Why dogs love to eat socks is a question for the ages. I mean, why socks? They are smelly and kinda gross. Is this how they show love? Do they like the taste? Is something about chewing on socks enjoyable instead of their toy?
Ok, so what is the big problem if your dog chews on your socks. Yes it is gross but what else?
- Stomach upset: Dog toys are designed so your dog does not eat them and if they do swallow parts, it should pass through their system without issue. A sock is not a dog toy, despite what your dog tries to tell you. Though there are not likely to be any toxins in your sock if your dog eats the sock it can put him at risk of gastrointestinal issues ranging from a simple tummy upset to a serious blockage that can lead to surgery or death.
- Expensive habit: Socks are not cheap. You do not want to have to create a sock budget just because your dog is putting holes, or completely swallowing, your socks.
There are few reasons why dogs like to chew on socks. For one, it is a pleasurable experience for them. They like the feel of the sock in their mouth. Boredom is a factor. If your dog is bored, they may look around for things to chew on and socks are easy targets. Acting out can be a cause of sock chewing. Dogs that are having anxiety issues or are emotionally upset about something may try to destroy something that is yours and a sock is an easy target. The biggest reason is the smell. It may be gross to you but it is great to them. Your dog loves you and they want to be close to you. Smelling and chewing on something that smells like you is another way they express love and affection.
If you notice your dog chewing on your socks you will likely want to do some behavioral training. Take the sock away from them and tell them no. Give them alternative things to chew on. If training does not work, try keeping your laundry out of reach of your dog, or at least your sock pile. If your dog has been eating socks and you are concerned that they are having a gastrointestinal issue please call your Albuquerque veterinarian immediately.