What to do if your dog eats a sock

My Dog Ate a Sock, What Should I Do?

If your dog has just swallowed a sock, don’t panic! Chances are, he’ll be OK.

I recommend you try to get him to throw up. More on that below.

I’m going to share with you my recent experience with my dog swallowing a sock, and of course if you’re not sure what to do it’s always best to consult with a vet.

My dog ate a sock, will he be OK?

A few weeks ago, my 3-year-old weimaraner Remy swallowed a sock right in front of me.

He has some possessiveness issues and tends to clamp down on items as hard as he can so I can’t get them … And sometimes he swallows those items.

Usually this is not a huge deal, and we manage it. He swallows small wrappers, napkins and small pieces of trash all the time. Not a huge deal.

But a sock?!

I saw he had the sock in his mouth, and I asked him to “drop it.” Looking back, I probably should’ve just ignored him and he would’ve set it down on his own. Or maybe I should’ve given him a hard bop to the nose.

Anyway … he looked at me and then proceeded to swallow the sock in one gulp. Whole.

Shit …

“Ha!” he said, a stupid grin on his face. “Drop what?!”

My initial thoughts were, “God damnit, you stupid dog! What the hell is wrong with you?”

Smart dogs can do dumb things.

I imagined the huge vet bill I might be facing and what it might be like to keep a young weimaraner calm for several weeks to recover from surgery. I was mad at myself for leaving the sock on the ground in the first place and pissed at my dog for ignoring my “drop” command for the millionth time.

Can a dog pass a sock?

After a frantic google search, I saw some people saying that their large dogs were able to pass a sock.

In our case, it was a thin, athletic sock, the kind that stops at the ankle. Almost like a kid’s sock. And our dog is 62 pounds.

“Do I just do nothing and hope for the best?” I wondered. “Will he be able to pass it?”

It was a Sunday evening of course so our vet was closed.

I was NOT going to call the emergency vet. No way. It’s great we have that option, but I have learned the hard way not to go that route unless it’s a true emergency ($$$$$!!).

So instead, my plan was to try to make Remy throw up using hydrogen peroxide and if that didn’t work, just wait it out and hope for the best. (Thank you, Maren, for your helpful advice!)

My dog ate a sock, should I make him throw up?

This is of course a question for your dog’s vet, but with my own dog I decided to make him throw up.

if your dog ate a sock, there are risks to making your dog throw up the sock. If the sock is large or if your dog is small, the sock could get stuck in his throat and become a choking hazard. I wasn’t worried about this with my 62-pound dog and a small sock. And our vet was closed, so I just decided to try it.

My dog ate a sock

Does hydrogen peroxide work to make a dog throw up?

Yep.

Short version: Making my dog throw up the sock using hydrogen peroxide worked, eventually. My dog puked up the sock and he was fine. No trip to the vet. No money spent. Phew.

Long version: read on

Once we decided we were going to try to make Remy throw up using hydrogen peroxide, we kept him on a leash so we’d be able to grab him if he did throw up the sock.

We are blessed with a dog who gets possessive of his own puke (!!) and I knew he’d for sure try to re-grab the freaking sock.

First dose of hydrogen peroxide went down, no puke.

Second dose … he threw up a lot. But no sock.

We gave a third dose and decided this would be the final dose. I’m no vet, and I don’t know how much hydrogen peroxide is safe to give. (Turns out, a third dose is generally not recommended for safety but it didn’t seem to bother Remy.)

So on the third dose … he puked again. Still no sock!

This dog is seriously stubborn.

Some dogs will throw up socks on their own

So, I decided at that point I would just wait it out and hope for the best. I went to bed that night hoping he’d be able to pass the sock or that his body would naturally throw it up just as he throws up pieces of wood, grass and chunks of plastic. (Oh, the joys!)

I’ll give him this, his system is efficient!

So, I got up the next morning and greeted my pup out in the living room where he sleeps. And oh my God, there was the sock! He’d puked it up in the middle of the night!

Only, after seeing me, my idiot dog instantly made a beeline for the sock and quickly RESWALLOWED THE SOCK!

WTF?!

This time, I’m like, “OK, dog. You’re going to throw up this damn sock.”

So we began the hydrogen peroxide treatment again.

First dose:

My suborn dog refused to throw up. He threw up in his mouth and swallowed it.

Second dose: No puke.

Third dose:

I could tell he was feeling woozy. I had him on a leash so I could quickly get him away from his puke.

And then up it came, sock and all!

I had to practically tackle my dog to keep him away from re-eating the sock for a third time!

Wooooo! For the win!

I got the sock.

Phew!

So, long story short, keep your socks picked up and keep hydrogen peroxide on hand. It really does work.

Risks of making your dog throw up

Of course, it’s not always safe to give hydrogen peroxide. If your dog swallowed something sharp it might cause more damage to make him throw up.

Second, like I said, there’s always the risk of choking.

My dog Remy learning not to bite hands

And third, certain liquid chemicals or medications don’t mix well with hydrogen peroxide and doing so can make things worse. Some things are not be safe if it mixes with hydrogen peroxide.

When in doubt, you should always ask a vet.

