Scott Hollifield: Latest dog news is hard to swallow


Many people ask this question, but they don’t ask me -- yet: What happens if my dog eats my underwear?

According to an online site called JustAnswer, the people asking this question most often, in order of the number of queries, live in Texas, California, New York, Pennsylvania, Colorado, Florida, Washington, Minnesota, North Carolina and Arizona.

“Despite dog owners’ best efforts, dogs are notorious for getting into and eating things they shouldn’t,” said Aashali Shukla, JustAnswer’s marketing and communications guru in an email that coincidentally arrived just as I was contemplating what dogs shouldn’t eat. “Chocolate, grapes and avocados are all well-known toxins but what else are dogs getting into? North Carolina ranks in the top ten for dogs eating undergarments.”

JustAnswer bills itself as a site “where doctors, lawyers, vets, mechanics and other verified Experts (are) accessible to anyone, anywhere, at any time, and on any budget.”

That’s convenient for me because I don’t make a lot of money, my stomach hurts, my truck has an odd rattle, several people want to sue me and my dog ate a pair of boxer shorts. Only one of those is an exaggeration.

For now, let’s hear from a veterinarian, courtesy of the JustAnswer’s news release.

“I’ve removed cat litter from a dog’s stomach but it seems like the most common thing is undergarments in my practice,” said Dr. Dwight Alleyne, DVM.

The most interesting item I recall one of my dogs eating was half a box of crayons, which made for a very colorful couple of days. Others, though, have had more exotic experiences, according to JustAnswer, which said every third question in its pet category was about a dog eating something it should not have.

“Some of the more peculiar items included questions about dogs eating contact lenses, spiders, birth control and diet pills,” reads the news release. “Others included gum, diapers and a guitar pick. There was even an instance of a dog managing to eat a tube of rectal cream…Also, dogs in Texas, California and New York seem to have a palate for the unmentionables – they seem to enjoy eating underwear.”

Currently, I am not a paid spokesperson or expert for JustAnswer, but I someday hope to be to help cover all of my doctor, lawyer, vet and mechanic bills. If I did hold that esteemed position, here is how I would answer what appears to be a typical inquiry:

Question: My dog ate my underwear. What should I do? Help me Mr. Expert/Paid Spokesperson!

Answer: You would be surprised how many times we are asked this question. I know I was when I got an email and press release from JustAnswer and then became its most popular and well paid expert/spokesperson after writing this column. (Fingers crossed.)

First, don’t panic. Second, go ahead and panic if your dog is choking on your bloomers. In that case, it is an actual emergency and you must apply the doggy Heimlich maneuver. How do you do that? That’s another question you must submit separately.

In the future, don’t leave your drawers lying around on the floor. If you don’t live in California, New York or Illinois, the states with “the most my dog ate (marijuana, pot or hash) questions,” according to JustAnswers, you don’t have a good excuse. Also, those states have the most “my dog keeps staring at me and it’s freaking me out” questions.

Sure, I made that last one up, but, come on, don’t leave your underwear out for your dog to eat. Or your special brownies.

Finally, whatever your dog eats, just remember that in most cases, this too shall pass.

Scott Hollifield is editor/GM of The McDowell News in Marion, NC and a humor columnist. Contact him at

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