Paris Goodnight: Dog treats of the most uncommon variety

Published 12:00 am Sunday, April 23, 2023

Try as we might to get our newest dog to quit chewing things up, we seem to have come up short on keeping him out of anything interesting that he can get his snout on.

His latest mischief was getting into something potentially harmful, but what could be the attraction in a sealed packet of hand warmers? While never being completely sure where he got them from, he nevertheless managed to bite open a couple of the packets and swallow whatever he considered a tasty treat inside. Luckily he didn’t seem to like the contents enough to eat all of it, so when the call went out to the emergency vet poison control, which I think my wife has on speed dial now, the verdict was just to watch him and make sure he didn’t start acting like something was wrong, which he never seems to do no matter what he snacks on. I’m just glad they didn’t ask us to make sure his rear end wasn’t too warm to the touch.

We have to try to find something to laugh about after so many times of coming in to find shredded paper or plastic wrap in the floor and knowing exactly who the culprit is.

One of the craziest items I always thought he could find appealing was TV remotes, which we do have on speed reorder since he’s been through at least a couple of those that were left down too low. What could possibly be tasty to a dog in such a gadget?

There was also a packet of fish hooks, but that was so long ago that I blamed Jojo when it was actually Kygo, our daughter’s dog, who got into such a thing and had to have his belly X-rayed just to make sure none were stuck inside (they weren’t). I guess in my mind it just seems like something Jojo would’ve done since he never seems to learn from any of his pseudo-culinary mistakes.

When my daughter left a full bag of dog food out within reach once when Jojo was younger, he decided to polish off the entire supply. Apparently you could see the evidence of that escapade when you looked at his stomach and that led to a real trip to the vet.

It was about that time that we decided on getting pet insurance, which is not a term I’d imagine ever hearing much less being a paying customer of, but since then it has paid off, if just for the online assistance on occasions when we need to ask something like, “Is it harmful if a dog eats a 90 day supply of doggie vitamins all at once?”

That plastic pill bottle was still unopened when he got his teeth on it one day recently while we were out (the answer was, at his weight none of the vitamin amounts would prove toxic). He again seemed no worse for the wear after finishing off that little treat, plastic cap and all.

And I’m still convinced the pet insurance may have been one of the best investments we’ve ever jumped on, even if I did consider it a little crazy at the time — and only hearing that “we” had actually been paying for it after the fact, of course.

All of these escapades reminded me of Dr. Steinman of the Salisbury Veterinary Clinic showing me years ago what the insides of a dog looked like after swallowing a container of Gorilla Glue, which had something in it that appeared very appealing to canines. It was quite the mass and was shaped exactly like a dog’s stomach as it expanded to fill the area.

I can’t imagine any of the items Jojo has polished off has anything tasty inside. I think it’s more that he’s showing us he’s not happy being left alone with all the potential play items to sniff out, not that he doesn’t have plenty of acceptable chew toys within reach that would suffice for most other pets. One trick my wife has tried is putting decoy items in trash cans to see if she can entice him to try something he might think is misbehaving but isn’t really. It works sometimes.

We’ve all heard things like chocolate are not good to give dogs, but who could imagine you’d have to go through the hoops of looking up things like vitamins, hand warmer ingredients and electronics.

Now when co-workers hear my cell phone ring and then the tone of my reply of “oh my,” they start chuckling and know exactly what the call is likely about. Maybe one day he’ll outgrow such shenanigans, but until then, if anyone comes inside our home and notices all items smaller than say a watermelon are up on top of the refrigerator or some shelf well out of reach, you’ll know why.

Paris Goodnight is editor of the Post.