You Never Know What Your Pet Might Eat

by Diane Blankenburg

It all started for me with the Great Sock Caper. One winter evening, as usual, my day’s clothes were in a pile waiting to join my other dirty clothes. The next morning I went to pick them up and one black sock was missing. I really thought nothing of it. Then another one went missing—still not alarming. But then I got major a clue when I found whole socks in various places (in and out of the house) that had been expelled from a dog’s body in multiple ways. I became much more protective of my socks and then one day actually caught Boomer (my four-year-old yellow lab) stealing clean ones off of the top of my washing machine. The mystery was solved but the crime was the just the tip of the iceberg.

Turns out that Boomer loves to eat anything and everything, but especially clothes and sometimes actually swallows them whole (even items much larger than socks). But it doesn’t stop with clothes—it could be grass, plants, wood, leaves, charcoal (including partially charred logs from my fireplace), paper, rubber, plastic, and string (to name a few). My worries are big enough just hoping that things will pass (so to speak), but there is the added scare of what might be inside some of the things he eats—items that might be poisonous.

I am now very guarded about what is within reach of the Boom but no matter how cautious we are, there is always that chance that a beloved pet might get into something that could make them very sick. If they are severely distressed, you definitely want to get them to a veterinarian as soon as possible. But if you are not sure what to do, the ASPCA has a hotline available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.

If you think that your pet may have ingested a potentially poisonous substance, call the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center at 888-426-4435. The call is toll-free, but a $65 consultation fee may be applied to your credit card. With experience in more than two million cases involving pesticides, drugs, plants, metals and other potentially hazardous items, the organization’s specially trained staff of veterinary toxicologists has access to an extensive database, which they can use to quickly diagnose problems and give treatment advice.

Your pet’s ingestion habits may not be as extreme as my Boomer’s, but most pets are curious. So it’s very comforting to know that there is a place to call that will tell you what to do to when that curiosity goes a little too far. (Note: Visit this website for preventative tips–

Events that Help Animals

Duck Race & Festival August 25, 11 am to 5 pm at Wingfield Park. Adopt a rubber duck for $5, help homeless pets at Nevada Humane Society. You may win a Las Vegas Vacation, Sierra Golf Getaway, Dine around Reno-Tahoe Package, and a chance to win a $400,000 cash prize! Visit


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