Dogs are extremely curious creatures, and they like to stick their nosy muzzle in all kinds of weird stuff.
Therefore, you are probably not surprised when you find his snout sniffing around your crotch from time to time while you are menstruating.
But, although it is a common behavior, you just can’t stop asking yourself why dogs like period blood!
Yes, it is gross, and yes, it can be utterly embarrassing, but is this kind of dog behavior something you should be worried about?
Besides the very unpleasant feeling of having someone sticking his nose around your private parts, and on top of it all, doing it while you are in public surrounded by other people, the thing is that your dog does what dogs do.
In a certain way, this means that your dog is one healthy and curious explorer pooch, but as a dog owner, you are the one who needs to set firm boundaries and involve some dog training to prevent these ill-at-ease manners.
In order to know how to prevent this behavior, we must learn why it happens. Here are scientific findings as to why your crotch sniffer gets all excited about menstrual blood, and what we can do about it. Now, let’s dive into some facts.
Why Do Dogs Like Period Blood?
1. It Is Normal – They Are Explorers
Evolutionary modern dogs are descendants of their wild, wolf-like ancestors. Significant changes occurred in the evolution of this species through the process of domestication. Dogs became home animals, and suddenly there was a special connection built up between humans and dogs.
Despite it all, their primal instinct is something that connects them to their great grandparents. This means that they are scavengers in their nature with a conspicuous sense of smell, and therefore, they have an innate urge to explore the world around them.
Since they are curious by nature, and the smell of blood is very appealing and strong, it is no wonder why they have the urge to find out what the source of this new kind of odor is.
For a dog, it is like an invitation for a new adventure that sometimes includes picking through garbage to find his blooded trophy – and often, even eating used pads, diapers or used tampons. Yuck!
Over and above, this adventurous hunt is very messy, and it needs to be cleaned up after it is done. Gross.
2. The Smell Of Blood Naturally Attracts Dogs
A Dog’s nose is a very sensitive organ, which helps him recognize people and places he has already met or been to, which is very intriguing for this animal. If we add in their ancestral opportunistic bloodhound nature, we can better understand their need to smell around bleeding human females.
Namely, in the past, while dogs still weren’t domesticated, they didn’t have a lot of food provided, so they had to take every opportunity for food in order to survive. Therefore, they would hunt. Certainly, they didn’t hunt wild strawberries or raspberries, but small animals such as birds and mice, or even some larger animals.
Besides fresh meat, they were more than satisfied if they ran into some kind of rotten carrion.
Even though menstrual blood is not quite the same as “regular“ blood, the smell of blood protein is intriguing to a dog for these reasons – it reminds them of food.
3. It Is All Chemistry – The Smell Of Pheromones Is A Trigger
The Menstrual cycle is a complex phenomenon, followed by changing hormonal levels.
During ovulation, and later, while menstruating, apocrine glands release pheromones that are very intriguing, especially to a male dog.
Some researchers say that medium to large dogs are fonder of this activity. This activates sensory receptors in the dog’s vomeronasal organ.
Therefore, this makes your dog sniff more around your genital area and armpits in order to collect more information about the odor.
These smells are similar to the smell of female dogs during the time of estrus in their heat cycle. This dog smell means a sign that there is an opportunity for mating, which tends to lead to an odd sexual attraction to humans .
4. They Learned It From Another Dog
Like humans, dogs are also able to learn by imitating. Mostly, they learn by watching another dog do it and repeating their behavior, especially when they are small and watching large dogs.
It doesn’t have to be another dog from your household if you are wondering how is this even possible when I only have one dog. He could see another dog lick content from a trash can in a park, for example, or while visiting your friend who also has a dog. The good news is that you can train your dog to behave properly by using reinforcement training.
5. You Unconsciously Encouraged Your Dog To Do So
With dogs, it is not like with humans. For them, your attention is a reward for their behavior.
So, when your dog does something bad, it is not only treats or petting that makes him feel like a good boy, but every reaction that comes from his beloved human gives him a feeling of seventh heaven.
You would expect that yelling at someone would make the other person feel uncomfortable and scared, and this is true if you are yelling at your child or another grown up, but not with dogs. They feel like you are being playful and really like this kind of behavior, so they purposely start repeating it, and eventually make it a behavior.
So, any kind of emotional reaction to your dog is a sign for learning a certain behavior.
