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Why Do Dogs Like Socks? — Find Out Why Your Dog Chews Socks

November 11, 2011 By: admin Category: All Sick Dog Blog Posts, Dog Training and Behavior, Why Do Dogs Like Socks?

Find Out Why Dogs Eat Socks!

Find Out Why Dogs Eat Socks!

Wondering “Why do dogs like socks?”

Many dogs like to chew and play with socks; it’s a commonplace habit that drives many pet owners nuts! In fact, some dogs even learn how to get into the laundry hamper. And we’ve even heard a few instances of dogs pulling dirty socks off their owners feet! This has many dog owners wondering why their dog loves socks, especially smelly or dirty socks!

Canine Sock Love and The Dog’s Sense of Smell Compared to Humans

In short, it comes down to the dog’s sense of smell. A dog’s sense of smell, compared to a human’s, is 1,000 times to 10,000,000 times more powerful, depending upon the breed.

So what does this have to do with a dog’s love for dirty socks? Well, socks tend to smell like the person who wears them. That’s why some pets tend to prefer their owner’s socks over those belonging to other family members. The scent tends to be very strong, as your foot sweats during the day, and the sock absorbs scents from the places where you’ve walked. This adds greater appeal, as the sock smells like the dog’s favorite person and it creates an interesting scent map for the dog, relaying information about the places that you’ve visited while wearing the socks.

So for dogs, socks are interesting. They’re associated with strong and interesting smells and they carry the owner’s scent, which many dogs find comforting. Plus, they’re the perfect size for play! They’re just the right size for the dog to fling around, carry and chew.

Why Do Dogs Eat Socks?

Many dogs don’t just chew and play with socks; some like to eat them. This can be extremely dangerous. The dog can experience frequent and repeated vomiting and even intestinal obstructions, which occur when the sock gets stuck in the dog’s intestinal tract. Life-saving surgery may be required to remove the sock!

Dogs eat socks for the same reason they play with them — they smell good to the dog and they’re a convenient size. Some dogs just get a bit carried away, so they eat the sock.

To prevent your dog from eating socks, skip the laundry hamper and place your socks directly inside the washing machine after wear. And don’t leave clean socks laying around after they’ve been washed. Although they’re clean, some scent still remains and this scent will be detectable by dog breeds with a strong sense of smell. Therefore, some dogs may enjoy playing with clean socks too! So immediately fold your socks and place them inside a drawer.

How Can I Tell if My Dog Ate a Sock?

If you suspect your dog may have eaten a sock or another foreign object, look for the following symptoms:

  • Frequent and repeated vomiting (often, the dog cannot even keep down water)
  • Drinking copious amounts of water
  • Lack of bowel movements
  • Diarrhea
  • Distended abdomen
  • Painful abdomen
  • Dog won’t eat or drink
  • Pale gums
  • Depression and lethargy

If you observe these symptoms in your dog, take him to the veterinary clinic immediately for an assessment. The veterinarian will perform an exam and he/she will likely order x-rays, which will reveal whether the dog has eaten a sock or another foreign object.

For more information on how to tell if a dog is sick and to learn about other causes of a dog’s vomiting, visit The Sick Dog Blog Archives!

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Summer Dangers for Pets — Dog Heat Stroke Symptoms and Treatment

July 03, 2010 By: admin Category: All Sick Dog Blog Posts, Dog Dehydration, Dog First Aid and Veterinary Emergencies, Dog Heat Stroke (Hyperthermia), Dog Safety Tips, Dog Symptoms, First Aid for Heat Stroke in Dogs, General Dog Health, Home Remedies for Dog Heat Stroke, Pale Gums in a Dog, Summer and Hot Weather Safety Tips for Pets, Symptoms of Heat Stroke in Dogs

Learn About Dog Heat Stroke Symptoms and Emergency First Aid Treatment for Overheated Dogs. (Bill Davenport Photo)

Learn About Dog Heat Stroke Symptoms and Emergency First Aid Treatment for Overheated Dogs. (Bill Davenport Photo)

Every summer, thousands of dogs and cats are injured or killed due to heat stroke, also known as hyperthermia.

