The Sick Dog Blog

Is My Dog Sick?

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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How to Help a Car Sick Dog – Dog Anxiety and Fear of Car Rides

January 06, 2010 By: admin Category: All Sick Dog Blog Posts, Dog Training and Behavior, Dog Vomiting and Stomach Problems, Treating Dog Anxiety and Fears

Learn how to treat dog anxiety, a dog's fear of car ride and cure dog motion sickness. (Danijel Juricev Photo)

Does your dog vomit in the car? Is your dog anxious or fearful of car rides?

If so, desensitization dog training can help an anxious dog who’s scared of car rides. A car sick dog usually faces two problems: the dog’s motion sickness causes nausea and vomiting in the car, and as a result of this negative experience, the dog gets anxious and fearful about car rides. In turn, the dog’s anxiety and fear makes him more likely to urinate or vomit in the car and the problem becomes self-perpetuating.

Some dogs’ fear of car rides stem not from car sickness, but from arriving at a frightening destination (like the veterinary clinic). So it’s important to avoid a situation where the owner only takes a dog on car rides when it’s time to go to the veterinary clinic or the groomer.

Pet owners can cure a dog’s fear of the car with desensitization training, treating the dog’s motion sickness and by treating a dog’s anxiety.

To learn more about how to help a dog’s car sickness and how to treat dog anxiety over car rides, read my latest article on Suite101 titled How to Help a Car Sick Dog Enjoy Car Rides: Reduce a Dog’s Anxiety While Riding in Cars and Cure Motion Sickness in Dogs.

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