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7 Real Reasons Why Your Dog Is Eating Your Pads (2023)

Why Is My Dog Eating My Pads

You caught your pooch busily eating something from the trash.

But oh, no.

It’s not the snack you threw a while ago.

Instead, you found your Fido’s munching on your used pads.

And it’s as if they’re on a bloody feast. 


Why do dogs do that?

Continue reading to learn:

  • 7 shocking reasons why your dog eats your pads.
  • The dangers of consuming feminine pads in canines.
  • 3 practical tips to stop this ‘pad-eating’ behavior of your dog.
  • And a lot more…

Why is my dog eating my pads? 7 reasons

#1: They detect ‘pheromones’

First things first…

It’s not the pad alone that draws your Fido, but the smell of your period blood.

Now, why’s that?

For your pooch, your pads smell scent-sational because of ‘pheromones.’

These are invisible chemicals that the body releases.

Experts say there are sweat glands in the human genital area. 

These produce pheromones. And the amount increases when you:

  • Ovulate.
  • Breastfeed.
  • Menstruate.

So due to your dog’s incredible sense of smell

They can detect your pheromones right away.

That’s why during that ‘time of the month’…

You may notice that your Fido sniffs you more than usual too.

And aside from your period blood…

A study says that pheromones are also in your other bodily fluids, like:

“So, what do pheromones do?”

These send ‘hidden’ signals to other members of the same species.

And they also hold info about an individual.

So they’re used in communication.

For example, when a female dog’s in heat, she smells differently.

And it’s because she releases pheromones.

Then, these send signals to other canines. Making them aware of a female dog in heat nearby.

Which then lures male Fidos and causes them to be sexually excited.

“What about in humans?”

Pheromones may also play a role in attraction.

But wait. 

Dogs don’t get sexually attracted to people.

According to science

Pheromones only affect members of the same species.

So dogs only attract Fidos. And the same for us and other animals.

“But why is my dog obsessed with my pads then?”

Your pooch is only seeking information.

Imagine the strong odor of your period blood.

Plus, the number of your pheromones in there.

With all those olfactory stimuli…

Your pads inside the bathroom bin will be tempting for your Fido.

And it may cause them to lick your period blood. Then eat the whole sanitary napkin.

Further reading: Can Dogs Smell Human Pheromones? 7 Surprising Facts

#2: They have ‘pica’

Your Dog Is Eating Your Pads Because They Have Pica

In a recent study in Japan, this is the 3rd most common behavioral issue in dogs.

Out of 2,050 Fidos, 34.9% of them have ‘pica.’

Meanwhile, 41.1% of canines always bark at strangers. And 38.4% are reactive to external noises.

“So, what exactly is ‘pica’?”

It’s a condition wherein dogs eat non-food items.

Say pieces of paper, plastic, rocks. You name it.

That’s why if your Fido has pica, they can consume anything they see.

And if your dog has access to your toilet trash…

They can ransack it and feast on your used sanitary napkins. 

Like they’re some kind of a delicacy.

“But what causes pica in canines?”

According to PetMD, it’s hard to know the root cause of this condition.

But some of the common reasons are:

  • Hunger.
  • Nutritional deficiency.
  • Illnesses (e.g., diabetes, thyroid issues).

Also, vets observed the favorite menu of dogs.

It’s an object that smells just like their humans, such as:

Now, your Fido may also nibble on these.

However, the things above only contain your sweat.

But your pads have your ‘crimson tide.’

So what will your pooch do?

They’ll pick the soiled pads over your sweaty clothes.

And this could be the answer to your Fido’s odd behavior.

You might also like: Why does my dog vomit in the morning?

#3: They’re investigating

Next, little did you know…

Your dog might also be using their ‘Sherlock’ skills on you.

“What do you mean?”

Canines are curious by nature.

Plus, their strongest sense is smell.

And as I said earlier, there are pheromones in your bodily fluids like sweat and period blood.

So if your Fido wants to gain more info about you…

They won’t mind shoving off their snouts. And take a bite of your decaying pads.

“Ew, gross!

But what would they get from it?”

Pheromones convey messages through odors. 

And this depends on the time or reason they’re released.

So by sniffing or licking your period blood…

Your dog might know the current status of your:

  • Diet.
  • Mood.
  • Health.

#4: They love the stinky smell

Sometimes, it’s this simple:

Those 1-day-old napkins smell funky.

If most people like spraying perfume all over their bodies…

Some dogs prefer a more intense odor and roll over dead animals.

That’s why for your pooch…

Your pads might be one of the most aromatic scents they’ve ever smelled.

