View Full Version : Dog owners... anyone have an "eater"?

Dec. 24, 2009, 05:51 PM
I do unfortunately. He is a six year old golden retriever and has had this habit since he was about six months and had to have a sock surgically removed from his stomach. We have also had to be very careful leaving any type of clothing out, even though he is fine with cloth dog toys (go figure). His recent adventure was to eat part of the leg of sweatpants... Now he is officially banned from the bedroom when no one is home. So who else has a dog with this horrible habit? Has anyone successfully converted their "eater" into a non eater?

Dec. 24, 2009, 05:57 PM
Okay, I really hate to admit this...but yes. I have a dog that is very fond of my underwear. (Is there a blushing smiley? No? Damn.)

I just work very hard to never leave clothes on the floor or where she can get them. So, in a covered hamper, behind the closed closet door or on top of the dresser.

I've been lucky and have never had to retrieve said items surgically. We did have a bit of a scare once, but a few hours on fluids and a day stay at the vet and she was fine. Usually, I only know she's found a pair when I find my underwear in the backyard. It is ... unpleasant. Ick.

I also had a cat that LOVED to eat natural fabrics. She would chew holes in just about anything. But she never ate big chunks, so no issues there. Again, it was just keeping items that she liked out of her reach. I gave her to a friend who needed kitties, and she's still doing it with him.

I don't think there's anything you can really do, besides keeping items you know he likes out of reach.

Dec. 24, 2009, 06:41 PM
Sigh. Yes, I do.

He's a 5ish year old yellow lab from the pound. I've had him for 3 1/2 years now. His first month home he chewed up and ate large portions of a rubber hose. That was surgery #1.

Surgery #2 was the next summer when he found a old rubber kong in the garden and ate it (we used to have an aussie who liked to bury things in the yard- we still come across stuff occasionally!)

In a sense I supposed we're lucky that he only eats things that he views as his toys- tennis balls, kongs, (okay, with the exception of the hose!) etc. We're *really* careful about picking up all his destroyable toys- like tennis balls- and putting them out of reach when we're not playing with him. He has a bone (Nylabone I think?) that has held up pretty well, he usually gets a few months of use before we have to trash it and get a new one.

But no, we haven't figured out how to convince him not to swallow things!

Dec. 24, 2009, 06:53 PM
My dog just ate half of my Christmas cookies when I took a 5 minute break from icing to answer the front door..... grrrrrr....

Drive NJ
Dec. 24, 2009, 06:58 PM
A friend of mine has a dog that likes to eat . . . MONEY Yup Money

Not only that she had to build a shelf for visitors to put their purses on because he would go hunting for money in wallets to consume.

He never needed surgery, but it was embarrassing, expensive and while she said she wouldn't go searching for the small bills, there were times yard searches were needed for the next few days. EWWWWW

Dec. 24, 2009, 07:14 PM
Okay, I really hate to admit this...but yes. I have a dog that is very fond of my underwear. (Is there a blushing smiley? No? Damn.)

I have a dog with this habit as well. But it was only for the Victoria's Secret underwear. Cheapie underwear? No interest.

I just had to either keep underwear where he can't get to it (ie off the floor). That or kennel him when I was gone.

Dec. 24, 2009, 07:22 PM
On several occasions my mother's 12-year-old Golden greeted the UPS man with her underwear in his mouth, and he's a chewer, too. Certain rooms in the house are blocked by child gates because of him, but then again, he has been known to jump the three-foot gate to get into something. (Examples: a small wooden box, a plastic container, and an entire container of Vaseline, plus the jar.) 12 years of consistent punishment for this type of behavior has not worked, partially because he's not stupid and he'll wait until all's quiet before he goes to eat something. It's not boredom--he has two other dogs to play with, a lot of outside time both at liberty and on long walks, and he'll leave his toys to go chew something else. :rolleyes: The result is gated-off rooms, closed doors, and nothing left on the floor. When he was younger he used to try to jump up onto the table to eat something on there. That stopped--far easier to catch him in the act and schedule a meeting with Jesus than with his chewing, which we usually find after the fact.

One of the other dogs is a Golden who came to us as a 3-year-old with the habit of counter-surfing, curtailed by mousetraps on the counter and a few good solid swats on the rump when he was caught in the act. Thankfully the Corgi is too small to really get into anything except for my slippers.

Funny story, though, about the two Goldens from about 10 years ago, when they were both young dogs. Thanksgiving day, my mother took the turkey out of the oven and set it on top of the stove, then left the kitchen to answer the phone. Thirty seconds after the turkey came out of the oven I heard a noise and went to investigate. There stood both dogs, front paws up on the oven, ear-deep in the 250*F Thanksgiving turkey. Their noses were burnt and sore for days but I gather they thought it worth it. We had ham that year.

CDE Driver
Dec. 24, 2009, 07:28 PM
Every Lab I have known has had to have surgery for eating weird stuff, like 5# of gravel, 3 pairs of sunglasses to name a couple. I don't know what that is all about.

