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Why Does My Dog Eat My Underwear?

If you’re a dog owner, you already know that they love to chew on things.

However, it isn’t always that they’ll be after food.

Sometimes they may chew things that aren’t food at all, such as underwear.

However, you’re not the only one with such a dog.

The habit of your dog chewing your underwear may spark frustration, prompting you to yell at it.

However, before you escalate the situation, forcing your pet to withdraw or even become more dangerous, it’s important to understand why it is doing it.

Here are some of the reasons why your dog may be indulging in this weird behavior.

Reasons Why Your Dog May Eat Your Underwear

Here’s a look at some of the more common reasons your dog may be munching on your undies.

dog eating clothes in laundry basket

Teething Puppies

Dogs at the age of 4-7 months may develop the habit of eating underwear and other objects due to the discomfort caused by teething.

Since the teething phase in dogs occurs at this age, you should understand that your dog may be dealing with pain and discomfort.

Chewing objects such as your undies may help them to alleviate this pain.

If you feel that teething could be a problem, you could avoid the embarrassment by keeping your underwear away.

You can encourage your dog by buying it a toy or other safe object to help it cope with the condition.

Luckily, some toys are designed specifically for use during the teething phase.

Dogs are Scent-Oriented

Dogs, like many animals, rely on scent to, among other things, get around and assess situations.

Their sense of smell is 1,000 to 100,000 times better than ours.

They rely on scent for purposes such as communication and interpretation, which could be the reason for going for your underwear.

The smell also enables them to get closer to their owners.

Although your dirty underwear may be uncomfortable, it contains a high concentration of your scent.

The strong scent can help your dog identify individuals with their specific scents.

Chewing your under undies can enable them to get their favorite thing, your scent.

Therefore, they see it as good behavior to chew underwear.

Separation Anxiety

Your dog may eat your pair of undies to reduce stress and discomfort feelings when you’re away.

Sometimes your dog may have immeasurable love to offer.

When you’re away, even for the shortest time, it may feel stressful.

Getting over these feelings by themselves may be difficult.

To overcome anxiety caused by your absence, your dog may turn to your personal items that carry your scents, such as your underwear and socks.

They’ll smell your pheromones with keen interest when eating your underwear.

Your scent will help them overcome the uncomfortable feelings caused by your absence and reduce their stress and anxiety.

Pica Syndrome

Pica Syndrome is a disorder characterized by an anomaly of appetite.

When suffering from this disorder, the dog will be attracted to substances that are not part of their diets, such as underwear, socks, and more.

Although a dog may suffer from other anomalies that affect the digestive system, the main symptom of Pica syndrome is the ingestion of non-food objects.

Before concluding that your dog is suffering from Pica syndrome, it’s important to contact a vet.

Upon diagnosing your pet with the condition, the professional will examine if psychological or physiological issues have caused it.

Fortunately, the management of the disorder may only require a few doses and diet changes.


Sometimes your dog may turn to your underwear when he’s bored.

Dogs can be destructive, especially when left alone for a long time.

The behavior is also common among those seeking attention from their owners.

Some dog breeds such as shepherds also engage in such behaviors in the absence of stimulating physical activity.

If you’re leaving your dog alone for some time, it’s advisable to keep some of your items like underwear away.

You can buy some toys and leave your dog to play with them when you’re not at home.

Give your dog his attention to help him to stop the habit.

You can also take your dog for training as this may help in providing physical, psychological, and mental stimulation.

Improving Hunting Skills

Although dogs have been domesticated for years, they still have some hunting skills that can help them to track, chase, and kill their prey.

Some dogs will just use anything, including their underwear, to practice their hunting skills.

Therefore, the reason for your dog eating your underwear could be linked to the practice of their hunting skills.

You can help your dog through distraction and replacement.

Provide your dog with safe items to play with to improve its hunting skills.

Spending some time with your dog outdoors engaging in some games can also help stop this embarrassing behavior.

Behavior Disorder

If your dog has been eating your underwear for a long time, it could be suffering from some type of compulsive behavior.

In most cases, some dog breeds are prone to displaying this type of behavior.

However, some dogs will show this behavior without other symptoms.

A vet can help in determining if your dog is eating underwear due to a behavioral disorder.

In addition, the specialist can assist you in identifying the best treatment to correct this behavior.

Therefore, if your dog has a habit of eating your underwear frequently, you should approach a vet for assistance.

How to Correct the Habit

It should be your responsibility as a pet owner to protect your dog from ingesting foreign objects.

Although some things may look harmless, they may cause serious illnesses when swallowed.

In addition, you should protect your pet from eating things that aren’t food at all, such as your underwear.

Here’s what you should do if your dog engages in this bizarre, gross, and embarrassing behavior of eating your underwear.

Put Your Items Away

Your dog won’t eat your underwear or any other personal item if it isn’t within reach.

If you leave these items lying around the floor, you could encourage your dog to play with them.

Therefore, you can manage your dog’s underwear-eating habits by keeping your items away, especially when leaving the house.

Give Your Dog the Attention It Deserves

Your dog may start eating your underwear to overcome boredom and to get your attention.

When you get home, allow the dog to play with you for some time.

Then, when you aren’t busy, you can walk around with it.

The more time you spend with your dog, the less time it has to engage in other disgusting behaviors such as eating your underwear.

Provide Alternative

Another way of discouraging your dog from eating your underwear is by providing them with alternatives.

For example, you can buy your dog a toy to play with to kill boredom or manage the pain associated with teething.

When you keep your items away, give your dog something that he can chew.

The new toy will also encourage the dog to put off underwear-eating.

See a Vet

Your habit of your dog eating your underwear may require the intervention of a specialist.

Getting help from a vet can help in changing your dog’s behavior.

The vet may recommend some medication, change of habit, or diet, depending on the problem.

Therefore, if you’re worried about your dog engaging in this bad behavior, a vet may help identify the underlying cause and manage it.

Use Anti-Chew Spray

An anti-chew spray could be the only thing that you need to stop your dog from eating your underwear.

A spray with citrus or bitter apple taste can work well in some cases, since some dogs don’t like the taste.

Besides, you need to determine if you’re comfortable spraying these scents onto your undies.

Reward Good Habits

Another way of discouraging your dog from eating your underwear and engaging in other behaviors could be by appreciating him for eating the right things.

For instance, whenever you give your dog something to eat, appreciate him by cuddling him after eating it.

If the dog does not follow the guidelines, don’t reward it.

Your training should also include encouraging the dog to eat edible things and to avoid non-food items.

Final Thoughts

In conclusion, it’s important to note that your dog can engage in some annoying behaviors sometimes.

The big question, however, is what is more valuable between your favorite pet and your underwear.

If you’ve been wondering why your dog has been engaging in this behavior, now you know that most of the time, it’s because of their love for you.

Underwear can be bought, but the love and devotion of your dog can’t.

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National Canine Research Association of America