My Dog Ate A Sock

my dog ate a sock

Your dog just ate a sock, didn’t they? You are very much not alone. The dog sock eating phenomenon is one that has puppy parents around the world with their heads in their hands.

Dog sock consumption risks choking, impaction and blockages in the intestines. Foreign body ingestion can be resolved by your veterinarian if you act quickly. Some socks are even sometimes passed out in a pile of poop without you ever knowing your dog ate it.

Why dogs eat socks vary, and so does what to do when it happens. Today I’ll share the warning signs to watch out for. We will let you know when to call the veterinarian for assistance, and help you to reduce the chances of it happening again in future.

My Dog At A Sock!

Socks can periodically be found all over your house. Whether they’re hanging up to dry or kicked off after a long day, they can be pretty accessible.

It’s no surprise, then, that a large proportion of people who are concerned about what their dogs have eaten are talking about socks. So, what happens if a dog eats your sock? And why do dogs eat socks in the first place?

Impossible To Digest…

Foreign body ingestion is the term your veterinarian will use when your dog eats your sock, or or a battery, or something else indigestible. This is the blanket term for a dog eating something that isn’t food, but isn’t technically toxic either.

Any unusual, indigestible item that makes it’s way into your dogs digestive system has the risk of becoming stuck. A huge amount of vets’ time is used up dealing with dogs that have done just this.

But at least this means that when you run in shouting ‘my dog ate a sock!’ they know just what to do. And sometimes, the situation resolves itself on its own.

my dog ate a sock

My dog ate a sock – and it came out the other end!

Socks are, for the most part, indigestible. If they make it out the other side they’ll do so largely unharmed, and unabsorbed. But this doesn’t mean you should leave your dog’s digestive system to it when it happens.

Sock indigestibility is what makes them dangerous. Digestive systems, our own or our dogs, dissolve everything into a malleable paste so it can pass freely through the intestines, and nutrients can be easily absorbed. The intestines are therefore not equipped to manage non-food items that holds its shape such as an item of clothing.

The sock may become lodged in this area. The health implications of this occurrence are disastrous, and we’ll go into this a little later. First, for anyone asking ‘my dog ate a sock what do i do?’ let’s look at what course of action you should take if your dog swallows your sock.

What to do if your dog swallowed a sock

Foreign body ingestion has a few distinct stages involved here. If you find yourself in the ‘my dog swallowed a sock’ situation, and you know about it, this is the time for action. You have a narrow window of time to minimize the risk of surgery.

Take your dog to the vet straight away. Your vet may decide to pump the stomach, or induce vomiting. This is the first line defense in preventing a foreign object from making it into the intestines, making it come back up the way it went in.

Dogs will sometimes do this themselves. Sock vomit is actually the best case scenario! Your dog’s stomach recognized he sock shouldn’t be there and got rid of it.

In a lot of cases, though, we have to take matters into our own hands.

My dog ate a sock – should I make him sick?

You can, if your dog ate a sock, induce vomiting at home — but there are risks. If the sock is particularly large, or the dog particularly small, it may become lodged in the throat on it’s way out. This is of course a choking hazard, a much better situation to be in when you’re in a vet’s office.

If you’re unable to make it to a vet straight away, call them, they will be able to give you advice over the phone. If your vet advises inducing vomiting, they will likely give you instructions. In lieu of that, there are still resources we can draw from.

You can use 3% hydrogen peroxide to induce vomiting. Your dog between 45 and 55 pounds will need 30ml of hydrogen peroxide. The sock is removed because the solution fizzes in the stomach and causes vomiting.

There are risks to this method, so take advice from your vet before using this as a treatment. Anyone looking up how to make a dog throw up a sock should keep in mind this is always better done by a vet.

My dog ate a sock earlier today

So, what if the sock was eaten hours ago? Call the vet right now! Your sock won’t take long to reach your dog’s intestines. Time matters.

This changes our strategy slightly, and brings a whole new level of risk into play. The sock sitting in your dog’s intestines won’t be moved by inducing vomiting.

The sock can pose the most risk to your dog here, as the narrow coiled path it will have to take makes getting stuck much more likely. We can’t assume that it will make it out, as an intestinal blockage can very quickly become life threatening. Foreign body ingestion studies show quite keenly that time is of the essence. There’s a direct correlation between how quickly the dogs received treatment, and how favorable the outcome was.

