Maggots, Bats, and Turds-Oh My!

We were gone for more than a week on vacation and Oreo did a great job with my parents. My parents know how to manage and work with Oreo when she is stressed. They had 2 incidents of barking/lunging with a dog and a girl when she was too close. Oreo came back happy, but with gooey ears and bumps on her belly. She spent a lot of time outside (which she LOVES) but her body does not like (allergies).

Anyways, on our walk to the park today I was reminded of all the wonderful things she has had in her mouth since she was a puppy. My parents informed me she LOVES to eat the clumped up cut up grass. Boy do I remember things she use to eat when she was a puppy:

mulch, stones, bottles, sticks (still loves to make them into mulch), grass clumps, wires, poop, etc

Just like a baby, puppies put anything they can get a hold on into their mouths. Unfortunately I have had the displeasure of taking some very NASTY things out of her mouth. On our walks she would have something in her mouth before I could even tell what it was, so I would stick my fingers in her mouth (not recommended) to get it out afraid it was something non-edible. On our walk one day she gobbled something in her mouth, I went to get it out and AHHHH I got it out only to find maggots crawling on the item and on my hands. GROSS.

Needless to say I guess I didn’t learn my lesson. In the Poconos she had something in her mouth. I was hesitant this time to stick my fingers in their to get it out, but with some urging that it was just black plastic from my mom I put my hands in their again. After she spit it out, I then realized what I was grabbing at was a DEAD BAT! UGH!!!!

Again, I didn’t learn my lesson and next time wound up with goose turds on my hands. Just goes to show you never know what you’re gonna get when you stick your fingers in your puppies mouth.

On a serious note, we should watch what our puppies eat. I have heard countless stories of dogs eating metal, balloons, plastic, and other items only to end up at the vet to have major surgery to remove it. For puppies, eating anything is normal behavior, so going to a class or teaching your puppy to “leave it” or “drop it” can be very important.

One way to practice “drop it” is to have your dog play with a toy. When the dog drops it-click and treat! Your dog will get the hang of it and you can add the words “drop it” as the dog drops the toy then click and treat. Eventually your dog will associate “drop it” with dropping the toy or item, then receiving a treat for it. You want to try this with lower value items (things your dog doesn’t want as much) to items that are highly valued (their favorite bone, toy, etc).

“Leave it” can be taught many different ways. One way is to put a treat in front of you. As your dog approaches say “leave it.” Keep your hand close by to cover the treat if the dog approaches. Then uncover and say leave it again. When your dog hesitates – CLICK! then pull a treat from your pocket. Continue practicing by adding distance and different toys/things that your dog wants. Always start with low value items to higher value items. If your dog cannot “leave it” do not move on to a higher value item.

Also, make sure your dog has some chew toys-especially when they are a puppy.

These 2 things are very important so your dog doesn’t get maggots, bats, or turds in their mouths that you may have to pull out!



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