Why Did My Dog Eat That??

Sometimes we just don’t understand what would entice a dog to eat the strange things they do. The most common items that dogs swallow that can cause a gastrointestinal obstruction are socks(it wasn’t the dryer monster after all?), underwear, pantyhose, rocks, balls, chew toys or children’s toys, corn cobs, bones, hair ties, garbage, and sticks. Gastrointestinal obstruction is defined as the partial or complete blockage of the flow of nutrients (solid or liquid) ingested into the body, and/or secretions from the stomach into and through the intestines. It is a fairly common condition in dogs because they tend to be less discriminating about what they ingest. Sometimes the foreign object can pass on its own, some may need some medical assistance, and others require surgery to remove the object. Here are some of the reasons why your pet may have eaten that strand of Christmas lights over the holidays:

Nutritional Deficiencies and Medical Conditions

Today’s dog foods should provide adequate nutrition for your pets needs, however, some foods may be lower in certain nutrients, resulting in your pets need to attempt to supplement their diet. It’s a good idea to have a vet check your pet for any nutritional deficiencies or medical conditions.

Boredom and Anxiety

Dogs get bored easily, especially if they doesn’t have an outlet for burning energy. Eating whatever he can find is something he does to pass the time. Dogs who are stressed or have separation anxiety will often eat anything in front of them to relieve stress or out of frustration because you aren’t there. Make sure your pet gets plenty of exercise and mental stimulation to decrease boredom. If your pet suffers from anxiety, talk to your vet or a certified animal behaviorist about how to treat him.

Need to Chew

Dogs love to chew, and may be so into whatever strange thing he’s found that he accidentally swallows it. Make sure your dog has appropriate toys that he can’t swallow, and always keep anything you don’t want chewed out of his reach. Puppies that are teething are more prone to chew on things as well, so make sure to keep any items out of his reach when he is not being monitored.


As scavengers, your dogs ancestors ate many random things, just because it was available. Your pet may still have that instinct to eat whatever he can find, regardless of the fact that he is fed high quality food multiple times a day. Instinct can be hard to overcome, but a certified dog trainer can help you learn how to reduce his impulse to scavenge.


Dogs taste and explore the texture of strange objects with their mouths. Sometimes they swallow the object accidentally or because it tasted or smelled good. As much as possible, keep objects he can swallow out of reach and be alert to anything he could swallow while walking or playing in the yard.

Cravings and Taste

Your pet’s craving for a certain taste might be responsible for what he eats, especially in cases of grass, wood, and dirt eating. Pet Library suggests that dogs in the wild ate grass for fiber and that they would have eaten grass or leaves in or around the animal they ate for dinner. Dirt and sand often contain traces of other animals, insects or garbage residue, making the dirt just part of the yummy treat. Keeping your pet away from tasty dirt or wood chips is the only way to stop him from eating it.

Although using the excuse “my dog at my homework” sounds like an easy out, let’s not actually let the dog eat it!