Why Does My Dog Eat My Underwear While Pregnant

During pregnancy, dogs may eat underwear due to hormonal changes or a condition called pica, which is characterized by craving and consuming non-food items. This behavior can be dangerous and should be addressed immediately to ensure the health of the dog and their unborn puppies.

Introducing a new life into the world is a joyous occasion, but it can also come with its fair share of challenges. One such challenge may be discovering that your beloved pooch has taken a liking to devouring your underwear.

While this behavior may seem bizarre, it is not uncommon for dogs, particularly those who are pregnant, to exhibit this peculiar habit. In order to understand why our furry friends engage in this unusual activity, it is important to consider the possible reasons behind it. 

By doing so, we can take appropriate measures to keep our dogs safe and ensure a smooth and worry-free pregnancy.

Understanding The Behavior

Understanding the Behavior Why does my dog eat my underwear while pregnant? It’s a common question that many dog owners face. Understanding the behavior behind this can help you prevent any potential problems and ensure the health and safety of your furry friend. In this section, we will delve deeper into why dogs have cravings during pregnancy, the hormonal changes that influence their behavior, and debunk some common myths and misconceptions about dogs eating underwear.

Why Dogs Have Cravings During Pregnancy

During pregnancy, hormonal changes in dogs can lead to some interesting behaviors, including cravings for unusual items such as your underwear. Just like humans, dogs go through hormonal fluctuations during pregnancy, which can result in unusual appetites.

This is often caused by the increase in the hormone progesterone, which can affect their sense of smell and taste. As a result, they may become attracted to items that they wouldn’t normally be interested in.

The Hormonal Changes That Influence Their Behavior

The hormonal changes in pregnant dogs play a significant role in their behavior, including their cravings for underwear. The surge of hormones, especially progesterone, can intensify their sense of smell and cravings.

 It’s important to note that this behavior is not exclusive to underwear; some pregnant dogs may crave other items like socks, shoes, or even non-edible objects.

These hormonal changes can cause dogs to seek out these items as a way to fulfill their unique cravings.

Common Myths And Misconceptions About Dogs Eating Underwear

There are several common myths and misconceptions surrounding dogs eating underwear during pregnancy. Let’s address and debunk some of them: 

  1. Myth: Dogs eat underwear due to nutritional deficiencies.

Fact: While it’s true that pregnant dogs may have increased nutritional needs, their cravings for underwear are not driven by a lack of nutrients. These cravings are primarily influenced by hormonal changes, not dietary deficiencies. 

  1. Myth: Eating underwear can harm the puppies. 

Fact: While it’s important to prevent your dog from consuming non-edible objects, eating underwear during pregnancy does not directly harm the puppies. However, ingesting foreign objects can lead to digestive issues or obstructions, which can pose risks to both the mother and her puppies. 

  1. Myth: Dogs eat underwear as a sign of anxiety or boredom. 

Fact: Although anxiety or boredom can lead to destructive behaviors in dogs, the specific craving for underwear during pregnancy is primarily driven by hormonal changes.

It is essential to provide your pregnant dog with ample mental and physical stimulation to prevent boredom or anxiety-related behaviors. 

By understanding the behavior behind these cravings, you can take the necessary steps to prevent your pregnant dog from munching on your underwear. 

Ensuring a safe and healthy environment for your pet during pregnancy is crucial for their well-being and the well-being of their puppies.

Nutritional Deficiencies And Cravings

why does my dog lick my underwear

Exploring The Connection Between Cravings And Nutritional Needs

It can be perplexing and sometimes even amusing to witness your pregnant dog exhibiting strange behavior, such as eating your underwear. One possible explanation for this behavior is related to nutritional deficiencies and cravings. 

Similar to humans, pregnant dogs may experience fluctuating hormone levels, which can lead to unusual cravings. These cravings can arise from the body’s instinct to seek out specific nutrients needed for the developing puppies.

How To Ensure Your Pregnant Dog Is Getting A Balanced Diet

To meet your pregnant dog’s nutritional needs and help prevent cravings and odd eating behaviors, it is vital to provide a well-balanced diet.

A balanced diet should incorporate high-quality protein sources, essential fatty acids, carbohydrates, vitamins, and minerals. These nutrients play a crucial role in supporting the health and development of both the mother and the puppies.

Here are some key considerations for ensuring your pregnant dog receives a balanced diet:

  1. Choose a premium-quality dog food that is specifically formulated for pregnant or nursing dogs. Look for options that provide a balanced blend of proteins, fats, and carbohydrates.
  2. Consult with your veterinarian to determine the appropriate portion size and feeding frequency for your pregnant dog. The nutritional needs can vary based on the breed, size, and stage of pregnancy.
  3. Consider supplementing your dog’s diet with additional sources of protein, such as cooked lean meats (e.g., chicken or turkey) or high-quality canned dog food. These protein sources can help meet the increased protein requirements during pregnancy.
  4. Include small amounts of essential fatty acids in your dog’s diet, such as fish oil or flaxseed oil. These fatty acids play a vital role in supporting brain development in the puppies.
  5. Provide access to fresh water at all times to ensure proper hydration.