In the hot weather, a dog can develop heat stroke during a walk or jog, while sitting in a hot car, or even while sitting outside in the sun. Some dog breeds are more prone to heat stroke, including Brachycephalic dogs like the Pug, Pekingese and Bulldog. Double-coated dogs — like the Siberian Husky and Pomeranian — are also prone to overheating.

My latest article on Suite101, titled Dog Heat Stroke Symptoms, Treatment — Signs of an Overheated Pet, explains how to recognize a dog’s symptoms of heat stroke and how to administer first aid for a pet who is overheated. Dr. Michael Levine, DVM, shares information on a dog’s heat stroke symptoms, emergency treatment for overheated dogs and he discusses hot weather dangers and situations that lead to heat stroke.

Dog Heat Stroke Symptoms — Red or Pale Gums, Stumbling, Seizure and More

As many pet owners know, a dog’s normal temperature is 100.5 to 102.5 degrees Fahrenheit.

Hyperthermia or “heat stroke” occurs when the animal’s core body temperature rises due to overheating from exercise and/or exposure to hot weather. In dogs, heat stroke (mild to moderate) is diagnosed if the dog’s body temperature reaches 103.0 to 106.0 degrees. In severe heat stroke, dog body temperature will rise to 106.0 degrees Fahrenheit or higher.

In a case of heat stroke, dogs may exhibit symptoms like:

  • Discolored dog gums (brick red gums in a dog with mild or moderate heat stroke; white pale gums in dogs with severe heat stroke)
  • Stumbling, collapse, weakness, a lack of coordination or refusal to walk
  • Tremors or seizure
  • Vomiting and/or diarrhea
  • Inability to drink water due to heavy panting
  • Loss of consciousness or coma

Dog Heat Stroke Treatment and First Aid

Dogs require immediate first aid treatment if hyperthermia (the oppose of “hypothermia” ) is suspected. In this article, you’ll learn how to help a dog with heat stroke with home treatment measures like:

  • Moving the dog out of the sun and heat; ideally, the dog should be taken indoors to an air conditioned location
  • Slowly cooling the dog with water and fans
  • Monitoring the dog’s core temperature

You’ll also find out how to help a dog with heat stroke after cooling has started. You’ll also find out why it’s important to avoid heat stroke treatments like ice water, pools and other methods that rapidly cool a hot dog’s core temperature.

In addition to discussing how to help a dog with heat stroke, Dr. Levine explains how to know when it’s time to transport the dog to an emergency veterinary clinic. Remember, cooling an overheated dog is the first step; once the dog’s body temperature has been lowered out of the danger zone, the pet owner can transport the dog to the veterinary clinic for further treatment.

Hyperthermia After Care — Why it’s Vital to Take an Overheated Dog to the Veterinary Clinic

It’s important to note that once an overheated dog has been cooled, he’s not out of the woods. In dogs, heat stroke triggers a series of changes inside the body — think of it like a domino effect. This downward spiral or “domino effect” will continue, even once the dog’s body temperature has been lowered. In cases of severe heat stroke, dogs require emergency veterinary treatment if they are to survive; dogs who are not treated can and will die from hyperthermia complications.

Dr. Levine also explains many of the health complications associated with heat stroke in dogs, along with why you should always bring a dog to the veterinary clinic after a heat stroke.

Common complications from overheating in dogs include:

  • Dehydration
  • Shock (symptoms include low blood pressure, heart arrhythmia, pale gums)
  • Organ failure, including heart failure and kidney failure
  • Blood clotting problems and bleeding
  • Breathing problems (particularly in dogs with asthma)

Very young animals, sick pets, elderly dogs and dogs with a pre-existing medical condition will likely see additional complications from heat stroke.

To learn more about the symptoms and signs of heat stroke in dogs, along with Dr. Levine’s recommendations on how to treat heat stroke in dogs, read Dog Heat Stroke Symptoms, Treatment — Signs of an Overheated Pet.

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