Ditch the Stick: Safe Fetching Toys for Your Dog

    Dog’s love of sticks has been a staple in animal pop culture for generations. Who doesn’t know comics, cartoons, nursery rhymes, or movies where a dog is fetching a stick? Contrary to popular belief, however, sticks are dangerous for our beloved pups.

    This seemingly harmless and natural toy that dogs can’t seem to resist can pose a number of health problems for your dog. According to the American Kennel Club, these are just a few of the ways that man’s best friend can be injured by sticks:

    • Perforated gums, tongue, cheeks, and stomach
    • Fractures and tooth decay from hard pieces or pieces that break off
    • Upset stomach and intestines from dirty bark and splinters
    • Bodily injury from jutting out pieces


    Chopper with a stick

    Safe Stick Alternatives

    If your dog loves picking up sticks during your walks or playtime in the park, there are safer options to sticks that can still give your dog the joy of fetching and chewing without the health risks. Here are our top picks:

    1. Fetching Twig & Stick

    RuffDawg Stick & Twig

    Your dog deserves a toy that is made from high-quality materials, and the Fetching Twig & Stick is exactly that. This stick alternative dog toy is made entirely of plants, made in the USA, and nontoxic to provide your dog with the safest replacement to his former best friend (other than you, of course.) It also has an optional crunchy feature for dogs who love a bit of crinkle in their playtime fun.

    The toy comes in two sizes:

    • Twig: 6" long, made for dogs 15-40 lbs
    • Stick: 12" long, made for dogs greater than 40 lbs

    *not a chew toy

    2. Zwig Dog Stick Toy

    West Paw: Zwig Safer Alternative

    West Paw’s award-winning dog stick replacement toy is perfect for avid chewers. This fetching stick toy is lightweight yet durable, with a hollow, squishy inside that makes it perfect for pups and senior dogs alike. Best of all, it bounces!

    The toy comes in three exciting colors and one size: 13.25” x 2”, making it suitable for larger dog breeds. It also is made in the USA from 100% non-toxic Zogoflex® material, which is FDA compliant and recyclable through West Paw’s recycling program.


    3. NovaFlex Nova Stick

    Nova Stick Crunch Fetch Toy

    If your dog enjoys chewing on his sticks inside after a fun game of fetch, the NovaFlex Nova Stick is a safer option. This textured dog stick alternative gently cleans your dog’s teeth while he’s gnawing on it. The toy even encourages dogs who are hesitant to make the switch to a safer “stick” with an innovative crunching sound that entices your dog to choose it over less safe teethers.

    The Nova Stick is bright orange, floats, and comes in two sizes:

    • Small: (5.4”x 1.4” x 1.4”)
    • Large: (8.8” x 2.1” x 2.1”)


    4. Skamp Dog Fetch & Tug Toy

    West Paw Skamp Fetch & Tug Toy

    The Skamp fetch toy is an aerodynamic, lightweight flyer perfect for fetching enthusiasts. Your dog will love playing catch, tug-of-war, and fetch with his new toy. The unique, three-lobe design enables the toy to be extra durable, while its hollow core and bouncy, floatable features make for a toy that will entertain your dog for hours on end!

    The Skamp toy comes in 3 different colors and one size: Large: 8.5”x8.5”x2.” It’s also 100% non-toxic, safe, and veterinarian-approved.


    Until next time--