Most women will have to go through that ‘time of the month’ when their menstruation cycle starts.
This includes your monthly bouts of cramps, mood swings, chocolate cravings,
Life might have thrown you another curveball when you realized that your dog had just eaten one of your used sanitary pads.
I understand that you might be freaking out right now but a dog eating a soiled pad happens a lot more often than you can imagine.
Dogs are attracted to the scent of human pheromones and menstrual blood in sanitary pads. Some dogs can even ingest sanitary napkins out of boredom, anxiety or curiosity. It is important to note that the ingestion of sanitary pads can be harmful to dogs, potentially leading to intestinal blockages or other health issues.
In this article, you will better understand the reasons why your dog ate your pad and the necessary steps you need to take.
Why On Earth Would My Dog Eat My Pad?
It can be hard to put a finger on your dog’s behavior at a time like this.
As a dog owner myself, I’ve lost count of the times my dog has made me exclaimed “OMG!!!”
But it is possible to narrow down such an incident to a few reasons.
Your Dog Is A Scavenger
There are times when I look at my foolish lazy dog and wonder how it actually evolved from wolves or a gray wolf to be exact.
Wolves in general are pack animals and they hunt and live in groups.
They are mainly carnivores but when food in the wild starts to get scarce, they scavenge and consume almost anything that smells appealing and provided nutrients.
Even feasting on rotting carcasses is normal if they are hungry enough.
This gives our domesticated dogs the ability to eat spoiled meat without much issue.
You might think that your dog won’t know about the discarded pads that you have thrown away in the bathroom trash.
But its keen sense of smell is able to pick up the scent trail as you would with someone with bad body odor in the subway.
Some dog breeds can smell 10,000x better than a human!
And with the smell of stale and dried blood on the sanitary napkins, it is hard for your dog to not detect the scent in the air.
To your dog, your pad is a scrumptious snack that is too hard to ignore.
Your Dog Is Just Plain Disgusting
If there’s a contest for the most ‘disgusting’ pet award, I think dogs will walk away with the top prize each time.
Your four-legged friend can be absolutely, unquestionably, revolting by human standards.
And I’m sure my cat agrees with the above statement too when it comes to his dog-brother.
Many dogs have an uncanny interest in things we find gross.
Whether it’s rolling around in a pile of dead leaves, slurping water from a muddy puddle or having a little ‘snack’ from the cat’s litter box.
Even a dead mouse might look like a yummy snack if your dog is hungry or curious enough.
If it’s a stinky, grimy mess, chances are, your dog is into it.
This attraction to all things repulsive is part and parcel of your dog’s primal behavior. It is just your dog being a dog.
A used sanitary pad is a treasure trove of intriguing smells and dare we say, tastes.
Your Dog Is As Curious As A Cat
Despite cats generally holding the title for curiosity, our dogs are not too far behind when it comes to sticking their cute noses in places where they don’t belong.
My cat gets excited when I bring out the red laser pointer or entice him with a feather.
For my dog, he goes where his nose leads him to.
Any new or weird scent that he picks up is worthy of a thorough investigation.
The strong scent and often hidden location of your sanitary pad make it an irresistible mystery to our canine detective.
Once your dog finally locates the pad, there’s no stopping it from taking a bite out of it.
To them, it’s a chance to explore an intriguing scent and perhaps even gain some sustenance.
Your Dog Is Stressed Out
Our dogs are emotional beings like us and even though your canine friend doesn’t have to deal with office politics or bad traffic, they can still experience stress.
Here are some scenarios that can stress your dog out:
- Separation anxiety
- Post traumatic stress disorder
- New environment
- New pet or family member
- Lack of exercise
To help cope with this increase in stress level, the dog will engage in what one would call ‘displacement behavior’.
This is when the dog engages in certain behaviors as a coping mechanism for how it is actually feeling at the moment.
We humans have unhealthy ways of coping under pressure such as drinking, smoking or binge eating.
For dogs, this can be in the form of excessive licking, scratching or in this case, eating soiled sanitary pads.
The strong scent, particularly of used pads, can be oddly comforting to your dog.
Your pheromones and bodily fluids are on the discarded pad which smells familiar to your dog.
As gross as it may sound, your dog might regard your pad as ‘comfort food’.
