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Categories: Health , Puppy Training

Q. My pup eats everything... toys, socks, underwear. We try to keep things picked up but he still finds them. What can we do?
I have a 5 month old Goldendoodle that picks up everything he finds. He swallowed a 12" long stuff-less toy about a month ago that had to be removed surgically. He loves socks and underwear, and yesterday he got ahold of one of my daughters headbands, but fortunately he vomited up this morning. We try to keep things picked up but he just seeks them out. What can we do? I don't want another $2800 vet bill.

Thanks,
Tim

A. There can sometimes be a medical reason for this obsessive behavior, called pica.

It's sometimes related to digestive issues or other medical conditions, that cause the dog to crave & eat non food items. A google search on "pica in dogs" will turn up a lot of info. You have to rule out a medical reason for the pup eating these items before you can consider it a behavioral issue.

I'd keep this dog safely in a crate, an exercise pen or on a leash attached to me ALL the time so I could correct any attempt to pick up a non food item. The more you let him have his freedom, the more likely this will continue to be a problem.

Exercise & training are also going to help, if it's not a medical problem.

I'd recommend the videos Your Puppy 8 weeks to 8 Months and Pack Structure for the Family Pet.

I'd definitely keep this pup supervised at all times, and teach the Yuck command (covered on our website). We also have a great question & answer section you can type in your question and find more info.

I hope this helps.
Cindy Rhodes
  
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