Dec. 24, 2009, 08:18 PM
The surgery posts scare me! Our shepherd eats anything she can get a hold of. If it isn't nailed down she will eat it. I am constantly pulling stuff out of her mouth. Bottle caps, PS controllers, shoes, bras, underwear, etc. She ate part of the bathroom wall once. I have to keep a constant eye on her and make sure she has a ton of chew bones/toys to occupy her. She's a canine garbage disposal. Our other shepherd doesn't chew anything she's not suppose to and is a finicky eater. They're such different personalities.

Dec. 24, 2009, 08:22 PM
Our last Lab tried to commite suicide one to many times and finally succeeded. He had eaten over 2 parties in a row complete catered cheese trays leaving not a toothpick off top of a tall island. One year he ate every dish/basket of Easter candy and we found the foil Hershey pastel wrappers after the snow melted littering yard. Contracters luches were a favorite, he would even leap into open truck windows and forage for lunches.
No trash can even bungie corded lides were safe from him.
Miss that dog:cry:

Our current Chesapeake likes Zookes the expensive thin ones I wear in my boots. I have no 2 alike anymore.Our driveway has dog pooh w/ 1/2 eaten zookes everywhere. Also in my ring its not uncommon to be showing a client a horse and stumble over a dog pile w/ 1/2 pair of undigested undies in it.
His sister loves to tear and eat bath towels.
Teaches us to do our laundry and put it away promptly.

Dec. 24, 2009, 08:33 PM
Our driveway has dog pooh w/ 1/2 eaten zookes everywhere.

I wear earplugs when I sleep. My dog, of course, loves to eat them. Her poo is filled with orange ear plugs.

I always worry about her choking on something. She seems to have no common sense when it comes to what's edible and what's not.

Dec. 24, 2009, 09:27 PM
Me, I have an eater.

This dog has consumed quite a few socks, several stuffed animals, and just yesterday, I had 4 sticks of butter softening on the BACK of the counter...I went into the other room for a second, heard a clatter, ran in, and he had consumed an entire stick of butter, wax paper and all. Socks? Heck yea.

He can't be crated, because he claws himself bloody. I'm about ready to get him on some anti-anxiety meds because he has massive separation anxiety issues and has chewed through a door, ripped up flooring, and has destroyed several pieces of furniture.

No honestly, I love him. Seriously.

I have two other dogs, and they aren't like him. He's completely impervious to discipline. I'd say he "isn't smart" but he's got me trained to let him out whenever he rings the bell on the front door - whether he needs to go out or not.

He's not, by far, the weirdest eater I've ever had. I had a dog that once ate a cassette tape (well, parts of a cassette tape...we had to pull it out of her throat *gag*), and shredded and consumed an entire can of beer. The only thing that was left was the top and bottom, and then two tiny little razor sharp shreds.

She lived until she was 16, so it couldn't have hurt her that much.

Dec. 24, 2009, 10:26 PM
I'm glad to know I'm not alone!! My yellow Lab's favorite items to eat are 1) anything plastic and 2) anything that is or looks like a rock. :no: I fully expect that one day we'll have to put him through emergency surgery to remove something that he shouldn't have eaten but so far I've been shocked (and horrified) at some of the things he has passed. It's like a treasure find when we go out and pick up the poop out of the backyard.

We have a Boston Terrier who used to be a panty bandit in his younger days. He would often carry a pair of dirty underwear into the living room and happily chew it in front of my mom's awaiting piano students.:lol:

Dec. 24, 2009, 10:33 PM
My dog used to eat carpet and walls. Three sheets of drywall and a whole room full of new carpet later... we invested in a ton of dog toys and a crate. She no longer chews these strange things up. Basically had to start running her for 5 miles a day, and making sure she was constantly stimulated by training, running, toys, and rest.

Dec. 24, 2009, 10:33 PM
Oh the fun we have at the vet clinic where I work.... you wouldn't believe the stuff that dogs eat. Rocks, sponges, feminine products, diapers, socks, underwear, kid's toys, glasses.... We took some neon thongs w/ a zipper (wtf, that could not have been comfortable) out of a 5 month old mutt.... that was fun showing the owner....

Unfortunately most dogs that do this are habitual about it, we have MANY repeat offenders. A lab recently came in for his 3rd obstruction and the vet actually had to resection his bowel completely because a portion had died off. Yikes!

Dec. 24, 2009, 11:02 PM
I had an eater...lost her due to surgical complications.

She had about 4-5 foreign body surgeries throughout her 6+ year life span. She's eaten rocks, ceramic coffee mugs, rubber bands, socks, $400 cash, striaght pins, xmas ornements, etc.

The only thing that worked was that she was caged when we weren't home and wore a muzzle when she wasn't on a tight leash (inside AND outside the house). It wasn't really a life for her, but we had to do what we had to do to keep her alive. She always managed to steel stuff once and a while and once she got her mouth on the item, she just swolled it no matter how large/uncomfortable it was to go down the hatch. :sigh:

She cost me $20,000 just in the last year of her life alone. I miss her terribly though. :cry:

Dec. 24, 2009, 11:05 PM
My dog used to eat carpet and walls. Three sheets of drywall and a whole room full of new carpet later... we invested in a ton of dog toys and a crate. She no longer chews these strange things up. Basically had to start running her for 5 miles a day, and making sure she was constantly stimulated by training, running, toys, and rest.