Your Dog Has Pica
Pica is an eating disorder in dogs that causes them to have a great desire to eat inedible foreign objects.
This can range from toys, paper, clothing items, rocks, metal, glass and more personal items like sanitary pads.
I have even heard horror stories about dogs with pica eating their owner’s air pods!
Scientists are still baffled as to what can cause Pica in dogs but they believe that it could be due to:
- Nutritional deficiency
Pica is a dangerous condition for dogs as it can lead to a wide range of health problems.
The dog can suffer from dental damage and digestive issues that might require surgery to fix.
Is It Dangerous For My Dog To Eat A Pad?
When your dog consumes a maxi pad, it can cause some health concerns for your dog as the material isn’t digestible.
Small dog breeds or puppies stand a higher risk of choking on a pad. The pad can get stuck in their throats which can make it difficult to breathe.
The main job of the pad is to absorb all the blood flow and bodily fluids during the menstrual cycle.
In order to do this well, pads have to be very absorbent.
The problem with ingesting something absorbent is that the foreign object can drastically swell up in your dog’s digestive system causing an intestinal blockage.
This is a serious condition that requires immediate veterinary attention.
Truth be told, your dog having a stomach upset from eating maxi pads should be the least of your worries.
But in the fortunate event that your dog doesn’t choke or suffers from an intestinal blockage, there’s a good chance that it might experience diarrhea and vomiting.
Can My Dog Die From Eating Sanitary Pads?
The straight-up answer is yes.
Choking on a sanitary napkin or having it block your dog’s digestive system can often be fatal if left untreated.
Learning how to unchoke your dog is a much-needed skill to learn as they tend to eat stuff that they shouldn’t.
The Heimlich Maneuver is a technique that is often used to save a dog that is choking.
It can also be used to save your dog if it is choking on a pad.
If the pad is causing an intestinal blockage in your dog, it can lead to canine bloat which is life-threatening.
Your dog’s stomach can flip onto itself and cut off blood supply to that area.
Symptoms of canine bloat include:
- Bloated stomach
- Painful abdomen
- Trouble breathing
- Loss of appetite
Surgery is usually the best way to resolve canine bloating in dogs.
What Should I Do After My Dog Has Eaten A Pad?
If you know that your dog has eaten your pad, please get it to the vet ASAP even though it seems fine.
There’s no way of telling the kind of damage that the pad can do internally.
Furthermore, the faster you get your dog to the vet, more treatment options can be considered.
Please do not attempt to induce vomiting in your dog without consulting your vet first. It can cause more harm than good if not done correctly.
What Happens When My Dog Eats Period Blood?
There’s not much to worry about your dog being harmed by your menstrual blood.
Your dog’s digestive systems are very robust and acidic which can handle food and substances that can give us a bad stomach ache.
Period blood, being biological in nature, doesn’t pose a significant health risk in terms of toxicity.
Can My Dog Pass A Pad?
It is technically possible for your dog to pass a small piece of a sanitary pad through its digestive system without any complications.
But it’s far from guaranteed and very risky.
The size and shape of the pad in relation to the size of the dog play a huge factor.
If you have a Great Dane that ate an average-sized pad, it should pass it out without much issues.
But if you have a Chihuahua that ingested the same thing, it might not be able to fully pass out the pad.
How Can I Stop My Dog From Eating My Pads?
It can be difficult to stop your dog from acting on its natural instincts but you can make it a lot harder for your dog to access your pads.
First of all, don’t leave them in a place that is easy for your dog to access.
If you dispose of your used pads in the bin, make sure to get bins that have lockable lids.
An even better way is to keep your bathroom doors closed at all times if you are not using it.
It is fine if your dog can smell but not taste it.
Secondly, train your dog to stay away from garbage bins right from the start.
These areas are treasure troves for our dogs due to all the weird and interesting smells that are emitting from there.
Are Tampons Dangerous For My Dogs Too?
Tampons can also pose a significant threat to dogs when ingested.
Just like sanitary pads, tampons are made from absorbent materials that can cause obstruction in a dog’s digestive system.
Another bigger issue with tampons is the long string that is attached to it.
The string can get entangled in your dog’s digestive system which can further complicate matters.