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Chomp, Chomp, Chomp


Guest iclarkz
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Guest iclarkz

Hi everyone.

We've had our wonderful 4-year-old Evie about a month now, and most things are going just swell. The first few weeks she was kind of timid, but has started coming out of her shell in lots of ways-- mostly good, but unfortunately one bad.

 

It seems she has a penchant for plastic. . .pens in particular. At first we hypothesied that it was because they were the approximate size and shape of a bully stick. But then she managed to eat part of a small, plastic coin. We have tried to be vigilant about keeping things up (not easy. . . we have a 9-year old boy), and then last night I caught her with a refrigerator magnet off of the fridge! I don't even know how she did that!

 

She has toys, a Kong, and we do give her rawhides or bully-type things daily. She has a Nylabone. She seems to do it even on days where she has had a good walk, and she seems to do it when she is feeling frisky, i.e. first thing in the morning and after dinner. She is crated when we are gone at this point, so this all happens when we are home and close by.

 

So, any words of wisdom or advice? She does seem to be always hungry, but we feed her 4 c of California Naturals Lamb and Rice a day, which is more than the bag recommends. Her weight 67/8 which is right above her racing weight of 65. She does chew a little in her crate when we are gone, mainly on the bedding.

 

P.S. she does seem to be consuming parts of the plastic, which obviously is my main concern. I also don't want this behavior to spread.

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Guest IrskasMom

The only Thing I would say...... stress . One Month is really not a " long " time for her to settle . This Plastic Consuming Behavior can be quiet dangerous and costly.

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Guest iclarkz

Perhaps for attention, because tonight she grabbed a piece of paper and barked, downward-dogged, etc. and was trying to play .. . But she doesn't seem to want to play with me. Or, we just haven't figured it out yet.

 

But, the pens have been while we are asleep (early in the am) and the magnet she just totally snuck off the fridge.

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For some dogs, it's plastic. For some dogs, it's paper products. For some, it's chewing the wood furniture. No real purpose except because they can. Maybe they like the mouth feel of a particular type of material. :dunno One of my girls likes paper cocktail napkins and paper towels, but will use the newspaper in a pinch. :lol

 

Obviously, you don't want her eating large amounts of plastic (though you'd be surprised what I've seen make it out the other end with no problems!). If you catch her with something, redirect her to a more appropriate object. If she doesn't want to give it up, get a yummy treat and "trade up" with her, THEN redirect to another thing.

 

For stuff she's picking up randomly, the only solution is dog-proofing and being vigilant about it. Move the fridge magnets up, put the pens in a drawer, and I would suggest not leaving your remote or your cell phones laying about if she's into plastic!

Chris - Mom to: Lilly, Felicity (DeLand), and Andi (Braska Pandora)

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Angels: Libby (Everlast), Dorie (Dog Gone Holly), Dude (TNJ VooDoo), Copper (Kid's Copper), Cash (GSI Payncash), Toni (LPH Cry Baby), Whiskey (KT's Phys Ed), Atom

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For some dogs, it's plastic. For some dogs, it's paper products. For some, it's chewing the wood furniture. No real purpose except because they can. Maybe they like the mouth feel of a particular type of material. :dunno One of my girls likes paper cocktail napkins and paper towels, but will use the newspaper in a pinch. :lol

 

Obviously, you don't want her eating large amounts of plastic (though you'd be surprised what I've seen make it out the other end with no problems!). If you catch her with something, redirect her to a more appropriate object. If she doesn't want to give it up, get a yummy treat and "trade up" with her, THEN redirect to another thing.

 

For stuff she's picking up randomly, the only solution is dog-proofing and being vigilant about it. Move the fridge magnets up, put the pens in a drawer, and I would suggest not leaving your remote or your cell phones laying about if she's into plastic!

 

Consider yourself lucky. One of my guys is VERY oral, and will chew anything and everything he can get his mouth on. Utensils, tupperware, remote controls, undergarments, shoes, cat turds, the mail... you name it, he'll chew on it. We've become more diligent about dog-proofing, but even then he gets resourceful and chews on stuff like the bedpost or couch cushions. I agree with the person above me- redirect to appropriate things to chew on. If she's a guarder, you can practice "trading up" by showing her the item, then slowly swapping it out for the thing you're trying to take away. Eliminate opportunities by keeping items she's known to chew on hidden.

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Raspberry is also 4 and loves to chew plastic! She is crated when we're gone, but we have been slowly leaving her out of the crate (we've had her over a year and a half). She seems to do it more when we are home! Pens she loves! And getting the plastic squeaky out of toys, and all kinds of other things. Even though plastic is her favorite, she does also chew wooden furniture, books, cords and other things. Again, this is almost always when we are home, so I think it is for attention. (She has a gazillion toys!). One thing we have found recently is the stuffie toys that you can fill with an empty plastic bottle. We let her play with it until she gets the bottle out, and even a little bit after, taking it away when she starts puling off large plastic pieces.

She's our little brat but we love her. Good luck!

Jen, Tessa & Raspberry
Forever in my heart, my boys: Quiet Man, Murphy, Ducky & Wylie
www.greyhoundadventures.org

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Guest DeniseL

My boy was trying to eat everything in site, like you describe. Even had a trip to the ER and abdominal xrays on 2 separate occasions until we got hyper vigilant. But, as time went on, he relaxed and got more comfortable, he stopped almost completely. Then we brought home a third hound, which was very stressful for him. (my girl didn't mind at all) and the behavior started up again just like in the beginning. Now, over a month later, he has calmed down.

So I guess whatI'm saying is that maybe it is stress and it will decrease over time as she gets more acclimated. My girl was comfortable in a week, like she lived in a house her whole life. My boy has taken every bit of 9 months to get to the point he is at now... :)

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Guest OPointyDog

Both of ours have this problem. Mika even ripped the head off a stuffy (made out of ballistic nylon and allegedly "indestructible"), ate the giant squeaker, and then 4 hours later started throwing up plastic. He then tried to eat the vomit.... Makes you wonder how they survive in the wild! We now only have stuffies under close supervision.

 

Zoe loves rubber bands. But she'll eat plastic in a pinch. I fished a plastic bread tie out of her throat the other day....

 

Decluttering helped, but supervision and crating are really also key, I think.

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