Seeking Advice From A Veterinarian For Dietary Adjustments

If your pregnant dog continues to exhibit odd eating behaviors, including consuming inappropriate items like underwear, despite a balanced diet, it is crucial to seek advice from your veterinarian.

They can evaluate your dog’s health, assess any potential nutritional deficiencies, and recommend dietary adjustments if necessary.

Remember, each dog is unique, and their nutritional requirements may vary. Consulting with a veterinarian who is knowledgeable about your dog’s specific needs can help ensure a healthy and comfortable pregnancy for your furry friend.

Sensory Stimulation And Comfort

dog eats underwear

During pregnancy, dogs may exhibit some unusual behaviors, one of which is their tendency to chew on and even devour underwear.

While it may seem bizarre to us, there are some fascinating reasons behind this behavior that can be traced back to sensory stimulation and comfort. 

Understanding why dogs are drawn to underwear during pregnancy can help pet owners better manage and redirect this behavior, ensuring the well-being of both dogs and their humans.

Unraveling The Link Between Scent And Comfort For Dogs

For dogs, scent is an incredibly powerful sense that influences their actions and emotions. During pregnancy, hormonal shifts can heighten a dog’s sensitivity to scents, making them more prone to seek out items that carry familiar smells. 

Underwear, in particular, retains personal scents due to its close contact with the body. This may provide pregnant dogs with a sense of comfort and familiarity, reminding them of their human companions.

Exploring The Appeal Of Underwear As A Sensory-rich Snack

In addition to scent, dogs also rely heavily on their sense of taste and texture. Underwear, with its various fabrics, textures, and elastic bands, provides a sensory-rich experience for dogs that can be intriguing and enjoyable. 

The combination of different materials and their unique flavors may make underwear an enticing snack option for pregnant dogs seeking additional sensory stimulation during this sensitive time.

Alternative Ways To Provide Sensory Stimulation And Comfort

While it’s important to redirect your dog’s behavior away from chewing on underwear, it’s equally essential to provide them with alternative forms of sensory stimulation and comfort. Here are some options that can help satisfy their needs:

  • Offer appropriate chew toys designed specifically for dogs, which provide a safe and stimulating outlet for their chewing instincts.
  • Engage in interactive playtime to keep your dog mentally and physically stimulated, as well as to strengthen your bond.
  • Provide soothing scents, such as lavender or chamomile, in the form of essential oils or calm-inducing sprays to create a calming environment.
  • Create a cozy and comfortable space for your dog using soft bedding, soothing music, and dim lighting.

By focusing on these alternative methods of sensory stimulation and comfort, you can help your pregnant dog redirect their behaviors away from underwear and provide a supportive environment during this transformative time.

 Stress, Anxiety, And Coping Mechanisms

During pregnancy, dogs can experience various physical and psychological changes, just like humans. These changes may cause stress and anxiety, and dogs may exhibit peculiar behaviors, such as eating underwear.

 Understanding the impact of stress and anxiety on pregnant dogs is crucial in order to provide them with appropriate care. Additionally, recognizing how dogs use objects like underwear as coping mechanisms can help owners address these behaviors effectively. 

In this section, we will delve into the relationship between stress, anxiety, and coping mechanisms in pregnant dogs, while offering helpful tips to reduce their stress levels.

Understanding The Impact Of Stress And Anxiety On Dogs During Pregnancy

Just like humans, pregnant dogs can experience stress and anxiety due to hormonal changes and physical discomfort. This can manifest in various ways, including behavioral changes and destructive habits like eating underwear. 

Stress and anxiety affect not only the mother dog, but also the developing puppies in her womb. High levels of stress can lead to negative impacts on their overall health and development. 

It is important to be aware of these effects and take necessary steps to minimize stress and anxiety in pregnant dogs.

How Dogs May Use Objects Like Underwear As Coping Mechanisms

Dogs often use objects as coping mechanisms when they are feeling stressed or anxious. While it may seem odd, underwear can provide a sense of comfort to pregnant dogs. 

The familiar scent of their owners on these objects can offer reassurance in times of distress. Chewing or eating underwear may provide a temporary outlet for their anxiety or help them release pent-up energy. 

However, this behavior can be dangerous as it may lead to choking hazards or intestinal blockages. Therefore, it is important to address this habit by providing alternative coping mechanisms that are safe for both the dog and her puppies.