Vets have a few different options when they know the sock is somewhere in a dogs intestine. They can use a barium slug to make the intestines show clearly on an X-ray. The sock becoming an obstruction ironically can make your dog vomit. Not that it will help at this point.

If your dog has recently swallowed your sock and begins to vomit (without any sign of the sock reappearing) this is now a veterinary emergency. Sock removal surgery will need to be done immediately. This is because the obstructed bowel can go necrotic, effectively die, within a matter of minutes. If this occurs the resultant infections and ailments can kill a dog very quickly.

These complicating factors from a bowel obstruction are what makes this situation so serious. So no matter how harmless it seems, a swallowed sock is a good enough reason to go the vet. If this is a regular occurrence for you you’ll rightly be asking why.

Sock Eating Repeat Offenders

Sometimes, dogs get a bit of a fixation about eating something that definitely isn’t food. Sock eating is normally a one off occurrence. Dogs like eating new things, and this can lead them to gulp down all sorts of strange objects.

Repeated foreign body ingestion of the same type of item is an indication that something else is going on.

Dogs have, after all, spent tens of thousands of years subsisting on our table scraps. For most of history we’ve used dogs as a sort of mobile dustbin, feeding them on the stuff we leave on the plate. This behavior has helped dogs to evolve to tolerate foods their wolf ancestors couldn’t.

Unfortunately it’s probably also developed dogs who are not picky at all, and who will eat pretty much anything (food or otherwise). But sometimes there is something more complex at play.

Possible reasons why dogs eat socks

There are several possible reasons why dogs eat socks. If a dog is consistently seeking out and devouring socks, he could be suffering from a disorder called PICA. Pica is when dogs, for whatever reason, gain an appetite for an item that isn’t food.

The Labrador Handbook by Pippa Mattinson(paid link)

This isn’t restrained to socks, but they’re one of the more likely things a dog will come across in abundance in any given house. There are multiple theories as to why this happens. One is to do with attention.

Dogs get lonely quite easily, and dedicating a small amount of time just to hanging out with them each day can make a world of difference. Another likely theory is that it’s down to anxiety. A 2008 study looked at dogs with and without anxiety related disorders.

PICA was exceptionally common in the anxious dogs, with about half displaying these behaviors. Interestingly there seemed to be a difference in brain chemistry between anxious and non anxious dogs, suggesting a possible deeper root cause of this state of being. Regardless of the root cause, PICA should always be taken seriously and measures must be taken against it.

The Labrador Site Founder

Pippa Mattinson is the best selling author of The Happy Puppy Handbook, the Labrador Handbook, Choosing The Perfect Puppy, and Total Recall.

She is also the founder of the Gundog Trust and the Dogsnet Online Training Program 

Pippa's online training courses were launched in 2019 and you can find the latest course dates on the Dogsnet website


  1. My labradoodle will be 1 yr. nov 9th. I got up this morning and as soon as I went to let her out she vomits up a pair of my socks. This happens frequently with my granddaughters socks and panties. 1st time with mine. Thankfully they have always come out at one end or the other. Sometimes I don’t know where she finds them as we started watching closer as to what is being left behind. I’m getting very concerned as I do not have funds for surgery if needed. Molly is our Heart❤️ Please Help!!

    • Today the dog poo’d out a sock…. Later brought up a sock… Later brought another by midday another . Thats 2 pairs how does he find them. This is the 1st time for 4 socks it’s getting a bit alarming now as we rarely find out he has them.

  2. we have an 8 year old golden , we adopted him 2 years ago, He lived in an abusive home and was usually starved for long periods of time, yes very sad circumstances.
    Because of his past he eats super fast that is his dog food, he has also swallowed many socks and vomits them up a week or more later, we don’t really know his history , He also ate the entire corn on the cob, happens a lot in the summer time , he threw that up 5 weeks later , yes you are reading it correctly ! he still had a normal appetite and did poo every day regardless . He has been LUCKY so far , by the way that was his name given wayyyyy back ! he is about 72 lbs and vomits pica all the time eventually and dry heaves right before
    I would call your vet , every animal is different
    call your vet though , ever dog is different

