Pet owners are often perplexed when it comes to dog behaviors and habits. Many dog lovers are left wondering, “Why do dogs like socks?”
There are several reasons for a dog’s sock obsession. In order to understand why dogs are attracted to socks, it’s important to understand the role that scent plays. Dogs have an extremely powerful sense of smell. Depending on the breed, a dog’s sense of smell is 1,000 to 10,000,000 times more powerful than a human’s sense of smell. This makes smell an extremely dominant sense, much like vision is a dominant sense for humans.
Socks are filled with scents due to sweat, prolonged contact with the owner’s body and they also absorb scents from the environment as you walk around throughout the day. To your dog, your socks are interesting! They carry lots of interesting smells and odors, and this is attractive to the dog.
Why do dogs like to bite, play with and chew on your socks? Well, dogs explore the world with their mouths. They don’t have hands, so they use their mouths instead. In addition, the sense of smell and taste are closely linked, so biting or chewing on a sock provides the dog with a multi-sensory experience.
But why socks? Firstly, they’re small and easy for the dog to carry around and play with. And secondly, the smell is more intense than the scent of other clothing items, so they’re more interesting to the dog.
Dangers of Allowing Your Dog to Access Your Socks
If your dog is sock-obsessed, it’s important to prevent him from accessing them. Not only will you save money on purchasing new socks to replace the ones that have ended up as chew toys, but you may also save your dog’s life.
Unfortunately, many dogs get carried away when they’re biting, chewing and playing with a sock. Some dogs will ingest portions of the sock, resulting in upset stomach, vomiting, diarrhea and even an intestinal obstruction. Your dog may require surgery to remove the sock from his intestinal tract; if the sock remains, it can kill your dog.
Therefore, if you have a dog who loves socks, keep them on your feet! Place dirty socks in a laundry hamper or directly in the washing machine. And store clean socks in a drawer.
If you suspect your dog may have eaten a sock or portions of a sock, bring your dog to your veterinary clinic immediately. Your vet will perform diagnostic tests such as x-rays, an endoscopy or an ultrasound to determine if there is an intestinal blockage. Read our related article with information on how to determine if you should take a dog to the emergency room.
Photo Source: Spencer Ritenour at Sxc.hu