It’s a scenario that many of us dog owners are familiar with. We’re out for a walk with our dogs when they suddenly find a stick and they want us to throw it for them. While playing fetch is a relatively harmless pastime to partake in with our dogs, there are some dangers depending on the type of wood. One of the wood types that can pose a problem for dogs is pine since it can contain both natural and artificial toxins, depending on its source. Additionally, there is always the risk of gastrointestinal injury if there are broken bits of wood that get ingested.

Most pine that is grown for landscaping or Christmas tree decoration purposes is the Norfolk pine. This tree is toxic to dogs and might upset their stomachs if they eat the wood from the pine. While the poison isn’t fatal for dogs, the pine toxics do cause vomiting, diarrhea, and lethargy. Besides the problems that can occur from pine wood, there is also the risk of chemical poisoning as well, since many wooden objects like outdoor furniture and stuff are often treated with chemicals that can be toxic to dogs. The most common toxicity from pine treated with chemicals is arsenic compounds. These are harmful to both dogs and humans.

But if your dog ingests wood with these toxins, it can lead to severe health complications, such as lack of coordination while walking or standing, major digestive problems, sensitivity to touch because of physical pain – which can lead to aggressive outbursts, and loss of consciousness. Now, even if your dog ingests wood that hasn’t been treated with any chemicals, there is still the hazard that the rough bits could become lodged wither in their throat or intestines. Sometimes even splinters can end up cutting their gums or esophagus, which can turn into medical emergencies. You should always keep an eye out for the following symptoms and get them to a vet if they begin showing signs of bleeding from the mouth, if there’s blood in their stool, whimpering or whining – particularly if they seem agitated or in pain, and if they stop drinking water or eating. 

While our dogs might really enjoy playing fetch with a stick, we can still indulge them in their favorite pastime, but in a safer way. It’s a good idea to consider alternative toys that they can play with, such as rubber chew toys, rubber bones, or balls. There are plenty of choices available at pet stores, so you can always take your pup to the local pet store to have them pick out something they enjoy. It is also a good idea to regularly check your backyard for any fallen tree branches or sticks in order to be able to remove the temptation for your dog. 

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