Why Do Dogs Like Sticks? Why They Chew & Carry It?

We know that dogs like bones. And it’s quite understandable. They can chew on those, crush them, and eventually eat them. But why do dogs like sticks? Dogs can’t eat it, after all.

Even though the professionals will tell you that these may be dangerous to the dog’s oral health, dogs are naturally attracted to sticks and love to pick them up. But why exactly do dogs love sticks so much? Let’s try to figure it out once and for all. 

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Why do dogs love sticks?

Well, while we can’t hear the thoughts of our pets to figure out why they love picking up sticks so much, there are actually quite a few reasons why we think that dogs might love sticks. These include the following: 

  1. Sticks are shaped like bones. Everyone knows how much dogs love their bones, especially long bones. Sticks are similar to bones in terms of shape, but that is essentially where the similarities end. They likely don’t taste like bones to your dog. But those are still easy to carry around and gnaw on. That might be enough.
  2. Sticks make for great toys. Whether it’s a ball, a stuffed animal, or a squeaky toy, we all know that dogs love to have fun and entertain themselves with whatever they can find. When outdoors, a stick is one of the most fun things that a dog can find to play around with, so you can trust them to have as much fun as they can with them.
  3. It may appeal to their natural instincts. Dogs are pack animals, and there is always a leader in the pack, known as the alpha dog. When your dog is with you, they see you as being the alpha dog. As a member of this pack, your dog will want to please you and get your approval. As a result, they may feel the urge to pick up and gather things such as sticks. A lot of the time, when they pick these sticks up, they bring them to you for your approval. It also explains why your dog can sometimes turn up at your feet after hours of playing outdoors with a dead animal in its mouth.
  4. Earthy taste. Sure, I said before that sticks indeed don’t taste like bones, and that remains true. However, the taste might still keep dogs coming back for more. It’s woody and earthy, and this flavor might be appealing to your dog. They love jumping in mud and rolling around, and digging in the dirt. And the taste of a stick may have the same appeal as all of these.

Why do dogs carry sticks?

You have likely seen a dog playing with a stick. But there’s a difference between that and carry a giant stick around in its mouth. Many dogs do this and would bring it all the way home if you let them. It can be odd to watch, though, as there is really nothing for the dog to do with the stick if you let it go home with it. It makes a new toy, indeed, but is it worth carrying it around for just that?

It all stems from the instinct of a dog. Dogs adore the act of retrieving things. That’s why they love playing fetch so much, and if you could, they’d let you throw a ball a thousand times just so they could retrieve it each time. It is only their instincts at play.

Why do dogs chew on sticks?

Dogs love to chew! Even if it’s a non-nutritious object, a dog can chew at it for minutes on end. It’s an excellent way for them to expend all their pent-up energy. Also, younger dogs that may be teething will get relief from chewing at a stick. Even in adult dogs, chewing objects like sticks can help to keep their teeth and gums clean. They might also just like the texture that sticks provide.

Credits: thanks for the cover photo to Canva.

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