If you ever wondered why your dog likes period blood or seems highly interested in your bathroom garbage, we can help you narrow down the reason.
Why do dogs like period blood anyway? A dog’s scent instinct drives them to seek new items and surroundings, and period blood omits scents related to your hormones and protein. This combination can be hard for a canine to ignore. Their scavenger intuition convinces them to seek out these odors.
However, there can be several other causes why dogs like period blood. Once you know the 10 surprising reasons for this, you will understand your pet better and possibly help eliminate any potential hazards.
Why Dogs Like Period Blood
It can be shocking the first time your dog gets into your bathroom garbage or embarrassing when he nuzzles you excessively when you are on your period. Period blood can attract dogs for many reasons, including:
- It smells different
- They are omnivores
- They miss you
- It carries your pheromones
- It resembles protein or food
- They are scavengers by nature
- They are curious
- They need boundaries
- They may have a health disorder
- The breed of dog
1. It Smells Different
Dogs have a keen sense of smell. Period blood will smell different when it is fresh, and this will change as it sits in your garbage. Likewise, items like used tampons or hygiene pads can smell more pungent as they remain for a few days.
Some dog breeds commonly have over 100 million scent receptors in their nose, while others have up to 300 million or more. For comparison, humans have only five million scent receptors.
Because of these receptors, dogs can detect odors up to 12 miles away. In addition, each day that period blood sits in the home, the scent will grow stronger and change, making it more interesting for your dog to explore.
2. They Are Omnivores
Dogs are, by nature, omnivores. This attribute means that they crave and eat both plant and animal products. Blood is a by-product of an animal, which can attract a hunting animal, like a canine.
This intuitive nature can mean that your dog will do what they can to get it, even though they do not know why they want it. For example, your dog may be hungry or inclined to eat in any situation that presents them with food or treats, including items that smell like food.
3. They Miss You
If you come home from a hard day’s work to find your dog has gotten into your used hygiene products, it might be because they miss you. Any item you use will carry your scent and be familiar to them.
Chewing up items like feminine hygiene products can give them a sense of closeness similar to what they get when they smell you. Alternatively, if your pet misses you, they may have separation anxiety and eat things that belong to you.
4. It Carries Your Pheromones
Period blood will have pheromones. Dogs are naturally curious and attracted to these hormones. While your body naturally emits pheromones every day, period blood will have a higher concentration, making it more interesting to your pet.
Dogs can sense other animals’ pheromones. This task helps them detect another animal for mating purposes. However, just because your dog is attracted to your period blood does not mean they want to mate with you. Instead, they are captivated by the scent and want to explore the details with their noses.
5. It Resembles Protein or Food
Blood will mean something different to your dog than you or me. For animals, blood can mean protein and alternative food sources. So while you may be disgusted with your dog, they may only be thinking there is a tasty treat around for them.
This element can be more intense if your dog follows a raw food diet. For example, if your pet regularly eats raw meat with blood, it will not distinguish period blood from any other mealtime snack.
6. They Are Scavengers By Nature
The first dogs were natural scavengers. They had to hunt and scrounge for food to survive. Searching for new items to eat is part of their DNA and can be one of the driving forces compelling them to root through your bathroom garbage.
Dogs are opportunistic feeders. If they have a chance to snatch a smelly or tasty treat, it can be hard for them to resist, even if it is in your garbage. They will not distinguish the garbage can as a place containing things they should not eat. Your pet may see a dish on the floor full of exciting items to smell and taste.
7. They Are Curious
Dogs are extremely curious creatures. This inquisitive nature can also heighten when they are in the puppy stage. Canines learn about their environment by using their sense of smell and taste. Therefore, if there are different smells and things to eat within their reach, it is a good possibility that they will take advantage of the situation.
Some dogs will never grow out of the curious stage. However, others can eventually settle down and not bother with things that smell as they age.
8. They Need Boundaries
Some dogs do not have good manners. Whether they have never had any clearly-set boundaries or are just learning the rules of a new home, they may be more interested in your garbage because they do not know they should not be there.
Dogs are intelligent creatures, and they can learn to leave items alone that are not safe for them. However, they are animals, and items with period blood and other highly-scented things can be enticing to them. As a responsible pet owner, it is up to you to ensure there are boundaries and hazardous items are out of their reach when you are not supervising them.
9. They Have an Eating Disorder
Some dogs cannot help themselves when eating non-food items, like feminine hygiene products. Pica is an eating disorder where dogs will eat things that are not food for various reasons, including anxiety, medications, or the environment.
If your dog is prone to eating rocks, garbage, or anything else they can get hold of, you can be confident that your scent-filled garbage will also be a target. Pica can result from other health disorders, including liver or pancreatic disease, diabetes, or even coming from an environment where food is scarce.
10. The Breed of Dog
Unfortunately, some breeds of dogs are more prone to liking period blood than others. Specific breeds are particular for hunting or scent-driven tasks, which can be a habit that is hard to break. If you own one of these breeds, they may have a higher interest in period blood:
- Basset Hound
- Coon Hound
- German Shepherd
- Golden Retriever
- Labrador Retriever
- Springer Spaniel
Although any dog can be interested in period blood, these breeds have an especially keen sense of smell and could be one of the underlying reasons they seek out period blood when they are close.
Can Period Blood Harm Dogs?
Thankfully, if your dog comes in contact with period blood, it is not harmful to them. However, if your dog eats used feminine hygiene products with period blood on them, there is a risk of danger.
Dogs get into garbage and eat tampons and hygiene pads more often than you might think. However, depending on the dog’s size and how much product they consumed, hygiene products can create intestinal blockages that may require a vet’s intervention.
The fibers and contents within tampons and hygiene pads expand with fluid. Although this attribute is beneficial for its purpose, it can be fatal when in your dog’s stomach. Swollen fibers can block the intestines and require surgery if they do not pass naturally.
What Should I Do If My Dog Ate a Used Tampon or Hygiene Pad?
Contact your veterinarian immediately if you suspect that your dog ate a used tampon or hygiene pad. Try to remember how many items you had in your garbage and determine what is missing, if you can.
Monitor your dog’s behavior closely. If your dog eats and drinks normally, walks, plays, and relieves themselves outside, these items may pass naturally. Typically, the bigger the dog is in size, the easier it could be for them to work a non-food item through the body on their own.
Exceptionally small dogs may require veterinarian intervention and may need an emergency visit. Talk to your local vet, and they can help you determine the best course of action for your pet. You should never induce your dog to vomit without talking to your veterinarian first.
Can You Train a Dog To Avoid Period Blood?
If your dog is a nuisance when you are on your period, you may want them to back off and leave you alone. Having your dog’s nose in your crotch can be embarrassing, especially if you have company.
You can use training methods to help your dog switch from this undesirable behavior to your preferred action. However, with any canine training, it will take consistency and dedication on your part, along with many treats for good behavior.
You may never be able to train your dog to avoid period blood entirely, but they may respond well to a correction the first time, making your life a bit easier.
Owning a dog obsessed with period blood can be an uncomfortable and harmful situation if it is not under control. However, sometimes knowing why your dog likes period blood can help you minimize the chances of their interest and keep them from bothering you or visitors.
If your dog is obsessed with period blood, remember to keep all items locked away in a bathroom where your pet cannot reach them. Locking garbage can lids or in a cupboard will keep these used items safely away from your dog. This way, you help minimize their interest in these items.