Dog Ate Underwear: How Long to Pass? An In-Depth Guide

Imagine coming home after a long day, only to find a shredded piece of your favorite underwear in the corner and your fur baby looking up at you with those innocent eyes. So, now the burning question is – how long will it take for your dog to pass the underwear? And your friend may not only like underwear they may eat anything they see around them. How can you stop your dog from munching anything they see? Let’s dive into it!

Unraveling the Underwear-Eating Phenomenon

Ever wondered why dogs can’t resist the lure of your laundry basket, specifically that pile of discarded underwear? The answer lies in the fascinating world of canine olfaction – that’s a fancy term for the dog’s sense of smell. Dogs have a remarkably advanced sense of smell, up to 100,000 times better than us humans. As astounding as it might sound, it’s these extraordinary sniffing capabilities that land your undies in the doggy danger zone!

Our underwear, particularly, presents an olfactory jackpot for our canine companions. This might be a little embarrassing, but the strong, personal scents that your underwear carries, including sweat, skin cells, and yes, other bodily secretions, are like a siren’s call to your dog. From your pup’s perspective, these scents are as much a part of you as a hug or a pat on the head. To them, your underwear smells like the essence of you, their favorite human!

And the intrigue doesn’t stop at your scent. Dogs are inherently curious creatures. Combine this curiosity with an object that smells overwhelmingly of their favorite person in the world, and it’s no wonder that your dog finds underwear irresistible. This peculiar fascination can result in anything from a harmless sniff to a full-blown chew-and-swallow operation.

Before you start questioning your dog’s palate, let me assure you that your pup doesn’t have a bizarre taste for underwear. Rather, they’re drawn to the familiar, comforting scent of their owners. While it might be flattering that your dog finds your smell so appealing, it’s important to remember that this behavior can pose a health risk to your pet.

So, the next time you catch your fur buddy nose-diving into the laundry basket, understand that it’s their strong sense of smell and innate curiosity at play. And while it’s essential to curb this behavior for their safety, don’t forget to appreciate the quirkiness of these moments. After all, it’s all part of the joy (and occasional frustration) of dog ownership!

High Stakes: The Dangers and Risks

As funny as it might sound to us, a dog eating underwear isn’t just a harmless prank—it’s risky business. You may think of underwear as a soft and harmless piece of fabric, but for our dogs’ digestive systems, it’s a whole different story. Let’s dive deeper into why this seemingly goofy behavior might have some pretty serious consequences.

Firstly, consider the type of fabric. Underwear is made from a variety of materials, from natural fibers like cotton to synthetic ones like nylon and polyester. Now, imagine swallowing a piece of nylon or lace. Sounds unpleasant, doesn’t it? Unfortunately, that’s what our furry buddies are dealing with when they decide to snack on our unmentionables. These materials are not designed to be digested and can pose a major challenge to a dog’s digestive system.

Moreover, if the swallowed underwear ends up blocking the dog’s gastrointestinal tract, it’s known as a bowel obstruction. This is a serious condition that requires immediate veterinary intervention. Symptoms might include vomiting, loss of appetite, lethargy, and changes in bowel movement. A severe obstruction could even necessitate surgical removal—yikes!

Even if we’re lucky and the underwear passes through without causing a blockage, it could still lead to irritation or injury to the lining of the digestive tract. You know that feeling when you eat something super spicy, and your stomach feels like it’s on fire? It’s probably a similar sensation for our pups—only a lot less spicy and a lot more uncomfortable.

Lastly, some underwear may contain traces of chemicals or dyes that can potentially be harmful if ingested. While most of these are generally safe for skin contact, they aren’t meant to be swallowed. We’re talking about potential toxic reactions here, which are as scary as they sound.

So, while a dog eating underwear might seem like a laughable matter, the risks involved are anything but. Ensuring our dogs’ safety means keeping those tasty-looking undies out of their reach.

Underwear Types and the Doggie Digestive Dance

Just like your stomach might protest after you gobble down a whole pizza, dogs’ tummies can also have a tough time dealing with underwear. Synthetic materials like nylon or polyester can be especially tough to pass and may even cause a blockage – a serious situation.