  3. We have a 5 month old labradoodle and she has a massive thing for socks. She steals them and is as quick as lightening about it. She has literally pinched them off me while I’m putting them on. She even sicked one up and ate it again before we even had a chance to get it! She’s had a few found in her poop, passed naturally, but one got stuck in her lower intestine and she had to be opened up. Luckily they managed to massage it out without cutting into the intestine. Anyhow, as we speak, my partner came home tired from work and was changing out of his work clothes, and like lightening, she’s grabbed is sock, ran under the bed and swallowed it. Its so fast and as if she’s determined no-one’s going to get it off her. So here we are again, playing the waiting game. Will it pass or will she start vomiting and need emergency surgery again. We actually are really diligent about not leaving socks around, but literally grabbing them off you if she sees them. She does also have a thing about licking feet. She’s a very social dog, plays with lots of dogs everyday, has a lot of daily interaction and isn’t left alone a great deal, so I really am at a bit of a loss, but I wonder sometimes if she is lacking something in her diet that’s making her a bit insatiable!!!

    • We just experienced a tragedy -my grandpuppy, a goldendoodle (2 yrs old) like your dog eats socks. He has eaten them and thrown them up, not sure if he ever actually passed any. I found out too late that he had in fact eaten socks again, he threw up 2 socks in the middle of the night Thursday. Friday evening at about 7 pm my husband and I picked him up (and his sister) to come to visit at our house until sometime Sunday. We were not informed about the socks and were only informed that he isn’t behaving quite like himself-he was not playing and jumping around in the yard with his sister. We took him home and hung out on the sofa, he went out and I saw him doing#2-at least I assumed he went as he was humped up- it was dark and my dogs were also out -I didn’t go examine- I didn’t think I had need to worry because I thought he had at least “gone to the bathroom”. We planned to run him up to the vet first thing in the morning just to have him checked out as he was lethargic, he is normally a very active friendly and social fellow. He did refuse a biscuit when all of them came back inside. Later during the night, he threw up a foul liquid twice -about 1:30 and maybe 2:45 ish. He was able to walk around and so we tried to get some rest for the remaining couple of hours of the night until the vet opened and we could take him up. At about 6:45 I woke up to erratic breathing, he was lying on the floor, he would not lift his head and he had blood from his rear. I took him to our local vet right away, but he had passed during the car ride there, a 20 minute drive. We do not know why he ate the socks and other things at times I think, he did seem to be anxious at times. I only wish that someone had told us about throwing up the socks and that I had gone to get him a couple of hours earlier – when the vet was still open on Friday. He could have been taken Friday morning and the outcome would have likely been much different.

    • How did it turn out for your dog? I. So worried because my 2 year old 70lb lab just did the same thing. I thought he was over this stage! He has done it frequently as a pup and always pooped them out! I’m hoping this time will be the same.

  4. I have a Rott Dobbie mix that has recently taken up eating socks as a habit.. keeping them completely out of his reach is near impossible with a 4 year old but we are doing our best. Hoping it helps that he’s a bigger dog? He has separation anxiety and now has a little sister to help keep him company while I’m at work.

      • The short answer:
        If you ‘KNOW’ your dog ate a sock, never wait for it to pass. Always call your veterinarian and let him or her tell you what to do.

        If you ‘THINK’ your dog ate a sock, but you are not sure –
        The emergency animal hospital vet said to either get an X-ray or watch for symptoms.
        (1) Take him to either your vet or animal emergency hospital if…
        (a) he vomits or dry heaves but the sock doesn’t come out, or if
        (b) he stops eating, or if
        (c) he stops drinking, or if
        (e) he has diarrhea, or if
        (f) blood is in his stool, or if
        (g) he eats but does not make a bowel movement within a normal amount of time.

        (2) Emergency, deadly situation:
        (a) If he vomits AND he gets lethargic, you have waited too long.
        (b) If he stops eating or drinking AND he gets lethargic, you have waited too long.
        Surgery might still be able to save his life. Rush immediately to the animal hospital emergency room. Find one that is open all hours and all days, with a surgeon either always on the premises or always on call, who will come in immediately.

