Pets Scavenge and Swallow, Lookout for What They Eat

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Most often, when you take your pooches on walks or leave them to play all by themselves, you will notice they are either scavenging or chewing on a non-food item. While this is natural for dogs to explore and taste on everything they find, they may be at risk sometimes.

Speaking to Dr Nameeta, an Endoscopist and Surgeon, she tells NewsOnPets that she has found a variety of non-food objects in the tummies of pooches which have caused blockages in them. She has removed things like artificial flowers with safety pins, mango kernels and crazy balls via endoscopy. Consumption of these items, at times, lead to severe risks in the pooches and can even lead to death if it has not been treated on time.

Natural Behaviour

Dogs, in their most natural behaviour, love to smell and taste everything that catches their eye. From the smallest of thing like marble to a large object such as an artificial flower or a pacifier, they can chew and swallow anything. At times you may even find them smelling and licking poop or wet garbage, and it’s normal. For dogs, the smell of poop is that of perfume and they do not consider it dirty like us.

NewsOnPets, Petnews, Pets

This habit of exploring and fetching objects on house floors or on roads are most common in puppies. It is a part of their development process. Apart from their growth and development process, puppies are in their training period and they do not know what’s right and the best for them. As pet parents, we need to be careful and observe such behaviour. As stated by Pet Finder on The Nest, “today’s dogs possess eating habits they have inherited from their ancestors, who could not rely on regular meals so they evolved with an ability to eat large quantities of food when it was available. Time is a powerful force, but not strong enough to remove all tendencies”.

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Find the Symptoms

If your pooch has gobbled down which has caused the blockage, they themselves will alert you with the symptoms. As a pet parent, evaluating your pet is the first thing one needs to do. Firstly, the pooch won’t gulp down any morsel or a piece of any food item you feed your pet. Secondly, they will try and get your attention time and again, by either roaming beside you or maybe slyly snatch treats instead of waiting for it. Stomach upsets can cause vomiting and weakness leading to your pet to fall asleep most of the times and not be as active as before. If any such symptoms, negligence and ignorance will lead to worsening the situations and immediate treatment is everything that would save the day.

Endoscopy or Surgery

As suggested by Dr.Nameeta, she says that through endoscopy she has removed many small items in the body. What is endoscopy? ‘It is a method which is used to look inside the body’. Through an endoscope, the vet can examine the interiors of a hollow organ of the body via an endoscope. This is a non-surgical treatment where the endoscopes are directly positioned into the organ. Another method is through surgery, where the vet needs to cut through the outer skin to remove objects from within.

Dr Nameeta states that out of the total surgery cases, most of them were Beagles, Labradors and Golden Retrievers. The less common cases were of Boxers, Shiz Tzu and Bull Dogs. Endoscopically we have removed so many things; coins, dog chew toys, soft toys, cables and wires, plastic. All of them are not lucky that it can be taken out via endoscopy, sometimes they need surgery.  We have taken out 3 crazy balls once, so many surgeries for mango kernels, stones, a bangle once, shoelaces, pieces of clothing, mats, rugs, artificial flowers with safety pins, etc. In fact, I have a bit of a museum in the hospital. Last month we had a case where I had to remove a hanging clip via endoscopy from a lab’s body ”, Dr Nameeta tells NewsOnPets.


Watch out, Train, Reward

With so much said and done, it is ideal that as pet parents, one needs to keep be alert and careful, especially when on dog walks. Mango kernels are found on streets and that is most commonly gulped down by pets. Apart from them, sticks and wires although may seem chewy and playful, one can never know when it has been swallowed by your pooch. Training and getting rid of the naughty behaviour needs to be done on an immediate basis. Here is what can be done;

  • ‘Stop’ your dog when he scavenges and eats things on the ground
  • Use a head halter and leash on your pooch while on a dog walk.
  • Avoid from fetching things on the roadside
  • Train your pooch to focus on you instead of things around the place.
  • If he picks anything up, teach him to leave it where it was
  • Reward your pooch with treats for being obedient and listening to you


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About the Author: Fiona Vaz

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