I had no idea National Geographic had an entire television show devoted to the garbage dogs eat. It’s called “My Dog Ate What?” And the answer is, their dog ate enough for an entire series on Tuesday nights.
Part Emergency Vets, part Dateline (complete with dramatic re-enactments), the show follows the misadventures of a family whose dog ate something they shouldn’t have, and the subsequent efforts by the vet to undo the damage.
Here’s the promo to give you a taste (ha ha):
If you don’t have time to watch the show clip, allow me to summarize:
Person leaves a labradoodle puppy at home alone with a huge glass plate of brownies on the counter. Chaos ensues.
I’m not sure what outcome these particular owners expected when they left the house that morning, but I didn’t need the Magic 8 ball to see that one coming.
Raise your hand if you’re shocked that the featured dog is a labradoodle. Uh huh. Nothing shocking there. In fact, I predict “My Lab Mix Ate What?” will be airing this fall. Featured episodes could be:
I’m fortunate in having a puppy who, despite his natural inclination to chew anything he can, doesn’t swallow too much of it. He does have a weakness for crayons and earplugs, which I guess I can chalk up to some sort of weird affinity for wax. He is a funny dog. Koa, who doesn’t chew on anything she isn’t supposed to, is the rare exception to the “Lab As Garbage Disposal” rule.
What’s the weirdest thing your dog has eaten lately?
Pat in east TN says
I am blessed to have a Boxer mix (2 yrs old) who rarely eats anything out of the ordinary, but crayons do tempt him as does the pine mulch I’ve been spreading lately, oooooh, grass … he loves grass. Nothing worse then that, so guess I’m lucky.
I’ve never heard of that show …
I’m sitting here thinking, and I can’t recall anything “oh my god no” that Chewy’s eaten. She’ll eat the cat food if she gets a chance, but that’s about it.
My mom’s mastiff/rotti mix used to love eating underwear, socks, paper, pants, she ate one of my sister’s leather knee-high boots once, zipper and all. That was an… interesting event.
I guess I’ve been lucky, my dogs tend to stay off the counters.
Oh, also, never ever ever leave food out, especially potentially toxic food, on the counter when you leave your puppy alone at home. Puppy proof your house, these people should have known that. We have baby locks and stuff on all of our cupboards and drawers, and everything is shut securely away before we go out, or our friend watches her and our house while we’re away.
Rwan Hardesty says
We have had baby locks on all our counters since we moved in… but that was mostly because of the cats and their need to bang the cabinets open and shut in the middle of the night.
I was doing work experience at the University of Sydney Veterinary Hospital when a woman rushed her brand new 9 week old Staffy X puppy in. her puppy had eaten a 20cm long knitting needle! the pup wasn’t that much bigger than the needle.
out comes the scope and forceps and I got to watch as a very clever vet fished around and managed to extract the knitting needle. pup was fine, no lasting effects. owner got a quick crash course on how to puppy proof her house.
it was amazing, one of those cases where pretty much every member of staff in the hospital came to have a look at the puppy and her knitting needle.
Akira (Siberian Husky) has eaten TWO of her collars. I would come home and the metal clasp and her tags would be on the floor… her collar… totally missing. (again, this happened TWICE) Needless to say, she does not keep a collar on when we are not home anymore. I am not sure if this would have happened if she were not crated, as I think she just got bored and tore it off while in her crate. I may be able to trust her now that she is pushing 2 years old, but I just couldn’t stand to come home to another collar missing and having possible surgery. She actually passed the other two collars… she had a hard time squeezing them out, but they came out! (they were the thin kind, and she was still a puppy, so they weren’t very big thankfully!) Weird enough, they were still fully intact, she didn’t chew them in to little pieces… i still have no idea how she swallowed the things without choking. We are very lucky nothing crazy happened to her. So we just don’t even take the chance and the only time she puts on a collar is when we leave the house.
She likes to eat dog toy ‘fluff’ when she tears a toy apart, but we try to nab it before she can do such things. She loves to just swallow that crap when we are trying to run after her to get it though. Ugh. Thankfully, as she gets older, she isn’t so interested in swallowing stuff she shouldn’t be.
