Leave it Fido!
I knew that because my father was a Vet and as a child I used to see the injuries arrive at the practice door. Some of them were horrific, dog with sticks that had cut their tonsils or where the part of a stick had gone down their throat. The dog has many nerves and blood vessels around the face and these can be easily perforated and can cause excessive bleeding.
My father used to advise them to throw rubber toys or a suitably sized hard rubber ball and with all the dog toys around now there is really no excuse. Think of it this way if you feel that the toys cost too much. What is cheaper ..the toy or the Vets Bill? Mind you when you use a rubber ball of a suitable size make sure it is that really hard rubber and not the soft type. Any dog with the right amount of chewing can take apart a soft rubber ball and get pieces lodged in the esophagus and intestines.
Many a dog that has gone off his food and has been constipated on X ray has been found to have a piece of rubber firmly stuck in his gullet. A dog with this situation can deteriorate very quickly. Life threatening to say the least if he is not taken to the vet in time and at the end of the day highly expensive to get removed! Its much cheaper to get the correct toy in the first place.
So is throwing a stick for a dog really as dangerous as I say? Well let me enlighten you here to just a few typical injuries. Dog left paralyzed after being stabbed in the back of the throat by a stick that then entered the spinal cord. Dogs who suffer a slow death as infection spreads from tiny fragments of wood left lodged in a wound. Penetration of the tongue and into the windpipe by a dog running for a stick that had lodged into the ground
Still not convinced?
With today's credit crunch in full swing you might like to consider the cost. Some Vets have seen costs in the thousands in treatment fees and in the end the poor dog has actually died. So next time you take your beloved pouch to the park for a walk and he is eager for his chase and return, introduce him to his nice new hard rubber ball, not only safe but bounces for miles!!