Have you ever said that about your dog? Turns out America's dogs eat all sorts of things they shouldn't. Some of it really adds up.
A new survey by a warranty company finds our pets damage eight billion electronic items every year -- that's about $3 billion worth of computers, cell phones and laptops, to name a few.
The folks who own a 100+ pound Lab mastiff mix named Boudreaux can relate. Boudreaux's "aunt," Lori Arentz, says he has an unfortunate appetite for lots of things he shouldn't.
"He's eaten chairs. He eats plastic. My sister-in-law does not have a hanging plant on the porch anymore because he will not leave the planters alone," Arentz says.
We chatted with Arentz at Care Animal Hospital in Brandon, where Boudreaux looked understandably nervous. The last time he was here, he had emergency surgery after eating a plastic fence.
"They put a fence up to keep him inside the fence, because he'd gotten out. Then they came home and he had demolished the fence. I mean, DEMOLISHED it," she said.
Dr. Rich Kane is the veterinarian who saved Boudreaux's life. He says the plastic fencing didn't show up on a traditional X-ray. It was only after administering a barium swallow that he could see the blockage.
While a fence is one of Dr. Kane's more unusual finds, retrieving foreign objects from furry tummies isn't.
"It would be unusual if we went a week without. It's just that common," Kane said.
It's so common, in fact, a veterinarian trade journal, "The Veterinary Practice News," runs an X-ray contest for vets every year. Last year's grand prize winner pulled a mini-fishing pole out of a lab puppy.
Kane isn't surprised. He confirms that certain breeds seem to have more of an "appetite" for the unusual than others.
"Labradors are kind of big for eating things. Labradors almost have a reputation for eating things. And Boston Terriers also have a reputation for eating things," he says.
Dr. Kane showed us X-ray after X-ray of objects his patients have eaten: a coin, a rock -- even kitty litter.
Hank Mart's little dog Gizmo ate so much kitty litter that it clumped into what looked like a giant sausage in the X-ray of his GI tract.
"He ate the litter and everything. And the litter absorbs the moisture, which blocks the intestines. I told Doc Kane, do whatever you gotta do cause he's part of the family," Mart said.
Gizmo survived a tough surgery and recovery, and ended up with an 8-inch scar to prove it.
"He's a very lucky dog," Mart said, adding that he now has a baby gate to keep him out of the litter box.
Dr. Kane's advice to pet parents? Don't use socks and other "people stuff" to play with your pets. He pulls lots of socks, hosiery and other clothing items from doggy tummies. He says pets should have their own toys.
But he also knows some dogs are incorrigible.
"Some will just make it a life's mission to eat everything they can. Those poor dogs need to be muzzled and you need to treat 'em like a 2-year-old and basically dog proof your house," he says.
FOX 13 / WTVT-TV
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