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When women menstruate, dogs often notice. Their highly sensitive noses can detect new smells from far away. Not only do they notice…but dogs seem to be distinctly interested in what’s going on.
It makes you wonder though, why do dogs like period blood?
Believe it or not, dogs like period blood for a few reasons. Dogs naturally like all blood, no matter where it comes from. They also may like it due to their curiosity, the smell of your pheromones, instincts, hunger, or because they are known scavengers.
Dogs don’t see period blood the way we do. We see it as a bodily fluid that belongs in the trash. But dogs see it as what it is, blood.
If you are wondering why dogs like period blood, continue reading along with us. We will discuss and review the reasons why dogs like period blood.
Reason 1: Dogs Naturally Like Blood
While some of us may squirm at the sight of blood, dogs are much more casual about it! They see blood as a source of food, not something that should be discarded.
Dogs in the wild don’t have the luxury of getting fed gourmet dog food or homemade dog treats. They must eat other animals to survive. For example, wild dogs don’t live off wild berries and grass, they eat other animals such as large mammals, birds, or rodents! The blood in the animals they have eaten is similar to period blood. The similarities make them naturally interested in it.
Period blood is not the exact same as the blood from their prey. But, it is still blood. Dogs recognize this and will find ways to explore it when given the chance…even if it seems gross to us.
Reason 2: They Are Curious
We all know that dogs are curious creatures. One minute they are sitting on the couch with you watching a movie, the next minute you realize they have snuck away to find a secret adventure.
Which sometimes involves them getting into the trash!
If you throw away your tampons or pads in the trash, your dog will be curious about them. Once a dog is curious, they will try to find a way to fulfill their needs! They seek out ways to get into the trash to ease their curiosity. Congratulations, we now have a giant mess!
A curious dog will notice all new smells, sounds, and sights! So don’t be surprised if they come up to you, or a woman you know when she is on her period! It could even explain why dogs suddenly seem so much more attracted to you than usual!
Reason 3: They Smell Your Pheromones
A woman’s monthly period says a lot about her, especially to dogs. During menstruation, a woman releases pheromones, which dogs can easily detect with their award-winning sense of smell!
Human pheromones act similarly to dog pheromones, when a female dog is in heat she also releases pheromones, which attracts male dogs. When a male dog smells pheromones on a woman, he will try to determine why the smell is intriguing to him. This will cause him to find reasons to explore the period blood, whether it’s by getting closer to the woman, or by seeking out used tampons or pads in the trash.
Most women who have a regular monthly cycle will release pheromones that trigger this behavior in male dogs but don’t be surprised because your female dogs can detect the change, too.
Reason 4: They Can Sense Your Fertility
A woman’s period is truly magical. Not only does your body change during this time, but it also indicates that you are fertile. Dogs can also sense your fertility within the blood released from your period!
During a woman’s period, they release not only blood but tissue and nutrients that would have been used to grow a baby. Hormones fluctuate during this time, and these changes are detected by your furry friend. Their olfactory receptors can even detect changes in human anatomy so the smell of period blood is not a problem for them. All of these things can cause a dog to want to understand the period blood more. They may react to it by sniffing or licking the period blood.
Reason 5: Its Instinct
I love my dogs because they often do things that I have never thought of doing. Their instincts take over, and I am amazed that they just know to do certain things.
Whether it’s getting into the perfect position to chase down a rabbit or even hearing a critter through the wall, instincts drive dogs to do some impressive things.
When a dog smells period blood, their instincts kick in. Think of a bloodhound, they have been bred for many years to be able to track the scent of animals and humans. It’s something that is part of their lineage and is part of who they are.
When a dog’s instincts kick in, they can’t help themselves. They have to react to their nature. The liking of period blood is something that reminds a dog of their need for blood!
Reason 6: They Miss You!
I miss my dogs tremendously when I have to be away from them. Honestly, I became a writer because I prefer to be home with my pets every day! Leaving our pets is hard for us, and it is also hard on them!
And this isn’t just in our heads- our dogs miss us when we are away. When we aren’t near, they often look for things that remind them of us. If there are used pads or tampons in the trash, they may smell like you. This can cause your dog to find a fondness for these tossed-out reminders of you.
