Why Do Dogs Like Socks

Why Do Dogs Like Socks

Sometimes socks mysteriously disappear, usually whilst you’re doing your laundry, though sometimes the culprit is your own furry friend. Some dogs have a tendency to steal our socks and take them somewhere where they can quietly chew on them, so you may be wondering what compels them to do this and why do dogs like socks so much? Or sometimes, more specifically: why does my dog like my socks so much?

Beagle puppy bite socks on the outdoor lawn.

Why do Dogs Steal Socks?

There are a number of reasons why a dog sees your socks as new chew things so below we have broken down the most common motivations.

Boredom

Some dogs become bored easily and may even develop destructive behavior if they don’t have enough mental stimulation. As a result, they will pick up dirty socks from a laundry pile and proceed to chew them like one of its toys. Other dogs love socks and just find chewing them to be a great way to pass the time.

Relief

Puppies will often target socks as a way of dealing with discomfort throughout the teething process. Sock chewing will provide temporary relief and will feel good to pups, although it’s important for them not to make it a habit so it may be worth getting your puppy some teething accessories.

Separation Anxiety

Like other pets, canines can develop separation anxiety and may turn to sock chewing in your absence. Dogs may specifically target socks the way a toddler will cling to a security blanket. It’s likely that the sock will have your scent on it and, with the help of its soft and squishy texture, will make the dog feel closer to you when you’re not around.

Attention Seeking

Dogs, especially puppies, may see sock stealing as a great way to get your attention. If you’re forever running around trying to take back your socks, your dog might see this as a fun game he plays with his humans. In other words, any attention is good attention to your dog so it’s important to enforce some method of training to get them out of this behavior.

Smelly Socks

Believe it or not, dogs can be attracted to the socks smell in particular. Your furry friend may not bother with clean socks but will love the odor of a used, pre-washed gym sock especially if it’s their human’s sock.

What To Do If Your Dog Ate A Sock

It’s rare that dogs steal socks with the intention of eating them but it is still a possibility. Some dogs may accidentally or intentionally swallow a sock when trying to keep their humans from taking them away. Others eat socks because they have caught the scent of food on them and want to know if they taste good too. Whatever the reason, you must speak to your vet immediately.

Big dogs can often pass small socks through their system but you must monitor them closely for signs of illness. Small dogs may struggle more severely due to their compact anatomy and may need an x-ray to assess the situation. Although, regardless of the size of your dog, and the sock in question, you should always ask a vet for advice.

What To Do If Your Dog Swallows A Sock:

  • Stay calm
  • Try to identify what was swallowed including how much was ingested and what material the sock is made out of.
  • Talk to your vet straight away with all of this information at hand.

The Risks Of Eating Socks

Not only can sock swallowing be a choking hazard but socks can also cause an intestinal blockage. If left, this can cause damage to the dog’s bowel and can prevent food and liquids from being processed properly. These blockages are resolved by surgery however, depending on how much material was swallowed, a vet may be able to help induce vomiting before relying on extensive procedures.

If your dog has a tendency of sock stealing and chewing, and you suspect they could have potentially swallowed some of the material, there are symptoms of blockage that can occur. These signs include:

  • Loss of appetite
  • Vomiting
  • Stomach pain
  • Lethargy
  • Changes to bowel movements

Depending on how obstructed the intestine is, your dog may experience diarrhea as a result.

How To Stop Your Dog From Stealing Socks

Fortunately, there are many ways and methods to use to prevent your dog from stealing socks, shoes, clothes, or other non-food items.

More Stimulation

To some naughty dogs, finding the perfect sock is like finding the perfect fine art to humans. The difference is we don’t gnaw on our decor in our off-hours. Most often, when you find your dog chewing socks, it’s because they are bored so it’s important to find other things to do to occupy their minds.

Physical Exercise

Make sure you give your dog plenty of exercise throughout the day. Take them on a long walk or trip to the park to get them to burn off energy. Sometimes a good play in the yard with the kids can help your dog to burn a little energy.

New Toys

Plenty of accessories and playthings will mean that your pup will be too busy to chew on anything else.

Teething Solutions

A teething puppy will target socks, shoes, and various other items around the house as a way to relieve discomfort. Fortunately, pet parents can get their hands on accessories specifically designed to help your pup teethe safely, keep their teeth clean, and mouth healthy.

If you need some assistance finding effective teething toys, take a look at our helpful guide found here.

Keep Socks Out Of Reach

Keeping socks out of your dog’s line of sight will make sure that they remain off-limits. Keep them off the floor and from any surface your dog can access. It’s also beneficial to encourage kids and other household members to put socks away too.

Training

Obedience training is important for dogs to ensure that they don’t develop bad habits or troublesome behavior. If you notice that your furry best friend takes a liking to chew on things that aren’t made for his own stimulation, make sure he knows his behavior is unacceptable. If you need any guidance on training it may be worth taking a look at our training archive.

Picture of a funny husky puppy playing with a sock at home

To Sum Up: Why does my Dog Steal my Socks?

Sock chewing is more common than you may think and is something that dogs can be taught not to do. Generally, puppies will chew on items to help during the teething phase as it relieves discomfort and feels good on their teeth and gums. Dogs will often chew on socks for fun in an attempt to cure boredom.

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