Do we need to state the obvious? Underwear is a private matter! But it seems dogs didn’t get the memo. They enjoy helping themselves to a panty buffet in our bedroom, and we literally have to pay the price in new underwear and sometimes vet bills.
You’ve probably had to throw away a few pairs of undergarments recently. Now, you’re here wondering what to do about your dog and a dwindling stash of underwear. Here are five likely reasons why your dog is stealing (and eating) your underwear.
The 5 Reasons Why Your Dog Steals Your Underwear
1. Underwear Smell Like You
Oddly enough, stealing your underwear is a compliment in dog language. Your underwear has a particular, concentrated scent unique to you, and your dog likes it. It’s weird, but it’s common.
Here’s the thing—dogs experience the world through their noses very much like we see the world through our eyes. They enjoy the mental stimulation of discovering new scents.
2. Stress and Anxiety
A highly anxious dog often results in chewing on anything that dog can find. Since your underwear smells like you, your scent could be comforting for a dog with stress and anxiety.
Stress and anxiety are common in dogs, especially dogs born and adopted during COVID-19. These pups were so used to having us home all the time that leaving for hours on end could be challenging.
PICA is a condition where dogs crave non-food-related items. PICA is rare in dogs, but it’s worth mentioning since items that carry the owner’s scent are a favorite for PICA dogs. If you notice your dog chewing on certain things like your underwear, socks, towels, and pantyhose, it could be worth visiting the vet.
It probably isn’t surprising to see boredom on the list of causes. Dogs have so much energy, and it’s hard keeping up with their instincts. Since your dog is stealing your underwear, it’s very likely your dog is bored and wants something to chew on. The fact that your underwear smells like you is just an added bonus.
Do you have a puppy? Then your puppy is probably teething and finds your underwear delicious. It’s gross, but it’s the truth!
Puppies have baby teeth that poke through around 3 weeks old and stay there until your puppy is about 3 months old. Your puppy develops adult teeth and, many times, starts chewing on everything in the house, including dangerous objects.
Is It Dangerous for My Dog to Eat My Underwear?
Eating underwear can be dangerous for your dog, especially if it happens often. Objects like clothing can block your dog’s intestinal tract and turn into an expensive vet bill.
There are a few ways to help your dog if it eats underwear. You can call your veterinarian and see if inducing vomiting is the right step. Sometimes, more invasive procedures like endoscopies and surgery are necessary, so be prepared for that.
How to Stop Your Dog From Stealing Your Undies
Dog owners don’t want to deal with expensive vet bills. So, how do you stay out of the vet clinic and keep money in your wallet?
It all comes down to preparedness. The best thing you can do is keep your clothes off the floor. Tidy the floors and put your clothes into appropriate hampers. You may have to lock your clothes hampers away in a separate room or closet.
When you leave the house, offer your dog plenty of chew toys and food puzzles to stay busy. Food is always a great way to distract your dog, and food puzzles help satisfy a dog’s natural instinct to forage and chew. Just make sure the chew toys are safe for your dog’s age, size, and breed.
Dogs like getting into anything and everything. Even when we do everything we can to prevent them from chewing on our personal belongings, they still find a way to get into the trash or, in this case, the laundry hamper.
It’s frustrating, but keeping your dog busy with toys and snacks that won’t result in a trip to the vet is the right way to go.
We know it’s easy to throw the clothes on the floor and leave them there, but now it’s time for new habits that will keep your dog safe and protect your wallet. So, grab that laundry hamper, lock it up, and do everything in your power to discourage your pup from stealing your undergarments.
Featured Image Credit: Tara Lynn and Co, Shutterstock