Dog Ate Underwear: Will it Pass (Size Dependent) and What to Do

Question What should I do if my dog ate underwear?
Quick Info In Rare Cases, Underwear can cause intestinal blockages or other gastrointestinal problems if ingested
What to Do Contact your veterinarian immediately, induce vomiting if recommended by your veterinarian, monitor your dog for symptoms of gastrointestinal distress, avoid leaving underwear or other non-food items within your dog’s reach

Dogs and Underwear (A Buffet of Scents)

Dogs are attracted to your smell

Can Dogs Digest Underwear?

In general, dogs cannot fully digest underwear, as it is made from materials that their digestive system is not equipped to break down. While the cloth itself is not harmful or toxic, ingesting a large piece of underwear may lead to complications.

If the size of the swallowed underwear is small, it might pass through the dog’s digestive system without causing any issues. However, if the piece is too large, it could potentially lead to intestinal blockage or choking.

Why Do Dogs Eat Underwear?

Dogs might be attracted to the scent of the owner’s underwear, often seeing it as something intriguing enough to play with or chew on. Various factors could contribute to this behavior:

  • Anxiety and stress
  • Boredom
  • Teething issues or being weaned early
  • Compulsive disorders
  • Nutritional deficiencies

Addressing the underlying reasons behind this behavior may help in preventing the dog from eating underwear in the future. It is essential to monitor your dog closely if they have ingested underwear and to consult a vet for guidance on how to handle the situation.

Immediate Steps to Follow

Dogs can sometimes consume odd items like your underwear, and it’s essential to know the appropriate steps to ensure their safety. In this section, we’ll discuss the immediate actions pet owners should take if their dog eats underwear.

Check for Symptoms

First and foremost, keep an eye on your dog’s behavior to identify any symptoms that may indicate discomfort or complications. Some common symptoms include:

  • Vomiting
  • Loss of appetite
  • Constipation or diarrhea
  • Excessive drooling
  • Abdominal pain and swelling

If you notice any of these symptoms in your pooch, it’s wise to consult a veterinarian as soon as possible.

Remove Remaining Material

In case there’s any underwear material remaining around your dog or within its reach, make sure to remove it promptly. This will prevent them from consuming more of the object and potentially exacerbating the issue.

Remember to stay calm as dogs can sense your stress, and be watchful of any changes in their behavior or health. While it is not uncommon for a dog to pass the consumed underwear within a few hours or days, consulting a veterinarian remains the safest course of action.

Long Term Prevention

Dogs chew anything that smells appealing to them

Preventing your dog from eating underwear is essential to avoid potential health problems and costly veterinarian visits. This section will discuss useful tips for long-term prevention, focusing on dog training and securing the laundry area.

Dog Training Tips

Training your dog plays a critical role in teaching them what is acceptable and not acceptable to eat. Consider the following strategies to prevent your dog from eating underwear:

  • Teach basic commands: Incorporate commands like “leave it” and “drop it” to instruct your dog when to stop and release an object.
  • Positive reinforcement: Always reward your dog with praise, treats, or toys whenever they obey commands, displaying good behavior.
  • Scheduled feeding: Maintain regular feeding times to reduce hunger and exploration for unusual items.
  • Mental stimulation: Provide puzzle toys, interactive games, and obedience training to keep your dog’s mind occupied and foster a healthy curiosity.

Securing the Laundry Area

Securing the laundry area is another effective approach to prevent dogs from accessing underwear. Implement these practical measures to protect your clothes:

  • Store clothes in closed bins or hampers: Opt for laundry hampers with lids and keep them in closed closets when possible, making it difficult for your dog to access.
  • Keep the laundry room door closed: Establish a habit of shutting the laundry room door if clothes are left unattended to create a barrier for curious dogs.
  • Use pet gates: Install pet gates to restrict your dog’s access to certain areas where you handle laundry, keeping them safely away from potential temptations.

Implementing these long-term prevention strategies can significantly reduce the risk of your dog eating underwear, resulting in a safer and healthier environment for both your dog and your laundry.

Frequently Asked Questions

What should I do if my dog swallowed underwear?

If your dog swallowed underwear, it’s essential to closely monitor them and look out for any signs of discomfort or complications. If you’re concerned, it’s best to promptly consult with your veterinarian, who may schedule an appointment or provide guidance based on your dog’s condition.

How long does it take for a dog to pass a foreign object?

The time it takes for a dog to pass a foreign object may vary. Generally, most items pass within 24-48 hours. However, it’s crucial to keep an eye on your dog and seek immediate veterinary care if they show any signs of distress, vomiting, or other adverse symptoms.

Can a dog digest fabric?

Dogs cannot digest fabric. If consumed, the material may pass through the dog’s system, causing complications or obstructions. In some cases, surgery might be necessary to remove the ingested fabric.

Is inducing vomiting necessary?

It’s not always necessary to induce vomiting if your dog has swallowed underwear. In fact, causing them to vomit can sometimes lead to further complications. Consult your veterinarian for guidance on whether or not to induce vomiting in your specific situation.

What are the signs of complications from ingesting underwear?

Signs of complications may include:

  • Vomiting
  • Loss of appetite
  • Constipation or diarrhea
  • Excessive drooling

If you notice any of these symptoms, it’s crucial to contact your veterinarian immediately. They can help determine the best course of action to ensure your dog’s safety and well-being.

Why are dogs attracted to eating underwear and tampons?

Dogs may be attracted to eating underwear and tampons due to their curious nature or the scent of bodily fluids. This behavior can also stem from boredom, anxiety, or nutritional deficiencies. It’s crucial for pet owners to minimize opportunities for their dogs to access and consume these items, ensuring both their safety and household cleanliness.