Many dogs love sticks. For some, it's the thrill of the chase when the stick is thrown. Others just like the satisfaction of gnawing on wood. And some just like carrying around their prize like a trophy. Plus, it doesn't hurt that sticks look a lot like bones. What's not to love?

More than you might think, say many veterinarians who caution against letting dogs play with sticks. They've seen injuries ranging from splinters on a dog's tongue all the way to punctures in a roof of a dog's mouth or throat. Veterinarian Jason Nicholas points out that dogs that chase sticks often experience more damage than dogs that gnaw on them. So you may want to consider chew toys with less risk of injury.

Hopefully the only thing these dogs had after playing with sticks was a case of happy exhaustion.

Like this pup who couldn't keep his eyes open, but had to keep his stick close by.

dog rests with his stick Cooter holds tight to his stick while he rests. (Photo: Ted Drake [CC BY-ND 2.0]/Flickr)

This puppy loves his stick so much, he doesn't care how goofy he looks when he plays with it.

dog making funny face while carrying stick Oz, the Great Dane puppy, makes a silly face. (Photo: Jon Hurd [CC BY 2.0]/Flickr)

And this puppy is just gnawing on his stick.

Puppy with stick Maybe he's teething. (Photo: schnaars [CC BY-SA 2.0]/Flickr)

But sticks aren't just for puppies. This senior dog found a whopper of a prize.

dog with huge stick Libby, 12, waded out to find the perfect stick. (Photo: Pete Markham [CC BY-SA 2.0]/flickr)

Boomer, a Staffordshire bull terrier in the U.K., is very fond of sticks as you can see in the video below.

"This is him in one of our local parks last year," his mom says. "He found a huge stick but didn’t want to leave it behind. This shows his determination to get the huge stick through a small space. I tried to help him but as you can see on his second attempt, he didn’t quite have the brains to get the job done."

Lots of dogs are overachievers, often choosing sticks that are way bigger than they are.

dog with very big stick 'It didn't look this big when I picked it up.' (Photo: Zaskoda [CC BY 2.0]/Flickr)

And some aren't happy with just one.

dog carrying two sticks Why carry just one stick? (Photo: Breanna Agnor [CC BY-ND 2.0]/Flickr)

Because why have one, when you can have two?

Bogart the Airedale terrier and his sticks Bogart Handsome Devil loves his sticks. (Photo: Lulu Hoeller [CC BY 2.0]/Flickr)

Some dogs will spend time shredding the bark.

dog gnaws on stick Luke gnaws on his stick. (Photo: m01229 [CC BY 2.0]/Flickr)

Others will share.

two dogs hold a stick Bigsby and Fawks hold on to their prized find. (Photo: Doctor Popular [CC BY-SA 2.0]/Flickr)

Or ask friends for a little help when the sticks are too big to carry.

Some dogs will go to extremes to find their sticks.

dog swims with stickLuka worked hard for his stick. (Photo: S. Carter [CC BY-SA 2.0]/Flickr)

Even if it means doing a little gymnastics when they're wearing a cone of shame.

dog wearing cone, carrying stickSimon found a stick that will fit into his cone. (Photo: Tracy Rosen [CC BY-SA 2.0]/Flickr)

And then there's Lancelot, a rescued American bulldog/boxer mix who loves sticks so much. This time he found one that's more like a branch and might be just a little too much for him to handle. You go, Lancelot.

Editor's note: This story has been updated with new information since it was published in May 2018.

Mary Jo DiLonardo covers a wide range of topics focused on nature, health, science and anything that helps make the world a better place.

17 dogs that really, really love sticks
Whether they chase them, chew them or hunt for them, sticks make these dogs very happy.