Reason 7: They Are Hungry
Some dogs will eat anything when they are hungry…and some dogs are always hungry.
They have no problems outsourcing to the bathroom trash if the kitchen trash is empty.
When a dog is hungry, they will seek out food sources to appease their appetites. Often a used pad or tampon can entice a dog because they see it as food.
If your dog is an overeater, keep all bathroom doors closed!
Reason 8: Period Blood Just Smells Different (And Dogs Like That)
We all love that our pups can smell things that we can’t. Or at least I do! I am sensitive to foul smells, so if my dog can catch it first, I can remove it before my nose catches a sniff!
A dog’s nose can detect smells way before ours can. When they smell something different, they will use their noses to find out more about what they are smelling. There is no difference with period blood. Whether they smell the blood on you, or if they smell it after it’s been thrown in the trash, they may have a fondness for the unique smell.
Reason 9: Dogs Are Natural Scavengers
I have known quite a few scavenger pups in my day. You know what I’m talking about, the ones who find the grossest things and eat them with ease!
Dogs have come a long way from their predecessors. Although many still carry out similar behaviors, such as scavenging for food. Period blood on used tampons or pads will remind your dog of rotten flesh, and they will be eager to give it a try. Often they will enjoy it and want more.
Reason 10: It’s Learned Behavior
As we said above, once a dog finds something that meets one of its needs, they will often return for more! One more round of, what’s in Mom’s trash! This is what your dog is thinking when they are looking for your used menstruation items.
Learned or repetitive behavior in dogs is very common. While we may not agree with it, it is just in a dog’s nature. They know what they like and will find ways to get it. Which can be the reason for such behavior.
It Is A Mix Of A Few Reasons
Dogs are complex creatures who don’t follow one rule or reason!
Dogs will often go for period blood for a mixture of reasons. They know it’s something that intrigues them, and they want to know more about it. Once they find it, they realize that they enjoy it, and often want more!
How To Get Them To Stop
No one actually wants their dogs to like period blood. As humans, we tend to shy away from even talking about it, so to have one of your dogs enjoy it grosses us out.
If you want your dog to stop liking period blood, you may not be able to. But, you can eliminate the source for them to be able to obtain it.
Keep The Bathroom Door Closed
If your dog is prone to digging out used tampons or pads from the bathroom trash, your number one way to get them to stop is not allowing them to have access to the trash.
Keeping the bathroom door closed while you are on your period will help block the smell, and create a barrier, keeping your dog away from them.
Take Out Your Trash After Each Use
If keeping your bathroom door closed is not an option, you may want to try taking out your used period products after each use. Place them in a sealed trash can outside that is out of reach from your dog.
Beware! Your dog will still be able to smell the period blood when you let them outside. If your dog has free range and can reach the trash can, you may come out to a big mess! Keep your outdoor trash cans sealed and away from your dog play area.
Teach Your Dog Basic Commands
When your dog is prone to getting into things they shouldn’t, it is always okay to teach them commands!
If your dog won’t leave you alone while you are on your period, or they run to the trash after you throw away your pads or tampons, sternly tell them “No.”
Teaching your dog that you have boundaries is a good thing!
It may take time, but eventually, they will learn the command and listen.
Should I Worry About My Dog’s Preference For Period Blood?
If your dog likes period blood, it is not a reason to be concerned. It is a natural (and cringe-worthy!) thing that many dogs are fascinated by.
But! If your dog has eaten a used tampon or pad, this is something to be concerned about. While their likeness to the blood is not concerning or harmful, eating a menstruation product can be. Tampons expand in size when introduced to liquid and can hurt or even kill your dog.
Call your veterinarian immediately if your dog has eaten a pad or tampon. The sooner you take your dog in, the better chance they have of removing it.
This video will give a little more insight of the dangers that ingesting feminine hygiene products can cause.
Dogs are curious and instinctual creatures that love things that we don’t always want them to like. While we may want to change the things they enjoy, you can’t convince your dog to, unlike something that fulfills their natural desires. The best thing to do in these situations is to redirect your dog with commands. You can also place barriers to keep your pup from having access to places you don’t want them to have.