Top 10 Things Dogs Accidentally Eat & What To Do About Them


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Dogs, especially puppies, are known for being mischievous little devils that get into all sorts of trouble. Heavy chewers and dogs with big appetites have a knack for eating all sorts of things that can be toxic to them, whether it’s a food item or not. And when they eat something they can’t digest, that swallowed contraband can become obstructed in the digestive tract, leading to a medical emergency.

And emergencies get expensive very quickly. Suppose your pup has to head to the vet after swallowing a toy or even something like a sock. They might need urgent treatment that includes diagnostic scans, IV fluids, medications, and possibly even surgery, leading to a bill that can land anywhere between $800 to $7,000. As this type of emergency proves, staying on top of your dog’s health comes with a price. Whether it’s from an accident like a swallowed object, an injury, or even an illness, think about how you’d feel if your furry best friend required this kind of expensive care, but the bill was more than you could afford.

With pet insurance from Physicians Mutual Insurance Company, you won’t have to worry over bills, and you won’t have to make difficult choices due to financial restraints. Instead, you can focus on getting your pup back on their paws! Now, here are some of the most common items and foods dogs and puppies consume that could cause potential harm and what to do when it happens.

The Top 10 Things Dogs Accidentally Eat

#1 – Bones

Giving dogs cooked bones is always a bad idea because they can either be broken down into sharp shards that can cut and damage the gastrointestinal tract or swallowed whole. Even raw marrow bones can be swallowed whole by some dogs. Typically, large bones that are swallowed pose the threat of obstruction. If you think your dog has swallowed a large bone that won’t pass, make an appointment to see your veterinarian. If your dog begins vomiting, having diarrhea, or showing signs of gas and discomfort, you’ll want to make sure nothing is stuck inside that needs to be surgically removed.

#2 – Socks

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Dogs love stinky socks, and eating them can certainly be a great way to cause an obstruction. Keeping socks away from dogs and puppies is the best way to prevent ingestion, but if you do think your dog has eaten a sock it’s probably best to make an appointment with your veterinarian. The longer an object stays in the stomach or intestines as an obstruction, the more damaging and deadly it is.

#3 – Balls

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When choosing the right ball for your dog, it’s important to make sure that they’re large enough that your dog can’t swallow them whole. In fact, you want to make sure they can’t even get past the back molars because they’ll pose a choking hazard as well. But if your dog has swallowed an entire ball, it’s best to take them to the veterinarian right away. It’s nearly impossible for a ball to pass through the digestive tract on its own, and obstructions can be very deadly.

#4 – Rocks

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Some dogs like to eat rocks, and they, too, can lead to gastrointestinal obstructions. Whether your dog eats one large rock or a handful of small ones, be sure to contact your veterinarian to have an abdominal X-ray done. From the radiograph, your veterinarian will likely be able to determine if they need to surgically remove the rocks or if they’ll pass on their own.

#5 – Toys

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Choosing the right toys for your dog is very important, especially for heavy chewers. Any kind of toy can be broken down into pieces your dog is able to swallow, and not only can your dog choke on these pieces, but they can also cause gastrointestinal obstruction. If you think your dog has swallowed a piece of toy, or especially a whole toy, be sure to check with your veterinarian to make sure it doesn’t need to be surgically removed.

#6 – Pantyhose

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Pantyhose is something dogs and puppies love to chew on, although we’ll never quite understand why. Unfortunately, pantyhose can be difficult to swallow and rolls up into large balls that can cause obstruction. Same as with every other object, check with your veterinarian if your dog swallows pantyhose.

Because you never know when your dog might snack on a no-no, the most affordable time to pick up a pet insurance plan for your dog is right when you bring them home. Injuries and illness can fall at any age, so be prepared with a Physician Mutual pet insurance plan that provides worry-free coverage for lifesaving treatments. And, if the unthinkable does happen, you can breathe a sigh of relief knowing you won’t have a deductible or co-pay for emergency treatments, nor will you be limited by frustrating networks.

When you’re part of the Physicians Mutual family, you can expect budget-friendly premiums, the ability to choose your deductible, and unwavering customer service. Get your quote now!

#7 – Underwear

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While we don’t like to admit it, most dog owners are aware that dogs and puppies love to chew on our underwear. Not only is this particularly gross, but it’s also dangerous as it can cause obstructions that need to be surgically removed. However embarrassing, if your dog has eaten underwear, it’s important to check with your veterinarian – and be honest about what your dog ate!

#8 – Corn Cobs

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Dogs are food lovers and have a sneaky way of getting into our leftovers. One of the worst things a dog can pull out of the trash or off your plate when you aren’t looking is a corn cob. Corn cobs easily become obstructed and need to be surgically removed, so if you think your dog may have gotten ahold of any, be sure to contact your veterinarian.

#9 – Hair Ties

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Hair ties are a dangerous item to leave around dogs because they can easily damage the digestive tract or even choke your pup. While one hair tie might not be the end of the world, some dogs will eat any amount they can find. This can develop an immediate obstruction or even turn into one over time if your dog has unlimited access. Be sure to check with your veterinarian if you notice your dog eats even one hair tie because chances are they may have more stuck inside them.

#10 – Sticks

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Sticks are a very old-fashioned dog toy, and it’s probably because they’re a little bit dangerous. Sticks can break apart into sharp pieces that can stab and cut your dog’s mouth and digestive tract, but large pieces can cause obstruction, needing to be surgically removed.

As you can see, dogs and puppies can get themselves into quite a bit of trouble when it comes to eating stuff. And treating these tendencies toward destruction can get expensive. But having a pet insurance plan in place before an emergency happens can save you big for unexpected expenses like surgery to remove an obstruction, pricey medications, and even overnight stays.

“No matter how careful or responsible we are, our puppies find and devour socks, our kittens climb and stumble off shelves, and we have a responsibility to mend them back to health,” explains William Hodges, DVM. “We love our pets, and pet insurance is one tool that enables us to care for them without financial burden.”

Bottom line, with pet insurance through Physicians Mutual, your dog gets the care they need, and you won’t have to worry about how to pay for it. Get your quote from Physicians Mutual today!

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