Jamie! i started reading this and though “hey, Jamie has a husky named Akira!” then it dawned on me that it was you! And this just totally solidifies the fact that our dogs would be best friends!! Toby loooves dog toy fluff and most of his toys don’t last more than 10 mins even though i try to buy the “everlast, hardcore, dog can’t tear up” toys :/ Toby had a few feet off a toy that he played with by tossing them around the house for months….then a couple went missing….then he threw up once on my bed and low and behold: one of the feet completely in tact. I took the other ones away at that time.
I’m definitely thinking Toby has lab in him after reading this though. He eats a lot of stuff, tries to eat tennis balls but i’ve luckily caught him first, tears apart stuffed animals and not only eat the fluff but the actual fur that i find later cleaning up the yard. Anything plastic he can get his mouth on. When we go on walks he sometimes keeps his head down to be a lawn mower and get all the grass he can (i do try to stop him!) BOBBY PINS!!! i’m not sure how he gets them, i must leave them around the house somewhere but i find him chewing on the like once a week…..not sure how many he has swallowed! Underwear if he can get it. And a few nights ago he chewed and ate all the buttons off one of my work shirts….awesome.
Yes, Akira and Toby would be best friends for sure! They would probably find a way to eat stuff together, behind our backs, and then laugh about it! 😛
Akira is a sock freak too… but thankfully, she just enjoys tearing them apart, no eating. (tho I am sure she has swallowed a piece here or there) We have to buy new socks at least once every six weeks! Thankfully she just likes to carry underwear around, has no desire to chew or swallow that! God only knows what she has eaten that we don’t know about though! John tells me all of the time “we will never have REALLY nice things as long as we have her.” Sad, but true! But I wouldn’t trade her for the world!
Haha! They totally would!!! I’m sure Toby eats stuff i don’t know about too, cuz a few times he’s puked and i’ve though “hmmmm, i have no idea what that is….” And i know how you feel about never having nice things! For example, we will never have a nice bed spread because Toby has chewed 10 or 15 holes in the one i currently have! awesome Toby! oh, and he has swallowed what he chewed out too, cuz i’ve never found any pieces of it…darn dog! But I agree, wouldn’t trade him for anything!!! 😀
A little irritating that they talk about the labradoodle like it’s a sure thing it’ll get the poodle coat and lab personality. I busted a gut at the idea of “My Lab Mix Ate What?” So true.
Puzzle gobbled some wild mushrooms at the dog park back in December. Nick learned that day a lot about how to make a dog vomit, and how toxic mushrooms can be. Luckily we had the things out in about 20 minutes, and no lasting harm. He desperately wanted to do “8 Puppy Poisons” for our christmas thing, though. I eventually convinced him that taking eight things that could kill a dog and placing them in front of a dog who had just proven that he will eat poisonous things was not a good choice.
Dr. V says
I saw an interesting interview with the guy who created the first labradoodle for an allergic woman who needed a service dog. Of the 4 pups in the litter, the person had an allergic reaction to THREE.
We live on a farm and our lab mix routinely drags home unidentifiable once living things. However, at a recent cookout he was not even a little interested in the fat free hot dogs. Doesn’t say much for them, does it?
I wish we got NatGeo. For some reason our digital cable doesn’t pick it up even though it’s in our channel line-up. They have such neat shows!
Thankfully Cookiegirl is not an eater of things that she shouldn’t really eat. The only major “stinky” disaster was her Easter Egg hunt on Monday when the neighbors stupidly threw a dozen hard boiled eggs in their yard (for disposal, why they didn’t use the Herbie is beyond me).
Blade was my little chowhound. He thought the mulch was an all you can eat buffet. He ate a concrete piece off a garden statue. He chewed the magnet out of a clear shower curtain liner and swallowed it. He found a corn cob once at my parents. Everything else he just chewed on and maybe swallowed little bits: dryer vent hose, drywall, Kleenexes. He would chew on oyster shells but that became a game with him. I left in the garden for when we grilled oysters and I thought I had picked them all up. But over a few years he would lay one on the edge of the patio to see if I noticed. And then of course the requisite rabbits.