So they went from licking and shredding it to eating the whole thing.

“But why are dogs attracted to stinky smells?”

Curiosity may be one reason for this.

Canines can detect those odors even from afar.

Thus, it’s natural for them to get the urge to explore whatever it is.

But if you think about it.

Dogs sniff other Fidos’ poop like it’s nothing.

Also, some canines even eat deer feces. As well as frozen stools during winter.

So even though rotten pads smell so bad to you…

Your doggo wouldn’t mind it.

And you might connect this behavior to the next reason.

#5: They’re scavengers

Dogs belong to the family of wolves and foxes.

So before they became man’s best friend…

Canines had to hunt for food to survive.

But once people domesticated them about 30,000 years ago…

Our furry pals beg us for food when hungry. 

Also, they mainly depend on human food waste because it’s more accessible.

So they’re now ‘scavengers’ that raid the bins for junk.

And this might be the reason why decaying pads smell inviting for your Fido.

Plus, the rotten period blood may seem like a protein feast for your pooch too.

#6: They’re stressed out

They're Stressed Out

Did you notice any changes in your Fido’s behavior lately?

It’s because apart from the reasons I mentioned in #2, pica might also be due to:

  • Stress.
  • Anxiety.

So if your pooch suffers from either of these…

They can do anything to distract them from those feelings.

Like when some people eat their comfort food or jog outside.

But when stressed or anxious, dogs may keep on:

By doing these things on repeat, dogs get some satisfaction.


You can compare this to a kid sucking their thumb when nervous.

And that feeling of comfort prompts them to do it repeatedly.

Now, most stressed dogs may do the things listed above.

But some Fidos can also be weirdly creative.

So your pooch might find your discarded pads more attractive than their food.

And when you ignore their stress or anxiety…

It might lead to a bigger problem.

This topic made me think of a previous report about:

A ‘nail-eating’ Labrador Retriever pup

The dog’s named ‘Stretch.’ 

And based on it, the Fido ate 54 nails.

Mind you…

Those aren’t the ones on your fingers. 

But the sharp metal objects you use to fasten things.

The vet says that Stretch’s case isn’t due to malnutrition.

Because apparently, the dog had anorexia and depression.

And those caused Stretch to develop pica.

Learn more: 17 Clear Signs Of Dog Stress (Stressed Dog Body Language)

#7: They’ve got nothing to do

Lastly, is your pooch often alone at home?

And do they get enough exercise daily?

According to experts, the amount of workout will vary per dog’s:

  • Age.
  • Breed.
  • Health.
  • Personality.

For example, small breeds with average energy levels may need at least 30 minutes to 1 hour.

Meanwhile, larger working dogs require more than 2 hours of exercise daily.

So if your Fido doesn’t get to use their minds and release all the energy they have…

They’ll look for an outlet.

“What outlet?”

Usually, dogs resort to destructive behaviors like chewing on things.

So if the toilet bin’s just a meter away from your pooch…

They can get the pads you threw.

Then, shred them to pieces. And even eat those to entertain themselves.

Warning: Sanitary pads absorb fluids and expand. So when a dog eats a big amount of these for their size, it can put them at risk of:

  • Choking.
  • Intestinal blockage.

For this, consult a vet asap.

And make sure your Fido doesn’t turn into a trash gremlin again by reading the tips below.

How to stop your dog from eating your pads

#1: Keep your dog off the trash

Prevention is indeed better than cure.

So if you want your Fido not to eat pads or other non-food items, do the following:

  1. Dispose of your sanitary napkins and tissues properly.
  2. Empty your trash every day.
  3. Never leave your bathroom door open.
  4. Put heavy lids on your bins.
  5. Buy ‘pet-proof’ trash cans for your bathrooms and kitchen.

Note: This is only a short-term solution. So also consider the other tips below for it to be more effective.

#2: Use dog-deterring scents

If your Fido’s attracted to the smell of period blood…

You may also try countering it with the scent they hate, such as:

  • Citrus.
  • Vinegar.
  • Coffee grounds.

Spray or put some of these in your trash bags or bins.

Then observe first if it’s working or not.

Warning: The scents above are safe for most dogs when inhaled or ingested in small amounts. But these may cause problems for Fidos with asthma or breathing issues. So skip this tip for your dog’s safety.

#3: Stimulate your pooch

Does it seem like your dog’s ‘pad-eating’ behavior is due to the ones below?:

  • Stress.
  • Anxiety
  • Boredom.

Well, even if none of these are the main cause…

It’s still important to exercise your Fido daily – not only their body but also their brain.

And you can do the latter by: