Not to worry: We have a few tips on how you can avoid this kind of trip to the vet.
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vet explaining odd things she has had to remove from dogs
Credit: Courtesy of apccvet / TikTok

If you've been needing a reminder to clear your counters of anything—and I mean anything—your inquisitive dog could possibly eat, this is it.

Because our four-legged garbage disposals have zero boundaries. Just ask the folks at Alicia Pet Care Center. Last month, the California veterinary hospital posted a trio of TikToks asking its veterinary staff about 1) the weirdest things they've extracted from dogs' tummies and 2) the oddest things their own pups have eaten.

This list is funny—but also frightening? Like, it's amazing our vets can remove all these things, but some of these objects are borderline horrifying. 

  • Four tennis balls at one time
  • An earplug
  • A finger puppet with "help me" eyes that appeared on the X-ray (spooky!)
  • Plumber's tape
  • Pink, glittery underpants
  • Assorted garbage
  • Peach pits
  • An entire bottle of Gorilla Glue that expanded in the dog's stomach (nooooo)
  • A menstrual cup 
  • An entire boot (this one was actually a cat)
  • Diapers
  • Soap
  • 2.5-inch fish hook(!)
  • Squid and accompanying fish hook
  • Five tampons

That's the start of a pretty nice landfill right there. Our own pet health and behavior editor—Jenna Stregowski, RVT— has a similar list from her career: coins, batteries, nuts and bolts, silverware, and even a bunch of sand.

"[Because] dogs primarily explore the world with their noses and mouths, they sometimes swallow stuff that makes no sense to us humans," Stregowski says.

And these lists aren't just a collection of hungry Labrador retrievers. They're boxers, West Highland terriers (the sand eater), and Maltipoos, too.

So how do you prevent your dog from eating something that endangers both his well-being and your wallet? We have a few steps you can take.

First: Put everything away. Clear the counters; close the laundry room door; secure the lids on the trash cans and clothes hampers. If your dog has pica—the urge to eat unusual things often spawning from physical or behavior problems—you'll want to limit his opportunity.

Second: Give him something else to do. Stregowski says pica is "often caused by boredom, stress, or anxiety," so this is where you'll want to distract him. That means giving him toys to play with or puzzles to solve.  

Third: Wear 'em out! If you're worried about leaving your dog unattended, get in some good exercise before you go. It's much harder to eat household items when you're exhausted and just want to nap. Plus, exercising with your dog can be a way to spend even more quality time together.

Four: Enjoy intact possessions and a healthy dog.

Has your dog eaten something incredibly weird that didn't make this list? Let me know about it at austin.cannon@dotdashmdp.com.