My English Bulldog is Eating Sticks!

Hope your day is going well.

I just noticed Dexter has gotten into a habit of literally eating sticks outside.
He’s only 8 mths so i’m hoping it s a faze. Is there something possibly lacking
in his diet?? Im going crazy and dont want to let him out to play. I try to
clean the sticks up but we have a lot of trees.

Thanks
Jodi

Hi Jodi,

It’s a phase, thank heavens!  Chewing behavior is normal for a young bulldog
and it’s sometimes difficult to keep them away from things they shouldn’t
eat.  Sticks are ok for Dexter to chew on but not so good if he eats them
because splinters can damage his esophagus and stomach.

He will outgrow this but in the meantime you could try to distract him with
something else like a prized toy or a ball.

There’s nothing missing in his diet, it’s more of a puppy thing.  If he eats
dirt that can indicate a dietary deficiency, but in general this sort of chewing
is instinctual.

Here’s a site with some good advice on alternatives to sticks:
http://www.colliecorner.com/stick-to-toys/new_page_alts.htm

I hope this helps.  Please let me know how it goes.

Your Bulldog Pal,
Jan

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Comments

  1. Clint
    April 18th, 2014 | 11:41 am

    I have 3 old english bulldogs, 2 are 7 months old and 1 is 4 1/2 yrs old. They all chew on sticks, bushes, boards or any thing wooden and litterally eat them. They have vomitted up nothing but sticks before. We have tried distracting them with toys and balls but they still eat sticks. We try to keep the sticks picked up but we have a lot of trees in our yard and the dogs love to be out side. Don’t know what to do about it except deal with it. Any ideas?

  2. Jan
    April 19th, 2014 | 8:01 am

    Chewing is instinctual for dogs. Young dogs go through a chewing phase but it appears your older bulldog still does it excessively. Unfortunately chewing sticks can lead to injuries to the mouth, throat, stomach, and intestines. When a piece of stick is larger than the opening from the stomach to intestines it will cause reflex vomiting to get rid of the foreign object. In your case the usual remedies of picking up the sticks and giving different dog toys have not worked. Have you tried training methods? One is to put about 15 pennies in a can and shake it over your bulldog’s head and say “leave it” when he picks up a stick. They hate the sound. I’m not keen on other harsher methods like muzzles or cones because your dogs need to engage in something stimulating. Also have you tried treat balls with really yummy treats to distract them?

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