Oh wait he also ate two Cadbury eggs and stole a piece of his birthday cake (well the chocolate bourbon cake for the people at his birthday parties) every year. Thankfully he never got sick but he would do anything to distract the humans to get a piece of the cake.
Georgia Jewel says
Shorty chewed up my cell phone. Luckily, it continued to work while I ordered a new one plus I got to upgrade! For once, I wasn’t even mad at him. I’m really careful with my Blackberry, though and I got the insurance.
My dog has a problem with eating clothes. Mostly my socks and underwear, but he’ll shred and eat an occassional shirt or blanket if he’s mad at me. I was explaining this problem to his doc and on cue, Dozer pooped out a sock right there on her floor!
Ruthie (my avatar) is the toxicology queen in my house. She’ll sample pretty much anything that drops on the ground. Her favorite is rabbit poop when we’re at work. When I was in vet school, she ate a mushroom from the backyard and since she’s so small, it didn’t take long for her to get very, very sick. My boyfriend had left her and her sister outside unattended for maybe 10-20 minutes, and in that time she found the offending shroom, ate it, threw up and became very ill. 2 days in the ICU later and she was on the mend, but I had to give her Denamarin for a while for the liver damage. She ate an Ambien off the floor one night too (a 5mg human dose!) which landed her in the ICU a second time, but only to induce vomiting.
Most of my foreign body cases have been pretty mundane, though I did hear a story once about a dog that ate a pair of lacy underwear. When the wife came to pick up the dog, the staff showed her the offending pair, to which she exclaimed “those aren’t mine!!!” A few months later, she changed the owner status on her dog to just her, as the dog had given away her husband as a cheater, and she divorced him.
My Emmett will eat anything that is remotely food-like. Any friends or family kind enough to invite the dogs over always say, “But let me Emmett-proof first.” He’s eaten a cranberry-scented candle, an entire avocado, makeup, potpourri. My sister was dogsitting, and he got into her dog’s food… and ate 3 pounds of it. He ate two loaves of zucchini bread left on another family member’s counter. At the park, we’re constantly pulling junk out of his throat – chicken wings, an (unopened) condom, banana peels. Last week he got through our back fence, got the lid off the compost, and ate about a gallon of that (he got hydrogen-peroxided for that one). And that’s all just off the top of my head… Keeping food-like items from Emmett is my part-time job.
We had a dog that ate a whole plate of fudge once. We were barely out of the room for a minute and when we came back the pan was on the floor and Ruby was looking distinctly ill. She threw it all up in a minute and started wagging her tail in obvious relief, though. Stupid, adorable dog.
I have a cat right now that eats EVERYTHING. She ran in and ate a chunk of miso I dropped on the floor two nights ago before I even had time to react and she has been known to devour clay if I don’t keep an eye on it (that was a SCARY situation) and she got into the trash before I got one with a tighter lid. She’s eaten toilet paper too. Insanity.
I have a little puggle that will eat the most obscure things if we leave him out of his crate. Feather boa, toilet brush (eww), expensive shoes, books, sunglasses, Damp Moisture Rid crystals, Ambien (don’t know how he found it), Colon Cleanse pills, rugs, window sills, baseball hats, tweezers…it goes on.
Clearly he loves to chew but bones only suffice while are around. Luckily he hasn’t hurt himself. Tried to dog proof the house but he finds things I’d never think of or new were out! I imagine it is nervous energy.
I almost WISH we had that problem. Our Lola is not an eater. At all – it takes so much convincing to get her to eat her (specially picked and mixed wet/dry) kibble.
Fortunately my pups only went thru short “eating strange things” stages. Scooby tried to eat VHS tapes and Morgan decided to eat the corners off the wood trim in our house.
Had a dog come into the clinic that at a condom once, I thought the owner was going to die of embarassment.
One of our last dogs was a real garbage hound (yes Lab mix, why do you need to ask?) Current dog isn’t as bad, but she really has a thing for dryer sheets. She doesn’t get into the box on the dryer, but she will root around in the clean clothes basket if they get left in with the clothes.
My beloved Baxter once consumed most of an unopened bottle of Vitamin C (what possessed him?) that was sitting on the counter. Pretty colorful poop/vomit with that one.
