PET ANXIETY: Dogs will eat what? - KMSP-TV

PET ANXIETY: Dogs will eat what?

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Any pet owner knows that if four-legged friends are left alone long enough, something is going to get chewed up -- but problems can arise when they eat it instead of leaving a mess of shreds.

The reasons dogs chew range from anxiety to diet and simple mischievousness, and though some discoveries can be funny, others can be pretty serious when it comes to pet health.

As much as owners try to let their dogs exercise their demons away and walk out their anxieties, there isn't always a way to stop the chew therapy that helps pups cope with separation anxiety; however, some items that make it down the hatch can be hazardous.

At the University of Minnesota Veterinary Medical Center in St. Paul and at the BluePearl Emergency Vet Clinic in Eden Prairie, veterinarians have seen plenty of pooches that scarfed down something bizarre -- including forks, toys and rocks.

In fact, the eye-catching X-ray outlining a steak knife inside a stomach is all too common. Dogs that may have an inedible object in their digestive tract may take days to show symptoms, but over time, they won't be able to keep anything down and may stop eating altogether.

The only option is surgery, which can cost a pretty penny; however, veterinarians say it's usually a preventable problem since chewing relieves anxiety.

Dogs aren't the only pets that struggle with strange tastes under stress either. Cats often swallow string -- even a curly cord from a landline phone or erasers.

Typically, the cause of stress among domestic animals is that they are left home alone too much, which leaves them operating in a deficit of stimulation and socialization.

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