Okaw Veterinary Clinic LLC

140 West Sale Street
Tuscola, IL 61953



  Why Did my Dog Eat That? 


It amazes many people the stories we veterinarians have about the things dogs have eaten. Earrings, keys, parts of toys, knives, you name it. It does not make any logical sense to us humans why dogs would eat such things. It makes a lot of sense to a dog.

First of remember that dog's use their nose and their mouth to find out about the world. In the roof of the mouth is also a part of the smelling sense, so mouthing things is a way of smelling them. Even past puppy hood, dogs will want to mouth, chew then swallow what they have. This is all normal dog behavior. The more the item has a smell, especially of a human, the more the dog wants to check it out. So the things you touch or have your skin oils on them like jeweler, cell phones, TV remotes, clothing, and kitchen utensils are really enticing for a dog.

It is very difficult to train a dog to leave these things alone. It is good to train this, but it is not good to trust that their training will keep them from the temptation of getting after the pot roast wrapper in the garbage. Have a snap shut lid garbage can, or keep the garbage in a cabinet that will latch shut.  Keep your keys, cell phones and other items on a shelf that your dog can not reach. Close the closet door or have a closing hamper for your clothes. 

Pets that have eaten things may not get sick right away. Often the pet may vomit after the object has moved and then plugs up the stomach or intestines. So a pet that has eaten something may still eat their food, play and have bowel movements  but later have problems. X-rays and other tests can detect if a pet has something in their tummy. 

Use a leash to walk your dog, and supervise them in your yard. In the spring there can be old bones, animals that have died and bunny poop that a lot of dogs will eat in finding out what was under the snow. Be aware of what your dog is sniffing at when you walk around town too.

If you have trouble keeping your dog from eating objects, please Dr. Foote. 

 - written by Dr. Sally J. Foote

Okaw Veterinary Clinic
140 W. Sale
Tuscola, IL 61953
(217) 253-3221


Mon & Fri 8 am - 6 pm
Tues & Wed 8 am - 5 pm
Sat 8 am - noon
Closed Thurs & Sun

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