Pets are a wonderful addition to any family. They offer companionship and unconditional love. But, they're also animals whose natural instincts can sometimes get them into trouble, specifically when they decide to eat something that isn't food.

A prime example of this would be my family's dog, Mya. She's about 13 or 14 years old (she was a stray when we took her in) and was diagnosed with diabetes a few years ago which requires a strict diet and two insulin injections every day. It has also required us to be extra careful about leaving food out on the countertop, or on an end table if we're eating while watching TV. We even have to keep our kitchen trash can in a closet because if we don't, she'll be in it in a heartbeat devouring anything and everything she can get in her mouth.

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But food isn't the only thing she goes after. If her blood sugar gets a little off-kilter, or her stomach is bothering her for whatever reason, she'll try to regulate herself or get herself to throw up by licking and chewing on the carpet upstairs. Once she's frayed a big enough piece, she'll pull on it with her teeth and start eating it. She's done it more times than I can count and usually, she either throws it back up, or it eventually comes out the other end. At some point recently she did it again, only this time it didn't come out either end. Well, not all of it, anyway. I'll spare you all the gross details of how I figured out what was going on, but she did require surgery to get it all out because it had lodged itself in her small intestine.

Ryan O'Bryan
Snoozing away post-surgery wearing the "cone of shame." (Ryan O'Bryan)

Knowing full well that what Mya did wasn't terribly unusual for a dog, I asked on Facebook if anyone else had a pet who ate something strange. And, boy oh boy, some of the answers I got made what Mya did look pretty tame.

25 Unusual Things Owners Say They're Pets Have Eaten

Having a pet, especially a dog, is like having a toddler all the time. If you don't see or hear them for a while, it usually means they're getting into something they're not supposed to be getting into. After my dog had to have surgery to remove a lump of carpet she had eaten, I wanted to know if there were any other strange or unusual things other people's pets have digested. How some of these animals still have working digestive systems is nothing short of a medical miracle. It's a good thing they're cute.

LOOK: Here are the pets banned in each state

Because the regulation of exotic animals is left to states, some organizations, including The Humane Society of the United States, advocate for federal, standardized legislation that would ban owning large cats, bears, primates, and large poisonous snakes as pets.

Read on to see which pets are banned in your home state, as well as across the nation.

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