Kai turned one today!
He is a standard poodle and like many poodles had a tendency to eat socks. Thankfully, I caught him the first couple of times and he brought them back up without the need for intervention. After that, I’ve been very careful to watch him and keep all socks well away from him.
This habit got him out of helping me with the laundry until he matures some more!
He also loves toys but destroys them in seconds, so other than very large antlers that he gets under supervision, and stuffed kongs (a black one which is the most indestructible that they have) as a special treat he rarely gets toys anymore other than as a reward in training.
However, it was his first birthday so I thought that I’d spoil him. I got him a squid! No stuffing to pull out. Nothing to detach. A squeaker in the head but those haven’t been a problem before. It was made by a company that stated that the toy would stand up to even the strongest of chewers!
Having spent the morning at the ‘spa’ he was looking stunning in his birthday bandana and newly washed and clipped coat!
So under close observation, Kai was given his birthday toy!
As you can see he loved it!
Unfortunately, in the time that it took me to take this picture one of the legs disappeared. He managed to bite it off and swallow it whole!
So poor Kai got ice-cream for his birthday. He thought that it was his lucky day as it is exceptionally rare for my dogs to ever get ‘people food’.
Thankfully, after the sock episodes, I’d spoken with my vet and been instructed on the best way to get Kai to vomit if needed. So his ice-cream was laced with hydrogen peroxide. A small serving of dog food, as much water as I could get him to drink, a run on the treadmill and an hour later – one sick dog, one very happy handler!
The leg came back up in one piece as did the dog tag cover that I hadn’t known that he’d swallowed as well. I usually carry his tags on me but as a friend took him to the ‘spa’ for me, he’d been wearing them himself and must have pulled the cover off and swallowed it earlier.
So after clearing up his vomit, and then my own (I can’t stand the smell of vomit even when I’m not sick) we both rested for a while.
He’s just fine now and happily curled up with me as I write this.
The moral of the story though is that if you have a dog that likes to swallow things, it only takes a split second for them to do so. You must be extremely vigilant!
Also, please keep a dog first aid kit and know how to use it.
As poodles are prone to bloat mine also contains anti-gas medication as well as the standard styptic powder for nails, bandages, tape, antibiotic ointment, and a muzzle. I always have Benadryl on me. I also have Pet-B-Well wound and skin remedy in my kit which is fantastic and my go-to for any skin issues, cuts etc. with my dogs.
If you’re interested in what should be in such a kit, this is a pretty comprehensive list posted by a St Albert clinic.
While I have a muzzle in my kit I also know how to make one out of gauze or Kai’s leash. I believe that all dogs should be muzzle and crate trained for their own safety.
Regardless of how well-trained they are, any dog can be a risk if they’re in pain. Unlike humans who can shout and scream all that a dog can do is snap and bite.
Likewise, a sick dog needs to be kept calm and a crate is perfect for that especially if they are used to being created and it’s their safe place. Any time that you can’t supervise your dog is also a perfect time for them to be crated.
My home is as close to dog proof as it can be. My dogs are very well-trained. However, even Molly who never counter-surfs, never chews anything that she shouldn’t, and never swallows socks whole is crated when I’m not home to supervise her.
Please crate and muzzle train your dogs for their own safety.