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Hi, I have a 5 month old boxer/amstaff/chihuahua/spaniel mix and we love her to death but she chews up and INGESTS of her plastic & rubber toys and other plastic items she finds. We have already been to the ER for slicing off half a nylabone and swallowing it whole. She stays in the crate during the day (only 4 hours at MOST) and today when we came home, she somehow managed to eat the handle off the TOP of the crate from the inside. There was only half left with no sign of the other half.

I don't mind that she chews up her toys, that's what they are for, but my concern is that she ingests them and I am terrified that one of these days she is going to get impcted. We try very hard to keep non-edible items out of reach and watch her with her toys but sometimes it happens so quickly that even when we are watching her we cannot get something out of her mouth before she swallows it. If she sees we are coming to get it she will swallow it immediately. We can't even give her bully sticks anymore because she will swallow a piece that's 5 inches long without chewing it.

She walks at least 2.5-3 miles per day and also gets play time in the house. She has a plethora of chew toys including kongs, balls, elk antlers, ropes, etc. her jaws are powerful and her teeth are sharp so even toys that are supposed to be "indestructible" she manages to break off pieces and swallow. She eats a very high quality dog food twice per day and als gets treats throughout the day.

Why is she swallowing non-edible items? What can I do? Any advice welcome.
 

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Some dogs really like eating things. I'd investigate pica, but this is often just a dog thing.

1. Don't leave things where she can get them. Everything gets put away, every time. It's been over a decade since I last had a determined chewer, and my shoes still go in the closet the instant I take them off.

2. Don't leave her where she can get things. If you can't supervise, she goes in the crate, the expen, or a dog-proofed room. Every time.

3. Get her edible toys/chews. Antlers, bully sticks, Himalayan chews, hooves, raw meaty bones. (No rawhide or cooked bones.)
 

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Thank you. She does have antlers, at least one at all times that she can access. My vet told me she can't have bully sticks anymore because as I have mentioned above, she swallows pieces whole that are too large without chewing them.

We always put away shoes and she isn't destroying furniture, the biggest issue is that she ingests her toys. Today it was the handle that is ATTACHED to her crate so I didn't think it would ever be an issue. Especially since it's on the outside top of the crate!
 

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My determined chewer ate the rubber baseboards in the kitchen. He ate the dining room chairs. He chewed the front feet on the couch off, so when my husband sat down, he flew forward, smashed his head into the coffee table and got a concussion.

He needed surgery twice, once for eating an entire teddy bear whole.

I have felt your pain, trust me. I got better at preventing him from doing it and then he eventually aged out of wanting to.
 

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My determined chewer ate the rubber baseboards in the kitchen. He ate the dining room chairs. He chewed the front feet on the couch off, so when my husband sat down, he flew forward, smashed his head into the coffee table and got a concussion.

He needed surgery twice, once for eating an entire teddy bear whole.

I have felt your pain, trust me. I got better at preventing him from doing it and then he eventually aged out of wanting to.

Oh boy. What a handful! Thanks!!
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One of mine was similar and it was all about management. You should teach her a solid "leave it" so you can prevent her from swallowing inappropriate items that slip through the management. Mine would also snatch and quickly swallow if she thought I was going to take an item away. The leave it solved that.

I guess you'll have to buy a wire crate and hope she doesn't decide to eat it.

They generally do grow out of it. The teething stage is probably happening about now for your dog. Once that's over, she may improve a bit.
 

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One of mine was similar and it was all about management. You should teach her a solid "leave it" so you can prevent her from swallowing inappropriate items that slip through the management. Mine would also snatch and quickly swallow if she thought I was going to take an item away. The leave it solved that.

I guess you'll have to buy a wire crate and hope she doesn't decide to eat it.

They generally do grow out of it. The teething stage is probably happening about now for your dog. Once that's over, she may improve a bit.
Thank you... It is a wire crate!!! The handle to carry the crate to move it was plastic. I have no idea how she even got to it
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my dog loves to eat a lot of things. we work on leave it and drop it, with a highly valuable treat. the only thing this has not yet worked for is KLEENEX. my dog loooooves kleenex, both new and used. i have yet to find a treat valuable enough to make him leave kleenex alone.

some treat options that have worked are peanut butter on a spoon, or these isle of dog chicken treats. he goes bonkers for those!

when my dog was a puppy, he swallowed a 3 in nyla bone hide. my husband and i were terrified that he would need surgery, but low and behold, it "came out" just fine on its own. ugh! puppies!!!
 

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My vet told me she can't have bully sticks anymore because as I have mentioned above, she swallows pieces whole that are too large without chewing them.
Supervision will be the key to your success. They make jumbo size Bully Sticks and you just have to remove before it becomes a digestible size.

You can also get jumbo Himalayan Chews which are a hardened cheese product. Pax is a chewer and picked up everything when he was a pup as well. Once the Himalayan Chews become a size that he might ingest, you throw them in the microwave for 30-45 seconds and they become softer to break down when they are chewed. Since they are a food product, they will digest if ingested.

They have been Pax's outlet for chewing. They are not cheap but they are cheaper than the furniture!
 

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Look out for roast beef femur bones, they aren't totally indestructable but the nearest I've ever found.
Don't what it is about kleenex/paper serviettes but all my dogs have gone daft over them.
My worst chewing event was with a floor mop. Had two Cane Corsos, one never chewed but Matt swallowed anything that went in his mouth. One day I couldn't find the vileda type paper string mop head. The handle was there, just no mop. I came to the conclusion I'd thrown it out and so put a new mop head on. Two days later Matt was straining to go to the toilet when very slowly, one slightly chewed, but very intact mop head came out. Sadly Matt's chewing was his downfall, and he died of an obstruction when aged six and a half. Unknown to me he'd got hold of an entire roll of elastic bandage and swallowed it. The vet operated but couldn't save him. He said his digestive tract and stomach were full of loads of bits. He showed me them, there was a big bowl full. Biros,ring pulls,stones,socks, gloves,bits of cable. He'd never shown any signs of being unwell until the last twenty four hours when he started vomiting. He still ate all his food but would be sick a couple of hours later.
 

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A boxer/amstaff/chihuahua/spaniel mix ... I am sorry, I know this is REALLY off topic, but can I please beg a picture of your pup?? I am trying to imagine this mix and getting some pretty interesting ideas!

My shepherd, Shadow, is a habitual rock-eater. If I don't muzzle her out of doors (she doesn't mind er muzzle!) she WILL eat a rock. The vet believes she just has pica, which is frustrating to deal with but not impossible. Your pup may have a similar issue, but hopefully not!
 
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