I once had a client present a cat for “coughing” to find a needle lodged in the back of the tongue, complete with string and several beads going down the throat.
The topic of “icky things pets eat” is a popular topic for pet lovers on my site – over 230 entries of gross (and sometimes funny) things pets eat. :-p
I have a dog who is just over a year old, she’s a rescue (found in a box on the side of the road) She’s got incredible amounts of anxiety and loves eating random stuff!
Her latest, was she figured out she could reach a new table, and grabbed a drawing eraser off of it. The eraser was about a 1.5 inches x 1 inch. We prayed and hoped it would break down and pass. But she’s only 12lb (ital greyhound/rat terrier/chihuahua/? Mix) and sure enough, Sunday night she was shaking, feverish, and diarrhea. Which meant a trip to UCD Animal Emergency Hospital.
Xander likes to eat Junebugs, grass, clear plastic car floormat that we hung over the door of the doghouse…. The floormat was the scary one.
Dave Z. says
My collie mix Sam (r.i.p.) ate everything! A few highlights are two pounds of M&M’s Peanuts (that the cat gave to her), six condoms (new, foil wrappers and all), anything food left out, etc. The culmination was when she started chewing aluminum soda cans into little metal balls (she didn’t ingest them, thanks) which claimed her the coveted name of GOAT DOG!
My current husky-greyhound mix Niki loves to chew up empty toilet paper rolls, any bug she finds, grass and anything in the infrequently open trash bin. Oddly enough she has never touched any food left out on a counter or table.
My dog THANKFULLY doesn’t eat anything crazy (anymore) when she was a puppy she ate an entire Gatorade bottle, and puked it up and was fine. My dad’s dogs… on the other hand, omfg, his pit bull Ivory ate a scarf, like.. a 4 foot long scarf. We didn’t even know she ate it, then one day she.. pooed an entire scarf. We were like holy crap (literally) I don’t know how she didn’t die.. His other pit bull Al ate a cube of RAT POISON she found behind the washing machine (why was she behind there? I have no idea, she’s a strange dog), that one was scary ’cause we knew she ate it.. We sneak attacked her with a giant spoon of salt, and she puked it up and is still alive and healthy today. My fiancé’s dog is a Border Collie/Lab mix… She will eat anything, it’s scary. She ripped up the kitchen floor and ate pieces of it! She ate something once that caused her to seize, and the vet said she had marijuana poisoning (which she must’ve found outside??).. She loves the cat’s litterbox.. and yuuuck! ..She’ll eat things she finds in the backyard. IT MAKES ME SO NERVOUS, I don’t want her to get sick again.
Shauna (Fido & Wino blog) says
My dogs have wrecked every pair of cool shoes I own. Those knee high, rust coloured boots with the killer wedge heel? Yessir. Not weird, but supremely annoying let me tell you.
Also not weird but amusing- I got this natural ball thing with some writing on it. It said “bounce” or something but each letter was rubber & attached to the ball somehow. Apparently they didn’t attach those letters very well because a few days later I was picking up a flourescent yellow “B” and then “O” and then “U” with the morning waste. Awesome.
Rwan Hardesty says
Somehow, we got really lucky with Learned, being a possible lab(ish) mix. He likes tissues. But, he’s not a counter surfer (probably because of his TPO surgeries in both hips) and he doesn’t try to swallow anything unless it’s thoroughly chewed and something he’s allowed to chew on. He knows the difference between what he can chew (his toys) and what he can’t. We are so thankful for the small things. Enzo… he doesn’t chew anything he’s not supposed to…ever. In fact, it took almost an act of Congress to get him to realize he could chew on rawhides. Now he’s getting used to the toy idea. I guess his previous owners just didn’t supply him with toys, but a year later, he’s almost got the hang of it. He’s the perfect little dog. He doesn’t even beg!
Rwan Hardesty says
Oh wait… I remember that twice, Learned (as a puppy… mind you he’s almost three now) ate our directtv remotes thinking they were bones. Those buggers are NOT cheap!
OMG OMG OMG, I guess I have to watch the show to see if the god was ok ????
