Your dog is an important member of your family, but you likely don’t feel that way every time you find another pair of your underwear chewed to shreds. So why does Fluffy sometimes treat your delicates like a chew toy? Below, I’ll discuss the top reasons why dogs eat underwear and what you can do to stop it from happening in the future.
Your dog likes the smell.
One of the most common reasons why dogs eat your underwear is that they love the way it smells. Dogs are attracted to the smell of sweat, especially if it’s their owner’s sweat. They also tend to like food smells, so if your dog gets a whiff of some bacon or other savory ingredients on your clothes, he may be tempted to try those out as well.
This makes sense when you consider that dogs have an incredible sense of smell—they can detect odors at concentrations 1/100th as strong as humans can! So even if you’ve washed and dried your dirty undies without any food stains on them, there could still be enough scent left for Fido to detect when he’s snuggled up against them in his bed or under the couch cushions.
Your dog is bored.
Your dog is bored. Dogs are smart, and they enjoy chewing things. If your dog has nothing to chew, he or she might be drawn to your underwear. You can prevent this by giving your dog something else to chew on—like a bone or rawhide treat! Dogs need stimulation and exercise just like people do, so make sure you keep them busy with new toys and games.
And if you don’t have time for training classes yet? Don’t worry about it—there are plenty of videos online that will teach you how to train your puppy yourself (just make sure the video doesn’t involve biting). Once your dog learns a few basic commands, he’ll probably leave those underpants alone forever!
Your dog might be stressed.
A dog that eats underwear may do so because she’s stressed. Stress in a dog can stem from many sources, such as moving to a new home, a change in routine or schedule, travel, the addition of a new pet (or baby) and more. If you think your pup is stressed out, consult with your vet to see if he can recommend any supplements or other ways to help her cope with her anxiety.
Your dog suffers from separation anxiety.
If your dog is suffering from separation anxiety, he or she may eat your underwear in order to soothe him or herself. The important thing to remember here is that dogs with separation anxiety often show other symptoms. If you have a dog who has been anxious for some time, then it’s likely that he or she is also experiencing other behavioral issues like barking, chewing on furniture and even urinating and defecating in inappropriate places.
The behavior of eating your underwear could be attributed to the fact that this may have started when your dog was a puppy and/or he or she had some kind of trauma in their past.
Your dog is filling a nutritional need. Teething puppies may eat your underwear for comfort as well as for nourishment.
When puppies are teething, they will often chew on things like blankets and sheets. The fabric of undergarments is also ideal for chewing because it provides them with the same comfort as a blanket or sheet while giving them the satisfaction of destroying something. If your puppy is teething and you notice that he is starting to eat your underwear, try giving him an appropriate chew toy like Nylabone or Kong. This might distract him from continuing this behavior.
Your dog has pica.
Pica is a common disorder in which dogs eat non-food items like plastic, rocks, sticks and underwear. Pica is more likely to occur in dogs that are pregnant or nursing, but it can also be a neurological disorder or caused by issues with the digestive tract.
If your dog has pica, you may notice him eating things he shouldn’t be eating and/or vomiting frequently. If you think your dog might have pica, take him to the vet right away—this is important because some of these items can cause serious damage to his body if they aren’t removed from his stomach within 24 hours.
Dogs sometimes eat underwear because they have certain needs or problems that lead them to do so, but you can train them not to do it even if they do it because of other issues they’re dealing with
Dogs sometimes eat underwear because they have certain needs or problems that lead them to do so, but you can train them not to do it even if they do it because of other issues they’re dealing with. Dogs crave attention, and eating clothing is one way they get it. If you have a good understanding of your dog’s behavior and motivations, then you’ll know what needs are being met by the behavior and how to address those needs in a healthy way.
If your dog has a habit of eating underwear, it’s important to remember that it’s not necessarily something that means they’re causing trouble. Most of the time, there are reasons behind their behavior that have nothing to do with being mischievous or naughty.
In any case, don’t fear: if you think your dog is suffering from pica or another health issue, consult with a professional and get them help. If they just need more attention or some training to stop doing what they do, provide the support they need to learn how not to eat things that aren’t food in the house!