Tips For Reducing Stress And Anxiety In Pregnant Dogs

Reducing stress and anxiety in pregnant dogs is essential for their well-being and the healthy development of their puppies. Here are some effective tips to help alleviate their stress:

  1. Establish a calm environment: Create a quiet, safe space for the pregnant dog where she can retreat to when feeling overwhelmed. This can be a dedicated room or a cozy corner in the house.
  2. Stick to a routine: Dogs thrive with a consistent schedule. Establishing a daily routine for feeding, exercise, and rest can help reduce anxiety.
  3. Provide mental stimulation: Engage the pregnant dog’s mind through interactive toys, training activities, or puzzle games. Mental stimulation can divert their attention from stressors and help them relax.
  4. Ensure regular exercise: Regular physical exercise is vital for reducing stress. Take the pregnant dog for daily walks or engage in low-impact activities suitable for her condition.
  5. Use calming techniques: Consider using calming aids such as pheromone diffusers or soothing music specifically designed for dogs. These can help create a calming atmosphere at home.
  6. Seek professional guidance: If the pregnant dog’s stress and anxiety persist or worsen, it is advisable to consult a veterinarian or a professional dog behaviorist for guidance and support.

By implementing these tips, dog owners can help minimize stress and anxiety in pregnant dogs, fostering a comfortable and healthy environment for them and their puppies.

Redirecting The Behavior

why do dogs eat underwear

Dealing with a pregnant dog that has a habit of munching on your underwear can be frustrating and puzzling. However, it’s important to understand that this behavior is not uncommon and can be redirected with the right techniques.

 By taking a proactive approach and implementing positive reinforcement and training techniques, providing appropriate chew toys and treats as alternatives, and creating a safe and engaging environment, you can discourage your pregnant dog from snacking on your underwear.

Positive Reinforcement And Training Techniques To Discourage Underwear Snacking

When it comes to redirecting your dog’s behavior, positive reinforcement and training techniques can be highly effective. The key is to reward your dog for good behavior and provide clear guidance on what is expected. Here are some steps you can take:

  1. Firstly, establish a strong foundation of basic obedience commands such as “sit,” “stay,” and “leave it.” These commands will come in handy when you need to redirect your dog’s attention away from your underwear.
  2. When you catch your dog attempting to munch on your underwear, firmly say “leave it” and redirect their attention to an appropriate chew toy or treat. Reward them with praise and a treat when they engage with the toy instead of your underwear.
  3. Consistency is key! Make sure everyone in your household follows the same redirection technique and reinforces positive behavior consistently.
  4. Ensure that you are not inadvertently reinforcing the behavior by giving attention or scolding when your dog snatches your underwear. Instead, focus on redirecting their attention and rewarding good behavior.

Providing Appropriate Chew Toys And Treats As Alternatives

One effective way to discourage your pregnant dog from eating your underwear is to offer appropriate chew toys and treats as alternatives. By providing them with appealing and safe options, you can redirect their chewing behavior. Here are a few tips:

  • Choose chew toys that are designed specifically for dogs and are suitable for their chewing needs.
  • Select toys made from durable materials that can withstand the strong jaws of a pregnant dog.
  • Consider toys that have different textures and interactive features to keep your dog engaged and satisfied.
  • Rotate the toys regularly to keep them interesting and avoid boredom.
  • Additionally, provide your pregnant dog with a variety of treats that are safe and appropriate for their diet. This will give them an alternative to satisfy their chewing desires.

How To Create A Safe And Engaging Environment For Your Pregnant Dog

Creating a safe and engaging environment for your pregnant dog is crucial in preventing behavior issues such as underwear snacking. Here’s how you can do it:

  • Provide plenty of mental and physical stimulation through daily walks, play sessions, and puzzle toys.
  • Ensure your pregnant dog has a designated space with comfortable bedding, where they can relax and feel secure.
  • Keep your underwear out of your dog’s reach by securely storing them in drawers or closed closets.
  • Use pet gates or baby gates to restrict access to certain areas of your home where your underwear may be easily accessible.
  • Supervise your pregnant dog closely, especially during the early stages of behavior redirection. This will allow you to intervene and redirect their attention when needed.

Frequently Asked Questions On Why Does My Dog Eat My Underwear While Pregnant


What Do Dogs Do Around Pregnant Women?

Dogs provide comfort and support to pregnant women. They are known to be protective, gentle, and intuitive towards their owners, and may display increased affection and attentiveness. They can offer emotional support, reduce stress, and provide companionship during this special time.

Can Dogs Smell Babies In Womb?

Yes, dogs have a powerful sense of smell and can detect changes in a pregnant woman’s body, including the scent of a baby in the womb.

Why Does My Dog Only Eat My Girlfriends Underwear?

Dogs may eat your girlfriend’s underwear due to scent and texture appeal. It’s important to keep underwear out of reach to prevent ingestion, as it can lead to serious health issues.

Can Dogs Smell A Pregnant Woman?

Yes, dogs can smell a pregnant woman due to hormonal changes in her body. Dogs possess a strong sense of smell that enables them to detect various changes, including pregnancy. They may exhibit different behaviors or show curiosity towards pregnant women.


To sum up, pregnant dogs may eat underwear due to various factors such as scent, texture, or even anxiety. While it might seem amusing or harmless, it is crucial to ensure the safety and well-being of both your pet and your items.

Providing appropriate chew toys, maintaining a consistent routine, and seeking guidance from a veterinarian can help address this behavior and prevent any potential health complications. 

Remember, understanding your dog’s needs and behavior during pregnancy is key to a happy and healthy experience.


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