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When you're feeling hungry, nothing hits the spot quite like a juicy, delicious old sock. Well no, actually that sounds awful, but not if you're a pup with a sock fetish. These canines come in all shapes and sizes but they share one thing; their undying love for munching on dirty socks.If you're the lucky owner of one of these doggos, you've likely lost many a foot glove to your pilfering roommate. Some dogs simply suck on their victims, while others chew holes or scarf the entire sock down. But here's the problem with the latter. Other than the obvious inconvenience that a sock destroyer can cause you, the habit is actually really dangerous!
Many a mutt has been unable to resist the temptation of a helpless sock on the floor. Some will even go searching for their favorite treat, breaking into closets and scouring through clothes hampers. But the reality is, if your pooch swallows even part of a sock, they could be in danger of having an intestinal blockage.When the intestines become blocked or twisted, nothing can get through. This is bad news for the dog, as the backup will start to cause serious pain and even vomiting. If the pup doesn't get to a vet in time, things get much worse. An untreated blockage can actually kill a dog! And even if you do get help in time, you're looking at major emergency surgery and a big, fat vet bill.
So, now that you now just how dangerous sock-eating is, how do you stop it? The first thing that you need to do is prepare for the task at hand. You're going to have to train your dog to give up socks - for good! Try to come to the table with the following:
Baby Gates or a Crate: This way you can create a safe space for your furry friend whenever you can't give them 100% of your attention.
Treats: Sock eating often has to be trained out of your dog. Treats make the training process much easier (and yummier).
A Muzzle: Don't worry! It doesn't have to be scary looking. Lots of muzzles on the market are comfy and help stop your mutt from sneaking socks.
Something that Tastes Bad: You might like the taste of Tabasco, but your dog sure doesn't. Hot sauce or bitter-spray will work for the training ahead.
You might not love the idea of spending all of this money on sock-ingestion prevention, but the total cost of all of the above is way less than an emergency vet bill! Also, it should be noted that Labradors are by far the worst offenders of this problem. They're well known for having the ability to eat almost any item in existence.Below are some of the best methods for stopping a sock-eater in his tracks.
The Bored Barker Method
Go for a walk
Take your dog out for a walk every morning if possible. A pupper that isn't getting enough exercise is likely to become destructive.
Schedule some outdoor play every afternoon. Bring in help from other members of the household if you can.
Try different food
Switch up your dog's dinner. Try something a whole lot more appetizing, like raw or homemade options.
Spoil your pup
Go out and get a few new dog toys to keep your pooch’s interests elsewhere.
Remove all socks
Declare a sock lockdown! Get new hampers for everyone and make sure that they have lids.
The Bargaining Furbaby Method
Grab an especially enticing treat from the store. (Think hot dogs or cheese.)
Keep a close eye on your pooch. Even bait him, but only if he's not prone to gulping socks right down.
Offer something better
As soon as the smelly foot stocking enters his mouth, say “Treat!”, really loud and offer the goods.
Complete the bribe
To accept the tasty trade, your furry friend will have to drop the sock.
Reward the sock release
Praise him as soon as he does this, and take the sock away.
Soon your dog will start to get that if he brings the forbidden item over to you, he'll get a much better reward in return.
The Obsessed Sock Stealer Method
Lace the Socks
Buy some socks and douse them in your bad-taster. Spicy or bitter non-toxic flavors work best.
Allow a sniff
Let your dog take a whiff, or even a lick. Control the interaction so that swallowing is out of the question.
Use a muzzle
If this fails, get the muzzle that was listed earlier. Put it on whenever you can't supervise the dog, or during training sessions when a sock is present.
Call a professional
Eating socks can be lethal, so you need to learn how you should be training the dog from someone who knows what they're doing.
Practice what you learn
Chances are, that trainer is going to teach you how to do a proper “leave it!” command. Do this every day.
Adopt any other techniques that the trainer suggests. Keep your dog crated or in a secure, sock-free room whenever you are not at home.
By Abby Clark
Published: 10/11/2017, edited: 01/08/2021