Dogs are very innocent animals. They often do many things which they shouldn’t be doing. Chewing and eating uncommon items is one of them. Many dog owners often face the problem of the dog eating something unusual, which they do not suppose to be eating. A sock is one of the most common items that a dog can chew and eat. Unfortunately, socks are not digestible. It can remain inside the gut of the dog and cause multiple types of health problems. For this reason, the owner has to take all possible actions to take out the sock from the dog’s gut. Here are some possible steps that will help the dog owners.
What problems a sock can cause?
The first problem is that a sock can cause chock the dog from inside. If a dog tries to eat the sock whole, then it can stick into the dog’s throat and cause choking. There were many cases, where many dogs died at the time of eating unusual objects. Another problem with a sock is that just like any other garment; a sock can absorb water and swell inside the dog’s stomach. This swelling can cause discomfort and stomach ache. A sock made from nylon material can also obstacle the flow of food. As a result, the dog’s stomach remains full and the dog loses appetite. At the time of passing through the gut, the sock can also graze the inner-wall of the intestine. These grazed areas later become vulnerable to bacterial infection. It can cause lots of health issues to the dog in the future.
Why would the dog eat a sock?
A dog does many things without any objective. The chewing and eating sock is one of them. Dog eating socks can occur in four situations. Understanding these reasons will help the owner know his dog’s behaviour better. It will further help the owner prevent such complicated situations and keep the dog healthy.
All dogs do not bear with teeth when they are born. All dogs grow teeth after a couple of weeks of coming to this world. During the teeth growing period all dogs experience sensation in their gum. To ease this sensation, they tend to chew anything close by. Most dogs during this time chew and swallow non-edible objects. At this time, the owner needs to be extra careful. During the dog’s teething period keep clothing, socks, or shoes out of the dog’s reach.
Many people do not understand, but dogs are very sensitive animals. The outside commotion can easily affect them and make them anxious. Not only puppies but even adult and older dogs also get anxious quickly. Being in a new place, a loud environment, or a punishment can make a dog anxious. In this situation, the dog loves to chew things to get relax. Many adult dogs do eat socks out of anxiety.
Dogs know and love their owners. Most dogs are feed by their master and play with them. Therefore, these dogs are physiologically attached to their master. As a result, they get nervous if they don’t see their master for a long time. The dog owner’s sock contains his body order, which the dog might like and start chewing and eating it.
A dog’s life becomes very boring if it lives in captivity. To alleviate their boredom they start chewing anything nearby, including socks. In the beginning, the dog thinks of the sock as a toy and all household items are edible objects. As a result, they start eating them. For this reason, keeping the dog in captivity for a long time is not a good idea.
Hunger is one thing that can make anyone crazy. Many people don’t take the dog’s feeding schedule seriously. Therefore, the dog always remains hungry and tries to eat anything nearby. Not feeding the dog on time arouses their animal instinct. These dogs often eat shoes and socks out of hunger. A dog with a full belly has less tendency of eating socks and other household items.
What to Do when the Dog Swallowed a Sock
The first thing the owner needs to make sure that the dog has in reality swallowed the sock. Many times a dog takes things for chewing. But after biting and chewing it for a while, they hide it in nooks and corners. In such a scenario, it may look like the dog has eaten the sock, while the reality is something else. Many dog owners find the sock after a couple of days under the sofa or some other nooks and corners.
However, if the dog has swallowed the sock, then the first action will be seeing whether it is breathing properly or not. Many times socks cause choking in the throat. It may also create a berthing obstacle. If the dog is breathing normally, then take the dog immediately to a veterinary and follow these medical procedures.
X-ray is the most inexpensive and quick way to know whether the sock is present inside the dog or not. The process only takes a few minutes and it is readily available in most pet hospitals. However, x-ray technology has a few limitations. The images of x-rays are not very clear. If the dog ate the sock in small pieces then the x-ray won’t show it clearly.
Induced vomiting is the first extraction process most doctors try. In this process, a doctor feeds the dog 3% hydrogen peroxide orally. It is a chemical that increases the urge to vomiting in the dog. Most of the time, the shock comes out with this vomit. It is advised to give the dog a small meal before trying this process. However, this process only becomes successful if the sock remains in the stomach. The success rate of this process gets lower if the shock goes into the intestine.
