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To the Rescue: Choosing a Fetch Stick

When out in the park with a pup, it can be necessary to improvise on pet toys. Thankfully, most dogs who like to fetch will happily fetch most anything... especially sticks. Search for a stick with a width and length that's both small enough for your pooch to easily handle, but also big enough that the entire stick can't fit into his mouth.

On one visit to NYC's Tompkins Square Park, I watched a beagle happily fetching sticks (in this case, more like twigs) when, all of a sudden, the pup didn't come back and began alternately running in circles, rubbing his head on the ground, and pawing his face. The owner rushed over to the dog and, thankfully, realized what was wrong. He stuck a hand into his pet's mouth (while pushing lips over the teeth to prevent accidental biting), swept his middle fingers across the top of the dog's mouth and brought them out with a stick. While I am not advocating sticking your hands into any pet's mouth – especially a frantic one – please be careful when playing fetch with small objects that could get lodged, or splinter to get lodged, in his mouth or throat – you don't want to panic with an equally panicking pooch!

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Join The Conversation
Pets Pets 8 years
I used to! I'm in SF now...
daisydidi daisydidi 8 years
tompkins sq. park huh? you must live in my neighborhood!
amh678 amh678 8 years
You've definitely got to be careful. One of the dogs we used to have (he passed away) tried to eat a stick (we weren't playing fetch, he just had a craving for sticks I guess), and he got it stuck in the roof of his mouth. We couldn't get it out, and we had to take him to the vet to get it removed. Luckily he was okay, but it was kind of scary!
Phasekitty Phasekitty 8 years
Brando LOVES sticks. Whenever we go for walks he will pick up any and all sticks in his path. It's hysterical when he finds a fallen branch and he tries his darndest to drag that huge thing along. I'm continually impressed by the stuff he manages to pick up and find.
fleurfairy fleurfairy 8 years
I'm constantly scared that my Boston Terrier is going to choke on something. Anytime he starts coughing, my stomach drops. That owner must have been terrified.
Renees3 Renees3 8 years
My dog could care less about sticks. UNLESS his best friend (my moms dog) is playing fetch. She's a whippet (FAST) so she takes off after it and little B-Bop (doxie mix) runs as fast as he can after her. He never gets there first, but he usually ends up with the stick. Then he drops it. He's the boss. It's pretty funny to watch
ElleJay ElleJay 8 years
My puppy is obsessed w/ twigs. We let her out on the deck to hang out so there are twigs everywhere and she just naws on them like crazy
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