Dogs, as any owner of a teething puppy can attest, love to gnaw on anything that will give.
Chewing may seem like a minor issue, but if your dog ingests something he finds while chewing, the situation becomes much more serious. Socks are one common item that dogs tend to ingest.
If your dog were to eat a sock, it would be concerning, but it wouldn’t be as serious as if he or she ate a poisonous dose of medication or food.
Is Your Dog Eating Socks?
Dogs have an unusual appetite. It’s a common complaint heard by veterinarians: The dog just ate my socks, I can’t believe it! What’s the prognosis for him, exactly? ”
No matter how amusing the situation seems, dogs eating socks is never funny.
Even more so for “sockaholic” dogs who make this behavior their norm, a dog’s health can quickly deteriorate if it makes socks its favorite treat.
Why Do Dogs Eat Socks?
Even though you and I might not find dirty socks on the floor to be particularly appetizing, that doesn’t mean that dogs won’t.
Socks are tasty to dogs for a variety of reasons. Even after being washed, the smell of your socks can still carry a lot of your personal scent, which may pique your dog’s interest.
In the course of play, they could begin chewing and licking at them, and even swallow one by mistake.
Your dog may even deliberately ingest them if it thinks their scent makes them valuable.
Sure, some canines have a natural predilection for consuming potentially harmful substances. Dogs, like humans, can develop the compulsive eating disorder known as pica, which involves the ingestion of non-food items.
Your dog’s insatiable appetite for socks and other strange objects could be a symptom of a metabolic disorder.
What’s the Concern With Eating Socks?
You might think that socks are safe to leave where your dog can get to them. What exactly is the problem here, considering that we are not discussing antifreeze or sugar-free gum?
Socks, being both linear and ballable, are a common culprit in cases of gastrointestinal distress, blockages, and even septicemia and death.
They have the potential to become stuck in your dog’s digestive tract, preventing the normal transit of other gastric materials.
This can cause inflammation in the adjacent tissues. There is a risk of life-threatening septicemia if the obstruction is not cleared. This is because the inflamed tissues may necrose (cell death) if they cannot receive adequate blood flow.
Obviously, not every case of ingesting socks is an emergency. A Great Dane eating a baby sock isn’t as alarming as a Yorkie doing the same thing.
However, when a dog swallows a sock, it is critical that they be closely monitored and taken to the vet right away.
This is particularly the case if you notice nausea, vomiting, or extreme fatigue.3Avoid forcing your dog to throw up the sock it swallowed. Instead, you should take them to the vet to be examined.
The veterinarian will perform a complete physical examination, which will include palpating your dog’s belly to feel for tenderness or bloating caused by gas buildup. Your veterinarian will then want to take a radiograph of your dog to further diagnose the problem.
Food in the stomach, stool in the colon, and any gastric material within the intestines can all be seen on X-ray, contrary to popular belief.
Your veterinarian will also check for gas patterns that could indicate a blockage, either partial or complete. If your vet suspects a blockage based on a single X-ray, he or she may recommend a barium study as well.
Here, your dog will drink a substance that will make him or her appear white on an X-ray. The patient then undergoes a series of X-rays at 2, 4, 6, and even 8 hours post-ingestion. Barium’s high contrast can help veterinarians locate the source of your dog’s gastrointestinal blockage, if any exists.
The diagnosis and treatment of your dog will be determined by the signs it is exhibiting and the results of any radiographic examinations. Inpatient care with intravenous fluids and digestive aids is a more conservative approach to treatment.
Water will help keep your dog’s digestive tract moist, which may stimulate your dog’s intestines to continue passing the sock.
Your dog may need an endoscopy or exploratory abdominal surgery if the vet determines that a more conservative approach is not in his or her best interest.
These surgical procedures are sadly the only surefire ways to determine if an ingested sock has caused an obstruction and the only way to remove the sock.
What Should You Do If Your Dog Eats A Sock?
Get in touch with your vet immediately if your dog has accidentally ingested a sock; the situation could quickly become life-threatening.
In an ideal world, the sock would just pass harmlessly through your dog’s digestive system. However, that is highly dependent on the dimensions of both the sock and your dog.
Dogs eating socks is a common complaint, and veterinarians have seen it all. The first questions will center on how long ago the sock was swallowed and the size of the dog.
Do not make this decision on your own; medical professionals will advise you on how to induce vomiting if the sock was recently swallowed.
The situation becomes more dire if the sock is quite large and was swallowed several hours ago.
Your dog may need surgery if the sock cannot be removed any other way. It is crucial that you teach your puppy to ignore socks from an early age.
Your puppy will benefit greatly from having well-defined limits set for him right from the start. As long as you establish firm limits, they will usually be willing to comply with them because they are naturally eager to please you.
How Do You Stop Your Dog Eating Socks?
Worried that your dog might choke on a sock? Here are some easy precautions you can take.
Hide The Socks
The first and most obvious piece of advice is to keep your dog away from your socks. This may seem simple, but try doing it in a home with young children.
Make sure everyone in the house understands the significance of always putting socks away.
Don’t forget about socks that are in the bed or in clothes hampers that can be easily knocked over; if your dog is determined to get socks, they will go to great lengths to do so.
The only quick fix for preventing a serious intestinal blockage is to keep socks out of the way. However, in order to effectively address the problem, it is necessary to address the underlying behavioral issues.
Provide More Stimulation
To prevent dogs from obsessing over socks, engage them in some mentally and physically stimulating activities.
Spend more time playing with them and demonstrating appropriate playthings. Dogs can be encouraged to think critically and solve problems with the help of puzzles that involve food.
With any luck, that will convince them to stop messing with the socks. Have you ever heard the expression, “Idle hands do the devil’s work”? ”
The kids will find something to do, and it may not be the best option, so it goes without saying that you should keep them occupied.
Train Them To Drop It
Training your dog to drop the sock whenever they pick it up is the most important step you can take toward resolving the issue, but these other measures can be helpful as well.
One of the most crucial parts of a dog’s training is teaching them the “leave it” and “drop it” commands as soon as they are young puppies.
Your dog will pick up anything it finds interesting and will have no idea what it is and is not allowed to play with or swallow if you don’t do this.
Training is the only solution if you are worried about your dog eating socks and want to keep them safe.
You can train a puppy or an adult dog from the convenience of your own home using the skills you learn in our interactive online courses.
Your dog will quickly learn that socks are not edible once you have taught it the basic commands to drop and leave items.
Asking yourself why your dog is doing something, like “Why does my dog eat socks?” or “Why does my dog jump up on the counter?” or “Why does my dog beg for food?” is a great way to get your mind on the problem at hand. ”
Asking yourself “What have I done to teach my dog not to engage in this undesirable behavior?” is the next logical step. ”
Then, and only then, can you begin to comprehend the problem and devise a strategy for resolving it.