Thisthisthis! My dog EXACTLY.

My dog literally ate several layers of drywall (my dad would have to keep putting it up..and then he'd eat it again!) and several other various objects. Just today, he ate a fake flower off a mini-Christmas tree.. gag, it was disgusting! And then he ate half a sign that a snowman was holding. Now all it says it "Le I sno"

Sigh. Although, he has eaten socks, shoes, underwear, bras (Just like every guy, he loves them!)..people.

My dog is a beastie. :yes:

Dec. 24, 2009, 11:18 PM
My dachshund won't generally eat non-food things (unless she thinks it's food, and swallows too quickly to know the difference) but she will eat any food at all that she finds, including stuff that's bad for her... so she's had two bouts of gastroenteritis with hospitalization. She knows the command "leave it" but is selectively deaf, so it's usually a matter of prying something out of her throat before she can swallow it all--and she's so close to the ground she's got better odds than I do of getting to the food first.

Dec. 25, 2009, 12:17 AM
Um, yeah...my boxer (6 yrs whom I have had since she was 8 weeks) has eaten the following:

Countless pairs of shoes
wood trim
my NEW field boots
baby gates
endless squeakers from stuffed animal victims
(1) love seat (including but not limited to cushions, upholstery and trim)
(1) full sized leather sofa
(1) Yorkshire Terrier (ok, she didnt eat him but certainly made a gallant effort)

Dec. 25, 2009, 01:14 AM
I am sorry guys, I know it really isn't funny - especially when they end up in surgical situations - but I am cracking up at some of these lists. (and thanking God my Corgi only likes to shred paper!)

Whitehedge Farm
Dec. 25, 2009, 02:04 AM
My boxer ate ALL our Christmas cookies tonight. Including Santas' special ones :(
Thank goodness I had very nice neighbor that could bring some more over for my daughter to put out for him!

Dec. 25, 2009, 10:45 AM
YES! I am reading this thread with interest because my middle-aged female dog is an eater. Mostly, it is fabric stuff. I learned years ago not to give her stuffed toys, because she swallows them. She also swallows gloves, socks, etc.
So far, we've been really fortunate. She has managed to eat things that I didn't even realize were missing. She's thrown a lot of the stuff back up. She had x-rays, etc., during some of her "incidents," but we haven't had a blockage yet. Her sire did die of a blockage, though, so I am very cautious.
I work hard to pick things up and put them away. Some things, like gloves, I keep in drawers now because it is just too risky that she will slip away with them.
Oh - by the way, I have had vets and trainers tell me that there is really no way to train them out of this behavior. I have tried, but without success. As stated above, my dog's father died of an impaction and the breeder once told me that she never let the sister have a stuffed toy unless she was in a very small space with her. I often wonder if there is some kind of genetic component to it.

Dec. 25, 2009, 10:55 AM
A friend's golden ate a spool of thread. He noticed the dog having trouble evacuating and went to investigate. Helped poor doggie pass large spool of thread with a NEEDLE still in the thread!!

Dec. 25, 2009, 02:09 PM
While your dog is healthy and hasn't had surgery yet, buy insurance. You will probably need it someday no matter how careful you are. Ask me how I know :)
It is called pica and can be due to nutritional deficit, gastrointestinal disorders, or most likely, behavioral issues. You can't punish it because it reinforces the bad behavior which is meant to gain your attention. Feed several small meals if you can and exercise well. Crate when you aren't watching him or make your yard very safe and put him out there. For the dog who chews himself bloody, try a muzzle or Elizabethan collar in the crate, and no bedding, no plastic floor. Ask me about plastic crate floors :) I would consider medication for extreme behavior like self mulilation or frenzied chewing due to separation anxiety. Good luck. My dog ate my Xmas budget this year.

Dec. 25, 2009, 02:14 PM
I probably shouldn't admit this for fear of a pile-on.

But t'other night I found a taper candle that was eaten, all except the top inch or so, and the wick. Which was how I knew it was eaten and was a taper candle.

I've no idea WHEN said candle was eaten--it was on the chair in a bag for more than a week... So I didn't call the vet or poison control or anything. It's wax afterall... the string would be the issue, I would think.

Besides, I've no idea who or when. :uhoh:

I know that makes me a horrible pet owner.

But, it should all work out, since for Christmas Eve SOMEONE (again, unknown who the primary culprit is, though I'm sure ALL SHARED) got an entire POUND OF BUTTER off the back of the counter where it was left out to soften... and ate all four sticks, paper and all. :sigh:

They've never bothered that particular place for 8 years.

Merry Christmas. Oh-- the people who were supposed to get Peach Crisp t'mow? It might not be so crispy... :uhoh:

Dec. 25, 2009, 02:59 PM
Gatsby will eat anything. He is a sneaky, sneaky little thief. Earrings? SD memory cards out of purses? Socks? Underwear? ANYTHING out of the trash? Yes, he is better than the kids in Slumdog Millionaire at stealing things.
The worst? My diamond earrings that were my mom's. Twice. :P