Why Is My Dog Eating My Underwear?

Picture of a dog and red underwear

If you are the owner of a dog, you know they love to eat. Begging for a bite of the steak on your plate you understand, but some of the things that Fido ends up with in his mouth are just downright perplexing to you. Yet what fascinates one dog may not fascinate another. While your dog might love to dig in the garbage to unearth some moldy “treasures,” another might prefer sweaty socks or even yesterday’s underwear. While trotting around with your underwear might not be a desired behavior, dogs who attempt to eat it put themselves at risk for serious health complications.

Reasons Dogs Like Underwear

Trying to understand why your dog likes to turn your underwear into something that more closely resembles Swiss Cheese is a challenging task indeed. There is no doubt that most dogs do like to lick, chew, and even eat their owners’ undergarments. But it’s not just limited to underwear itself, some dogs also love to trot all over their home and yard proudly sporting bras and feminine hygiene products as well.

Why is Fido so drawn to your underwear? Here is a list of several reasons why Fido thinks your underwear are the bomb:

Elastic waistband reminds them of toys

Most underwear has an elasticized waist, and what makes a better tug toy than elastic? If you have two dogs, they can turn your underwear into a rousing game of tug of war that could last for hours on end!

Dogs like stinky things.
Dogs have a highly developed sense of smell that is far more sensitive than that of their human counterparts. Since canine noses are capable of detecting even the subtlest of nuances, dogs are drawn to things that have extremely intense scents. Hence, your underwear! You may notice that your dog isn’t as interested in the underwear that comes fresh from the dryer as they are the worn pair that you have just discarded on the bathroom floor post-shower. Any object which allows them to use their nose is something that will pique a dog’s interest.

Dogs are attracted to brightly colored objects.
Though a dog’s sense of color is not as defined as a human’s, they are still drawn to items of an intense hue or unusual shape. Most dog toys come in bright colors; something they share in common with the underwear that graces the drawers of many owners. Fido could mistake your undergarments for a fun pull toy, particularly if it is left in a location that is easy for him to access.

Your dog loves you, and your underwear smells like you!
Each human being has their own unique scent. Since undergarments are worn the closest to the skin, they contain the most potent essences that remind our dogs of us. Often dogs will carry around, lick, or chew dirty underwear as a reminder of their most favorite person—you! While we find this quite repugnant, it is, in a sense, one way our dogs communicate love and their desire to be close us.

Your dog could be teething.
Dogs are very practically minded beings. Sometimes, they chew on soft items simply because they feel good. Puppies who are teething and even adult dogs who are experiencing dental discomfort will often choose a soft item to sink their teeth into as a means to alleviate pain they may be experiencing.

Your reaction turns it into a game.
Dogs are very in tune with our emotions. When we react strongly to something, it can often cause our dogs to respond with enthusiasm or excitement. If you become animated at the sight of your dog chewing on your favorite Calvin Kleins and begin pursuit to get them back, your dog may view his underwear chomping as a new fun game. Based on your frenetic chasing of him, he likely thinks you’re having a good time too!

Strategies to Prevent the Behavior
While everyone likes new underwear, not everyone can afford to replace their supply of BVD’s on a weekly basis. But more than this, underwear eating can cause a serious obstruction which might necessitate a costly surgery to extricate the offending undies.

Here are a few strategies to help Fido learn that your underwear are off limits:

Remove all access to your underwear.
Your dog can’t chew on items that he can’t find! The best course of action is to simply ensure that all of your underwear goes into a sealed laundry basket or an area your dog can’t access.

Make use of Bitter Apple spray.
Bitter Apple is a spray that can be purchased in most veterinary offices or quality pet stores. When sprayed upon items, it makes them very unpalatable, and most often, even the most persistent dogs won’t be interested in chewing on an item once they get a tiny taste of Bitter Apple. Simply spray Bitter Apple on your used underwear. Since dogs learn by association, you will only need to do this a few times before your dog decides your underwear isn’t worth the effort.

Ensure your dog has lots of other toys and things to chew on.
Providing your dog an alternative chew toy is a great way to ensure that your underwear remain intact. Be sure to purchase toys in a variety of styles, shapes, textures, and colors to keep Fido’s interest at an all time high.

Are you tired of finding your favorite undies now come complete with air conditioning courtesy of Fido? Licking and chewing of underwear is a common behavior in many dogs. But rest assured, you can solve the problem without having to take out shares in Victoria Secret. Simply follow the three simple steps in this article to help Fido learn your undies are off limits!



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