, when they are outside, you expect the behavior to change. They may not always have their toys or bones when playing outside. In that case, anytime they have nothing to chew on, the easiest thing to grab on is a stick. The thing about sticks is that they are hard, but not too hard to cause tooth breakage. The material of sticks is actually softwood that deteriorates with age as well as through weathering. This encourages chewing to help relieve stress.

For play

Dogs love to play. When kids play with dogs, it is even more exciting. However, some times, the kids may not have the necessary toys to play with a dog. In this case, sticks make the perfect play item. You can get to play fetch with your dog by tossing a stick at a distance and letting him get it. From this kind of behavior, a dog may find interest in chewing sticks. Some of it has to do with the association of the stick with a fun moment.


Many reasons could explain why your dog loves to chew on sticks. Whatever the reason, find ways to control the habit. Some dogs can be too extreme with the chewing to result in swallowing the fragments of the stick. This could pose health risks for your canine friend. 

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