Save a sock-eating Labradoodle from himself
September 15, 2012 3:09 PM Subscribe
How do you stop a year-and-a-half old Labradoodle from eating every sock in the house? He's just back from the vet yet again, and his determination to find at eat socks at any costs is racking up untenable bills and stress. Any ideas to save him from getting muzzled or crated?
posted by bicyclefish to pets & animals (26 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
A month or so ago, my girlfriend gets a pound dog. Big white Labradoodle, a full-grown puppy. As far as I can tell, he is made out of rubber. He is an extremely sweet dog. Not really a reader of Proust, exactly, but enthusiastic. Mostly he wants to play with toys, sit on you, and put the world in his mouth. Unfortunately, this has turned my girlfriend's life into a running Marmaduke strip, but without the timeless humour.
The biggest single problem is socks. The dog likes socks. He will get a sock into his mouth and scarf it down, sometimes after waiting just long enough to show his terrified minders what he's up to before finishing the job. "Try giving him something better to eat to distract him," said one vet. The next go-around, when my girlfriend showed him a treat, his eyes widened and he inhaled the sock extra-fast to get the it. Since socks can jam up a dog's GI tract, they have to be brought up before it's too late. A 1am trip to the emergency vet followed, as did the customary hundreds of dollars in vet bills. His fourth or fifth trip was today.
You might be thinking, "why not just exercise strict sock discipline?" Alas, this is in a four-person house, old enough that not all the doors latch shut. The dog has dug into bags, burst through closed doors, pawed into storage spaces. My girlfriend trucked off to Ikea and bought a shelving unit to keep all the socks and shoes in buckets, off the floor. The dog had figured out how to get into them within a day.
This dog is already quite beloved, and quite dedicated to his new owner. But he needs to be supervised every moment, and as soon as vigilance slips, he's into something. He's in obedience training now. But his owner's nerves are freyed, and can't keep paying hundreds a week in dog-vomiting bills. She's worried about her dog and doesn't want to resort to anything as miserable as a muzzle in the house. But what can we do? Do you have any suggestions?