See our post on How to make your dog throw up using hydrogen peroxide.

Now I’d love to hear from you!

What’s the strangest thing YOUR dog has eaten?

Hopefully everything turned out OK.

Lindsay Stordahl is the founder of That Mutt. She writes about dog training and behavior, healthy raw dog food and running with dogs.

18 thoughts on “My Dog Ate a Sock, What Should I Do?”

  1. Seriously laughing my a.. Off! Just had a similar experience. I and my foster dog visited a friend, he ate a cat toy! Saw him grab it, i ran across the room and gulp! Damn it! He’s a big guy so fingers crossed.

    1. Lindsay Stordahl

      Ugh, cat toys! I know the feeling. My poor cat doesn’t get to play with toys often because Remy will eat them. Hope your foster dog is OK!

  2. BIL had mini schnauzer who ate a knee high stocking. $3500 later she is doing fine. VERY expensive piece of hosiery, LOL.

  3. Omg that had to have been one of the most frustrating days of your life!!! I have no story, yet lol, I will long remember this story about your Remy though lmbo!! Bless you girl, love all your articles and information

  4. I have a long, long list of items our Ridgeback ate as a puppy. Most of which we had no idea was missing, until he puked it up a couple of days later. We got good at recognizing when he was chewing ears/limbs off various plush toys and keeping an eye on his poop to make sure it all came out (in some cases, each missing plush toy limb contained a squeaker -in each foot! and they passed, squeakers intact and in place and everything…) We had to stop buying any toy with arms/legs/heads that were separately sewn to the body. Then we had to stop buying anything that would be “bite sized” for him, altogether, because he would sit there with entire plush toys in his mouth, chewing on them until they were soggy enough, then swallow the whole mouthful.

    We also had to remove all plush toys from his crate, instead of allowing him to have them to sleep with.

    Flat plush toys with no stuffing? Out of the question. Didn’t even notice that one was missing until we were out on a walk one morning and he paused to puke. I started picking apart the foul brown lump thinking he’d eaten his own poop… Nope. Plush brown fabric toy, all rolled up…

    Many months later, thinking he was finally over this penchant for swallowing toys, I hung a few miniature stockings as Christmas decorations.

    One of them promptly went missing.

    By that point, we knew he would puke it up in a day or two, and just waited.

    Even now, he’s really not allowed normal dog toys- he only gets the tough, Outward Hound ones that are all one piece. He seems happy enough with those. I do have to occasionally correct/redirect him when he starts chewing on the ears of the few bigger plush cuddle toys he has.

    At least it all came out, every time. He’s 3 and 1/2 now, and has quite a collection of plush buddies that he rounds up and carries to bed with him each night, then scatters about the house during the day.

  5. Danielle Ward

    This story is my life ! My 60 lb pointer swallows and can’t quite figure out drop it. Peroxide is our friend when I catch him in the act!! Even when I haven’t – he usually throws it up in a day or two , a lovely sound at 4am, cause it’s always then or I’ve stepped in some puke puddles , also not ideal. This last time though – we didn’t know and he ended up with an obstruction -$5000 and 3 weeks of recovery and he hasn’t learned his lesson as he ate something the other day too. I’m now a pro at inducing vomiting…. silly dogs !!

  6. It’s a funny story now, but I’m sure it was stressful while it was happening. Nobody has helped me keep the house picked up more than my dog. She loves grabbing all sorts of things off the floor and counters to eat or just destroy.

  7. Michelle Roedel

    OH NO!! I thought as he grew up it would improve. Now you tell me that my 11 month old Weim., that picks up anything he can find and basically says look and catch me if you can before he shreds it or just plays keep away as he slobbers it up, has next to no chance of improving. They are a smart and rascally breed, guess he is earning the name “Rascal” that we gave him. I recently lost my mom to cancer but while she was holding on she would ask almost daily, “What did our boy do today?” and there was always something crazy to share. Now each time he does something I find myself looking to the heavens and saying did you see that one Mom? Guess he will be my source of connection to her. Thanks for always sharing your stories so I know I am not alone. Just hoping for improvement some day.

  8. Pat Christiansen

    Our Lab/ Collie mix love his blanket. He is almost 10 years old. Lately he has just been tearing and chewing his blanket to shreds. He’s gotten cleaver with hiding small piece in his cheek. We have never made him throw up. He has always passed pieces in stools.

  9. Thank you for this article my 9 month old lab/boxer just did the same thing with my sock. I mixed the hydrogen peroxide with water and she drank it and threw up the sock and all her dinner within 10 minutes. We had her drink some water after a little while and she seems fine.

  10. Such great information. About 20 years ago, we were visiting my mom when one morning, my 6-year-old daughter woke up before us. I found her feeding Mom’s Australian Shepherd the daily heartworm preventative chews (That was before the once a month preventative). She said she was giving him treats for being a good boy. I had no idea how many her dog had eaten. So when we called the vet, he said to give the dog 2 TBSP of peroxide and sure enough, within 10 minutes, Shep had vomited up everything. I was so relieved and we learned to keep those chews out of my kids’ reach while visiting.

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