  5. 7.5 month old rough collie apparently ate a sock god knows when as hes just spent the last 2 days throwing it up but as dogs eat their vomit he kept eating it b4 i could get to him or realised he had thrown up…… followed him like a hawk and low and behold he threw up half an hr ago i was right behind him so i grabbed him put him inside before he could eat it AGAIN for the umteenth time! He was fine the whole time other than hacking and throwing said sock up would be on his merry way after. Thank god thats over #1stfurbaby

  6. About a month ago one of my socks disappeared and I feared my dog had swallowed it. He hadn’t done that for 2 years or more so I wasn’t sure. I watched and waited and sure enough up came a sock the next day. But not the spotty one I was looking for. It was a small Nike sock. A few days later another sock came up. Yet another Nike sock – not the spotty one. A half hour ago he just vomited up the spotty sock. A month later! He has had them pass through his system and pooed 2 out from memory. We made sure we put all socks away but holiday time and my son visiting…. I’ve just looked on the net to see if that has happened before and came to this site. It defies belief. He hasn’t been unwell at all and has been very active as usual.

  7. My dog is a Bernadoodle…a really great, well behaved animal…but he’s obsessed with socks and eating them when I’m not looking. I caught him with one a few days ago that he had pulled out of my luggage after I got back from a trip. He’s thrown them up before, and I’ve seen some come out in his poop. This morning, I got a call from my yard detailing man…telling me he had found about 30 socks encased in poop in my backyard. He comes once a year to do our required annual fire prevention cleanup. We’ve got about an acre in the forest. I couldn’t believe what he was telling me! Obviously…my dog has sock issues…not to mention a “foot-fetish”!
    I’ve been reading some horror stories about Pita obsessions…and I’m sure he’s got one. I never catch him in the act…he’s sneaky about it, and they seem to run right through him…but the problem needs correcting. It only takes one getting stuck in his intestines to require surgery, or worse, lead to his death. I’m besides myself…and I’m starting to think my guy needs to see an Animal Behaviorist to correct this deadly bad habit. Any ideas where I can search for such a doggy psychologist??

  8. We just discovered that our Lab ate a thin cotton glove, same size as a sock I guess. We had no idea he ate it. he was eating fine pooping fine, just once in a while he would hack and throw up. This had been going on for several days so we were getting ready to take him to the vet when low and behold, he threw it up. So now we are just watching to see if that is all he ate…Last time he ate too much grass and that ended up with surgery :(. So we will watch him closely from now on.

  9. Our five year old Lab, eats socks despite us thinking we are being diligent about making sure they aren’t laying around. He will steal them out of laundry baskets if he can! He is currently in emergency surgery right now because he has one stuck in his small intestines. Last year this happened and they were able to dislodge it with lots of IV fluids. This time, he wasn’t so lucky and surgery was required. It’s so frustrating for us and so painful for him. Now i am buying all new laundry baskets with lids on them.

  10. My oldest loved to chew on socks. Still likes to. When she was a puppy we made our house sock free for 6 months. All socks were never in her sight. Never in the laundry basket. The trainer suggested this. It helped but she still will chew on the if she can. Now it’s a game to see how long before we notice she has one. And she is very obvious about it. Lol

  11. The problem we had is Colin (Our 4 month old Lab) ate socks without us realising, the first time he was really ill, we took him to the vets a couple of times and they couldn’t find anything, with socks being soft etc. we actually thought he had eaten too much sweet potato as he had got hold of a lot and was bringing it up in vomit a few days later still. And then the sock came out in his poop. A couple of days later the second one came out!

    He improve rapidly once they were out, annoyingly a week later he became ill again, and just was we were about to take him to the vet yet another sock appeared! This time in vomit, so we assume only recently eaten. We now keep a VERY close eye on our socks. This was all in Jan this year when he was still 3 months old.

  12. Mabel ate the window cleaner’s latex glove when she was about fourteen months. I had tried to get her to drop it but she ran off with it. I wasn’t sure she had swallowed it until it came out next day still blue and in one piece. I think she swallowed it because she knew I had seen she had it. Usually she would have chewed an object and spat it out. I now try to make sure she doesn’t know that what she has taken is important. I have also improved her training on drop and leave.

  13. When Roux about 6 months she ate a sock while in the care of my brother, he took her straight to the vet who gave her an injection to make her sick, even the produced the sock ! To my knowledge she has not done this since she is now 15 months