No one likes stinky socks… except, perhaps, for your dog. With their amazing noses, dogs seem to find socks and quite a few other things much more interesting than we do, which naturally poses a question. What do you do if your dog ate a sock?
With larger dogs, there is less of a risk, but dogs of any size definitely shouldn’t eat socks and it’s a good idea to call the vet – at the very least. While the fabric might well pass through within 24 to 36 hours, socks present choking hazards going in (or vomited out) and the fabric can actually obstruct the intestines.
In today’s article we’re going to look at what happens when your dog eats a sock, things you can do (or shouldn’t), and more. Let’s talk a bit about socks, your dog, and what you need to know about this pair!
Table of Contents
What happens when a dog eats a sock?
When your dog attempts to gobble-up a sock, the first and one of the worst risks is that it might get caught in their teeth, throat, or BOTH. Depending on the size of the dog, this can be a small-to-medium sized risk or worse, simply a likely outcome.
If the sock makes it down, some dogs may well simply pass it within the next 24 to 36 hours, but a lot can happen before then. For instance, as the sock material is absorbent by design, and with all those stomach fluids it is likely to swell up, making your dog feel bloated and thirsty.
Then let’s say that the sock makes it to your dog’s intestines, slightly digested but likely a bit swollen. Now there is a chance that it can get stuck there and start blocking traffic – definitely not a good scenario for your dog.
It’s easy to see why you should be concerned and get vet involvement quickly when they’ve managed to eat a sock. While eating a stinky sock seems comical and you may have seen your dog snatch and eat worse things, there is a real possibility of danger that you should ignore at your own peril. Call the vet, now.
Should I make my dog throw up if he ate a sock?
While there are ways of making a dog vomit, we can’t recommend them unless it is an absolute emergency.
One popular method that you’ll see listed on the net a lot involves using 3% hydrogen peroxide solution, at a ratio of one milliliter per pound of your dog’s body weight – roughly 1 teaspoon for every 5 pounds. The problem is that the sock is swollen and it could go from your dog’s belly, only to lodge in their throat.
Alternately, with your dog retching from the solution, it could simply get caught in their teeth, and a restricted airway is an emergency with a very short timer. Using this method, even correctly, is risky because of this and what a lot of those sites don’t mention is that your dog might be vomiting and heaving for 45 minutes!
As such, NEVER try to inducing vomiting, unless your vet or a poison control specialist from the ASPCA tells you that it’s vital to do so. It’s too dangerous to induce vomiting this way, so definitely don’t try peroxide to get your dog to vomit a sock that they might otherwise simply poop out later with a little veterinary assistance.
Will the sock pass through to my dog’s poo?
Most likely, yes, though you will need to watch your dog and monitor their potty breaks closely to make sure that it does, over a period of the next 24 hours. While it can stay there for up to 6, by the 24-hour mark it’s a good idea to go ahead and bring them to the vet if you haven’t already.
That said, the chances are much better with a larger dog, but with a medium-sized or especially with a small dog, you should drop everything and get them to the vet immediately. There’s too much potential danger with this scenario and you really want to get this resolved quickly before it takes a turn for the worse.
What are symptoms of fabric obstruction in dogs?
It’s a good idea to note the symptoms of obstruction in your dog’s belly or intestines in order to have a clear idea of what you are looking for. To that effect, here are some symptoms that can tell you that something is very wrong:
- Straining during potty breaks or complete constipation
- Appetite loss
- Repeated burps or heaving
- General lethargy
- Distended abdomen (in case of swollen fabric in the stomach)
If you see one or more of these symptoms, then it’s a good idea to assume the worst and simply get your dog in their crate and then in the car to go to the vet’s office.
Your local vet has all the necessary gadgetry to skip the guessing and to look inside your dog and see exactly what’s happened with the sock. This will help you to take control of the situation before it can get worse and with small and senior dogs, quick action might well save their lives.
As such, don’t hesitate – get your vet on the phone or simply head on over – and get your dog some help.
Some closing comments on socks and your dog
In this article we have gone into detail in regards to what you can do if your dog ate a sock. While it seems a bit ridiculous, dogs are scent driven, and those stinky socks are made of materials that are fun to rip and chew.
Keeping that in mind, it’s best to get in the habit now of putting those dirty socks in the hamper because eventually your dog might sneak off with one and the results aren’t always pretty. Now that you have the necessary data, however, you’ll be prepared if it does.
Just be sure to avoid inducing vomiting in your dog and if you see any symptoms that they are doing poorly or 24 hours has passed with no sign of that sock, then go ahead and bring in the big guns by getting your dog some veterinary assistance.
Where your dog’s health is concerned, it’s always best to skip the speculation and simply get to the vet immediately. The sooner you address it, the better it will be — every single time!