Why Do Dogs Like Period Blood?

Reviewed By Kyoko •  Updated: 02/17/22 •  11 min read
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Why Do Dogs Like Period Blood

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Welcome to one of the strangest topics that pet parents have to deal with if they have a dog! It’s a fact that dogs seem to like period blood. But why? There are some logical reasons for this behavior, at least logical reasons for your dog!

If you’re wondering why your dog likes period blood, then you’ve come to the right place. We’ve kept the content on target and not raunchy, so don’t worry! It’s all very precise and scientific. Let’s get started!

Why Do Dogs Have an Interest in Period Blood?

Here are some of the most common reasons a dog may be attracted to menstruation blood.

1. They’re Attracted to the Smell

Dogs are driven by scent! Remember, dogs have very sensitive noses that provide information about the world around them. Their scent-ability also comes into play when they meet other dogs. For instance, a male dog will sniff a female dog’s private area. That’s because he’s seeking information about the lady dog. He can detect if she’s in heat or not. If so, he may try to mate with her right away.

A dog’s nose is that powerful. Some dogs even use their noses for work. They are trained to sniff out drugs and food, used for forensic investigations, tracking a criminal, or even for detecting bed bugs. Dogs have about 300 million scent receptors in their noses, while we have about 5 million. Did you know that dogs have even been trained to sniff out diseases such as migraines and cancer?

When a dog shows interest in menstruation blood, they’re seeking information. For one thing, the dog can detect pheromones that may be in the fluid. Humans give off pheromones, even during menstruation.

So, basically, a dog may just be gathering information about something that smells interesting to them. It’s really that basic.

2. Dogs Like Smelly Things

Menstruation blood can have a certain smell, especially to a dog’s sensitive nose. What may smell bad to us may smell good to a dog! This may be the case more with pads or tampons that have been left in the wastebasket for some time. Yes, that’s gross. But remember, we said the information would be scientific, even if it is gross.

Dogs seem to love things that smell bad. Think of those walks in the woods when you and your canine companion come across a dead thing. Many dogs will try to roll in whatever it was immediately. That’s really gross. It seems the longer the dead thing has been there, the better. The more it smells, the more the dog wants to roll in it. This behavior is incomprehensible for us, but not to our dogs.

So, it could be period blood that’s been around for a while that has an enticing scent. Yuck!

3. Dogs are Scavengers

Wild canines are scavengers and opportunistic feeders. Consider the fact that less energy is wasted eating carrion than hunting an animal down and then killing it. Our fur babies are descended from wild canines. While our dogs are domesticated, they still have some of the same instincts found in their wild relatives.

For this reason, a dog may smell period blood and think it’s something to eat. This may be the case if the menstruation blood has been around for a while in the wastebasket. It’s even possible your dog could be tempted to eat the used tampon or pad, which could be very dangerous.

Tampons and pads are made to soak up large amounts of fluid. That means they can expand a bit to take in more fluid. But what happens if a dog eats a tampon or pad? Nothing good.

If a dog eats these things, the used tampons or pads could choke your dog. That’s one thing. Another problem is that the pad or tampons could expand in the dog’s digestive tract, causing an intestinal obstruction. An intestinal obstruction is a very dangerous condition that can lead to death if not treated quickly. Choking or an intestinal blockage is extremely dangerous and could cause death to a dog.

So, if your dog has swallowed a used tampon or pad (or unused), then call the vet immediately. This is an emergency situation.

4. Obnoxious Dogs

Then there are dogs that are simply obnoxious. What do we mean? These are usually male dogs (but can also be female) who stick their noses where they shouldn’t. If a woman’s menstruating, for instance, the dog may stick his nose in her private area (we said we’d keep this clean and scientific!).

Obnoxious dogs lack boundaries, which usually means they’ve not been trained to avoid this behavior. That can be extremely embarrassing when you have company. If one of your friends comes and is menstruating, your obnoxious dog will give your friend a good goose! Not something your friend will enjoy. So, it’s best to train dogs to avoid this type of behavior.

This type of behavior is usually found in larger dogs, who are taller and able to place their noses where they shouldn’t. However, smaller dogs can also be obnoxious if someone’s sitting, for instance.

Other dogs that may be more sensitive to menstruation blood are bloodhounds. These are dog breeds that have been bred to scent hunt. They track an animal’s scent and blood to find their prey. They can sometimes also take an interest in menstruation blood.

Still, a dog should be trained not to do this. Positive reinforcement training is best, along with plenty of praise and treats.

5. Dogs are Curious

Another thing pet parents know about their fur babies is that dogs are very curious about everything and anything. This includes scents, of course. Dogs sniff people, things, other dogs, animals, and more.

So, if a woman is menstruating, it’s possible the dog may be curious. Or if the dog finds used menstruation pads and tampons in the trash, they will be curious. In that case, the dog may take these items out of the trash for further research! This is how dogs learn about their world. Ugh!

6. Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD)

Dogs, like humans, may have a condition called obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD). A dog with this condition may be drawn to period blood. However, dogs may be more than curious and try to eat the fluid and/or the material it’s on.

OCD in dogs can be caused by anxiety or stress. Dogs with this condition may do some strange things, such as lick their skin in certain places, chase flies, and more. They may even try to lick or eat something like menstruation fluids.

If your dog seems obsessive or compulsive about anything, then it’s a good idea to call the vet. The vet can examine your dog to make a definitive diagnosis. For one thing, there are medical conditions that may make a dog seem like he has OCD. However, in other cases, the dog really does have this behavioral issue.

There are medications that a vet can prescribe to help dogs with this condition. There are also other things that can help a dog with OCD, such as having a regular daily schedule, positive reinforcement training (with plenty of treats and love), and more.

How to Turn Your Dog’s Interest in Period Blood

So, what can you do to keep your dog from being interested in period blood? We’ve got some tips to help you and your dog with this upsetting (for us) behavior. Remember, this is a natural behavior for your dog. The goal is to use positive methods to train him to leave period blood alone.

Stop Access to Period Blood

One of the first things to do is to keep your dog from gaining access to anything that has period blood on it. First, you might try closing the bathroom door to keep the dog out at all times. However, this may not be effective, especially if you have kids or others who forget to close the bathroom door!

Another way to keep your dog from accessing period blood is to use a dog-proof wastebasket. You might consider one of these to use in your bathroom or wherever used menstrual products are thrown out.

iTouchless 13 Gallon Pet-Proof Sensor Trash Can: just a motion of your hand opens this trash can! There’s no need to touch the wastebasket at all. What’s more, the wastebasket absorbs odors with natural activated charcoal, which means your fur baby won’t be able to smell used menstrual products, at least not as easily!

Cq Acrylic 12 Liter Slim Plastic Trash Can: here’s another trash can that’s dog-proof. The lid of this wastebasket shuts firmly, making it more challenging for dogs to get into the trash. Its slim size makes this a perfect fit for most bathrooms!

Simplehuman 6 Liter Plastic Round Bathroom Wastebasket: this wastebasket also has a smaller size, perfect for even smaller bathrooms. You have to step on the pedal to open the wastebasket. Now, it might be easy for a very smart, large dog to open this trashcan; however, most dogs will be challenged by it!

These types of wastebaskets will limit your dog’s access to anything inside. Their covers also contain smells that might attract your fur baby.

Train Them to “Leave It”

Another way to keep your canine companion away from period blood, tampons, and pads is to teach him the command for “leave it.” Just the words may be enough to stop your dog in his tracks when he’s headed to the wastebasket.

Remember to use only positive reinforcement training methods, along with treats and plenty of praise when training your fur baby to stay away from period blood.

Redirect Your Dog’s Attention

You might also try redirecting your dog’s attention away from the period blood. You might call him and have a toy ready to play with, for instance. Another great way to get his attention is to go take him for a walk. Sometimes just seeing a leash immediately gets the dog’s mind off what he is interested in!

Take the Trash Out More Often

When you or a family member are menstruating, make it a habit to take the trash out more often. Don’t let tampons or pads stay in the trash for lengthy times. The longer they’re in the trash, the more enticing they may be to your dog!

Using scented garbage bags in the wastebasket may also mask the smell of used menstrual products. And be sure to use dog-proof wastebaskets, like those mentioned earlier. This makes it more difficult for your dog to gain access to anything that may be in the trash!

Summing It Up

Nothing is worse than having your dog go through the trash looking for used menstrual products. Well, finding him eating or shredding these things with period blood can be worse. We get that. And it’s a horrible, gross mess to clean up. Yuck!

But remember that your dog’s nose is what makes him curious about everything in his environment. Your dog’s nose can lead him into trouble, including guiding his interest in period blood. Still, this is a natural behavior of dogs. Their noses help them learn about the world, people, and animals in their environment. Dogs gain a ton of information from smelling things, including period blood.

The most effective ways to manage this behavior in your dog are through training and limiting his access. Use dog-proof wastebaskets, try to keep the bathroom door closed, and take out the trash more often when there are menstrual products in the trash.

In addition, training your dog to ignore period blood and “drop it” or “leave it” if he has menstrual products in his mouth are the next effective methods to use with your dog.

It’s definitely upsetting and gross when your dog shows interest in period blood. The main thing is to remember this is a normal part of your dog’s instinctive behavior. Use the methods suggested here to curb your dog’s interest and distract him from becoming a nuisance with menstrual products and period blood.

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Kyoko is from a family of 3 and moved to New York with her parents and siblings when she was 13. Kyoko is fond of spending a great amount of time with pets, specifically her beagle Luna and cat Missy. Her boyfriend often complains that she spends too much time giving attention to their animals. Kyoko has written dozens of articles concerning pets and is aiming at owning a pet shop one day!