6. He Just Doesn’t Know What To Do With Himself?!
Boredom makes us do strange things, and the same is with dogs. These curious creatures by nature can easily spot some fun even in the most odd places and things.
If you have a busy calendar, and you are away from home for a big part of the day, your dog will start to miss you.
Sometimes, out of a lack of distractions and boredom, the dog becomes anxious, and in order to relieve anxiety and boredom, he tries to find comfort in some amusing trash hunt.
So, if you still ask yourself – why do dogs like period blood, the answer is: they are bored!
How To Reduce This Behavior
1. Teach Him “NO” And “Leave It”
Maybe the most helpful and long-term profitable way to stop your dog from misbehaving, and to stem potential sexual frustration , is setting firm boundaries by teaching him the meaning of basic commands, such as “NO” and “LEAVE IT”.
You must be patient and consistent. There are a few steps that will help you teach your dog these commands.
First, you have to choose a treat that your dog responds to. Put it in your hand and close your fist. Then, you let your dog smell the treat. This will make your dog want to eat the treat from your hand, but you should just ignore it and don’t let him do it.
The second step is giving a command. It should be a clear and easy one like “NO” or “LEAVE IT”, but it could also be something else.
The third step starts when your dog looks away from the treat or stops trying to take it. When this happens, you say the command, “YES”, and open your hand to hand out the treat.
The fourth step consists of repeating this chain of actions until your dog adopts the newly-learned behavior and moves away by itself on the first command. Maybe you will need to repeat it a few times before the desired effect occurs. But, remember – repeating is the mother of all knowledge, and consistency is the key.
2. Close The Door And Take Out The Trash
A quite simple solution for this problem is to be highly aware of emptying your trash cans and setting a barrier between your dog and his “hunt“. This may be something we usually forget to do, but it is indeed very effective.
If it is possible for you, keep the bathroom door closed so the odor from the trash won’t spread around and lure your sniffy friend to explore where he shouldn’t be exploring.
Another way is to take out the trash regularly. This way, the chance for the dog’s access to garbage will be eliminated.
3. Catch His Attention
If you catch your dog playing with trash, try to catch his attention with something more exciting that will divert him in his mischief.
It could be an invitation for a walk by showing him a leash. You could try throwing his favorite ball or squeezing his funny squeaky toy.
Or, give him an offer he can’t resist – a yummy treat that he loves so much.
Remember, you are the one who knows your dog best. Any idea that would work is a good idea.
Should I Be Worried?
Does the question of why dogs like period blood still occupy your mind and you still can’t stop thinking of it?
The thought of your dog licking period blood is frightening by itself, and, should I say, disgusting – but we can’t say it is unnatural behavior for a dog.
Some dog breeds that are bred for hunting have stronger appeal towards the smell of blood. Basically, you don’t have to be particularly worried if your dog shows interest in this kind of behavior, but it is probably good if you take your time to teach him how not to do it.
A possible danger that can occur in this situation is if your dog eats a used tampon. Tampons are made of such a material that expands when absorbing any kind of liquid. It is also not good if the dog eats a used pad. Both can cause intestinal blockage.
If the dog ingests one of these items, it could show in his poop. But, if your dog shows signs of difficult breathing, excessive drooling, lethargy, pawing at the mouth, or gagging, it is possible that he is choking, and in that case, you should act immediately.
It is not recommended to stick your hand into your dog’s mouth because it could make the situation even worse – immediately take him to the vet.
When you think of it, dogs really like to try eating or sniffing some odd stuff. From poop and toilet seats to menstrual blood and other not-so-appealing things, you can easily get disgusted and horrified with his behavior. But, that’s only true if you observe it from the human side and persistently can’t explain to yourself why dogs like period blood.
To understand a dog’s behavior, you should look at the world through the dog’s eyes. And, a dog sees the world full of all kinds of spectacles waiting just for him to uncover. That is where the fun begins.
Some of these funny occurrences aren’t always so amusing to us, but with a little bit of effort, we can be able to understand why they are happening, and when we get to know things, it is easier to deal with them. That is the case with this phenomenon in which a dog shows so much interest in human period blood.
Now we know that it is not such uncommon behavior, even though it is uncomfortable. So, to prevent it, apply these tips that you have learned here. Hey – don’t stress about it – it is all natural.
Till next time – have fun.