I did have a dog once ingest a pair of underwear , it came out the back end. ewwww
My Ridgeback mix, Rosie loved to chew the metal hook/eye closures off pants and buttons off shirts – Actually left the buttons/hook on the bed,…I don’t think she ate them, just enjoyed chewing…or maybe was hinting at some bad fashion choices. Also one time we left a whole cooked pork loin on the counter to cool while we ran to the store for some items – when we returned – missing pork loin. Eventually discovered Rosie in the bedroom standing with the whole loin in her mouth! She didn’t know what to do with it! Needless to say, she was treated with bits of pork loin for quite a while – Loved that girl.
Fanny thinks that styrofoam packing peanuts are dog treats. Luckily, we caught the sneaky pup just in time.
And thanks for the info on the hypoallergenic-ness of Labradoodles. I always wondered if it was the breed in general or if it was a certain combination of the 2 breeds.
Emily in IL says
What HASN’T my greyhound Beans tried to eat! That might be a shorter list.
We first realized we had a ‘problem’ when he chewed the lids off the soy sauce & the maple syrup bottles (kitchen reno – we had boxes of food everywhere – I thought I had secured the boxes enough..). Then he stole a whole loaf of french bread, then 1/2 a bag of easter candy (with foil), then he figured out how to unscrew the PB jar lid (seriously…).
He’s eaten non food items as well: my build a molecule kit for organic chemistry, tried to eat a bag of unused bottle caps, attempted to eat a bag of sewing machine needles, tried to eat my husbands DSM 4… (Mental Illness diagnosis book).
Thank god he’s never had any ISSUES from his adventures.
Oh, ha, I just thought of my best FB story! My roommate’s dog in vet school ate a (used) tampon from her trash can. Brought him into the ER, gave peroxide but he just wouldn’t throw up. She took him home to monitor, let him off the leash, and he promptly ran to her bed, jumped up, and puked his little guts out. Onto her white comforter.
That still makes me giggle.
Let’s see … one Chocolate Lab … baby bunnies; maple tree bark (directly from the tree); skeletal remains found on walks; large bag of chocolate macaroon candy; bran muffins; attempted 2 lb raw roast of beef (retrieved just in time!); a large rag; raided fruit bowl — 1 nectarine, 2 plums, a clementine, tried a grapefruit; bananas peel as well; bird seed; sponge toffee; bran muffins; raw potato, peas, cucumbers & carrots dug & picked directly from the garden; compacted grass cuttings from the lawnmower (a favourite!); several raids on cooling Christmas baking; so much more, so little time!
My dog chewed through a wall early one Easter morning when she was about 6 months old. I let her out of her crate for the first time the night before (she was in the bedroom with me, door closed) thinking that she was old enough to be trusted. Well she gnawed on the 125 year old, never been painted Victorian baseboards then finished up by chewing through the wall right down to the wood lath. I’ve also had to induce vomiting for an entire pound of butter and raw dinner roll dough. I think she’s part Golden, btw.
And I too watched that show. I wanted to yell at all the owners & give them a crash course in crate training. It’s not the dog’s fault, it’s the owner’s fault (and I admit that with my own dog too!). I wish one of the vets had said something about owner responsibility.
My lab mix needs two categories – things he has chewed up but not swallowed (thank goodness) and things he eats (or tries to). In the first category – sandals, bras, a box of tampons, the rug, a laundry hamper, pencils, and any non-food trash. The rug and hamper were from within his locked crate.
Eating-wise, he ate 20 chocolate chip pancakes from off a plate up on a table and a box of chocolate-covered cranberries. He will also try to eat anything that has been alive, and is quite adept at finding things. He has discovered and tried to eat dead fish, turtles, crabs, crayfish, any kind of poop except dog, banana peels, bones, birds, small mammals (mice? voles? shrews? It can be hard to tell.) and deer carcasses. Once he brought me a deer leg on a walk. Most of the time I can get whatever it is away before he manages to swallow it. However, one time when we were playing in the park he found what I think was a long-dead and significantly decomposed frog. I took it away and took him far away across the park to play. About half an hour later when I got distracted for a moment, he lit out across the park, made a beeline for where I had hidden the frog, grabbed it, and ran all the way back to me, stopped just out of grabbing range and swallowed. That brat.