If the X-ray revel that the sock is present in the dog’s intestine in fragmented pieces, then most doctors take this approach. With this process, doctors prescribe laxative medicines to the dog. These medicines increase the pooping frequency and let the sock out of the dog’s body with poop. However, this process only shows positive results if the sock remains in fragmented pieces. It may not show positive results if the sock remains intact in one piece.
Endoscopy is an expensive and complicated medical procedure. In this medical process, the doctor inserts a camera through the dog’s mouth, which goes up to the dog’s stomach. It allows the doctor to see what is inside the dog’s stomach. With the help of this device, the doctor can also pull the sock out of the dog’s stomach. However, it is quite a painful process though.
It is the final process of extracting sock out of the dog’s body. It is only applicable if all processes fail to deliver positive results. If the dog has swallowed the sock whole, then it absorbs moisture and inflates inside the stomach. It gets such a big size that vomiting and laxatives procedures fail to deliver any result. In such cases, surgery remains the only option.
How to prevent dog eating sock
There are multiple ways a dog owner can stop this incident from happening. Instead of a sock, it can be any other harmful object. Here are a few simple preventive steps, which can prevent such incidents in advance. A dog owner can apply these steps in daily life for the dog’s protection.
- Keep bite-size objects out of reach
The first and simple step to prevent dogs from eating unusual objects is to keep all bite-size objects out of their reach. All dogs are curious, and they want to learn about these objects by biting them. For this reason, keep common bite-size household items out of its reach including, shoes, handkerchief, shall garments, small balls, books, etc. Keep these items at least 4- 5 feet above the ground, where it cannot reach.
- Extra careful during the Teething period
Most dogs get the habit of eating unusual objects in their teething period. During this time, they experience enormous sensation in their gum. They eat anything chewy nearby to ease the sensation. The dog owner needed to be extra careful at this time. Throughout this time keep the dog under observation and always check what it is eating.
- Calm environment
Dogs are sensitive animals. Therefore, outside commotion can easily raise their anxiety level. The tendency of chewing and eating unusual objects increases when with the dog’s anxiety level. For this reason, it is advised to all dog owners to keep the dog in a calm environment. It will certainly reduce the dog’s anxiety level and discontinue the chewing habit.
- Chewing treat
Dog loves treats. For a dog, it is like a prize, which they get after doing something good. The owner can take benefit from this occasion and train the dog about good eating habits. There are varieties of chewable treats available in the market for this purpose. It keeps the dog busy for a certain period and gives the dog essential vitamins and minerals.
- Chewing toy
Another chewing option for dogs is chewing toys. Unlike other toys, these toys are dedicated to dogs. They come in different shapes, sizes, and colours. All of these toys are made from durable material. As a result, the dog cannot tear apart or swallow these toys. These toys are especially helpful during the dog’s teething period. It also distracts dogs from other objects.
- Feed the dog on time
Keeping the dog hungry is not a good idea. Therefore, make a schedule for feeding the dog and always stick to it. Feeding the dog on time keeps its belly full and reduces this kind of behaviour. A hungry dog will always choose to eat something unusual. However, a dog with a full belly will never do such things. It can easily distinguish what is edible and what is not.
What not to do when a dog ate a sock
Most new dog owners freak out when they learn that the dog has eaten a sock. It is unrealistic news for them. Many times they overreacted and punish the dog for doing so. However, a dog is an innocent animal, just acting on its urge. Punishing the dog will not solve the problem. Instead of solving the problem, it will exaggerate the situation.
The first thing the dog owner should never do is giving the dog any medicine without consulting with a doctor. Let the doctor evaluate the situation and give proper medicine to the dog. Self-medication is a dangerous act; it can take the life of the dog. Only a licensed veterinary can evaluate the health status of the dog and follow the medical procedure correctly.
With the fear of choking, many dog owners don’t let the dog drink water. It is a big mistake that a dog owner should never do. When the dog is thirsty, let it drink water. Socks do not obstacle water. A belly full of water can also help the dog for vomiting. It will help the dog bring out the sock from his stomach.
There is no doubt that dogs are the best companion of mankind. But they are not same as a human. They often show unusual behaviour that many people do not understand. Many people often misunderstood and mistreat these fine animals. Even though many new dog owners do not understand but dogs eating sock is not something new.
Around 5 % of dogs do this kind of behaviour and most veterinarians are quite familiar with this subject. These pet doctors often face this kind of situation and they can help the dog with proper medical procedures. For this reason, instead of trying something new out of your own, trust the nearest veterinarian on this issue.