Breed-Specific Propensity: Are Some Dogs More Inclined to Chow Down Undies?

From my own experience with my Golden Retriever, George, certain breeds do seem more inclined to this behavior. But remember, every dog has a personality of its own, so there’s no hard and fast rule here.

A Peek Into the Canine Mind: Understanding Underwear Eating

Let’s dive into the mind of our dogs for a moment. While it’s convenient to write off underwear munching as a mere quirk, it could be much more than that. Sometimes, this unusual behavior may be your dog’s unique way of expressing discomfort or distress, akin to a cry for help. So, what’s the psychological impetus behind this peculiar behavior?

One possible explanation is separation anxiety. Dogs are social animals, and they form profound emotional bonds with their human companions. When left alone, they might feel stressed or anxious. Your dog might resort to chewing on your underwear as a coping mechanism because it smells strongly of you, which provides them with a sense of comfort and familiarity in your absence. Essentially, it’s their way of saying, “I miss you and don’t like being alone!”

Another possibility is that your dog may be experiencing boredom or lack of mental stimulation. Just like humans, dogs need regular mental and physical exercise to keep their minds sharp and bodies healthy. If your dog is left alone for extended periods without sufficient stimulation or outlets for their energy, they may turn to destructive behaviors such as chewing or eating objects around the house—including your underwear—as a way to entertain themselves.

In some cases, the behavior could be an attention-seeking tactic. Dogs, much like children, often learn that negative behavior gets them attention. If your reaction to your dog eating your underwear is to fuss over them—even if that attention is negative—they might continue the behavior simply because it gets them the attention they crave. In their eyes, negative attention is better than no attention at all.

Finally, this could be indicative of a condition called pica, where dogs feel compelled to eat non-food items. This could be due to nutritional deficiencies, gastrointestinal diseases, or even certain brain conditions.

Understanding these potential emotional and psychological factors is vital to addressing the issue effectively. By comprehending why our dogs might be chewing on our underwear, we can tailor our response to address the root cause rather than just the symptom. Whether it’s spending more quality time with them, providing additional mental and physical stimulation, or seeking professional veterinary or behavioral advice, our understanding of their mindset guides us in caring for them better.

Curbing the Underwear Munching Behavior

Training our dogs not to eat underwear starts with us. Remember when George munched on my favorite pair of undies? I started by keeping laundry out of his reach. For tougher cases, a chat with a professional dog trainer or vet might be just what the doctor ordered.

What If My Dog Ate Underwear: How Long to Pass?

The million-dollar question! Typically, it might take anywhere between 10 hours to 2 days for a dog to pass ingested material. However, if your dog seems uncomfortable or hasn’t passed the underwear in 2 days, it’s time to call the vet.

Also learn to comfort dog with pancreatitis, because pancreatitis is potentially life threatening. Confirming pancreatitis and taking action in time can save your favourite pet’s life.

Real-life Stories and Case Studies

My neighbor, for instance, once found her dachshund, Daisy, in a similar pickle. Daisy passed the fabric in about a day and a half, but not before giving her family a good scare! It’s stories like these that remind us to always keep a close eye on our furry friends.


In conclusion, a dog eating underwear is no laughing matter. It’s crucial to keep an eye on our furry friends, keep potential “snacks” out of reach, and consult a vet when in doubt. After all, it’s better to be safe than sorry when it comes to our pets’ health. What’s your underwear-eating dog story? Share in the comments below!


Why do dogs eat underwear?

Dogs are often attracted to the strong scent that these garments carry, which they associate with their owners. This combined with their natural curiosity can result in them chewing and sometimes swallowing underwear.

How long does it take for a dog to pass underwear?

Depending on the size of the dog and the amount of underwear consumed, it could take anywhere from 10 hours to 2 days or more. However, it’s best to consult a vet if you suspect your dog has eaten underwear to ensure there are no complications.

What should I do if my dog ate underwear?

If your dog has consumed underwear, monitor them closely for signs of discomfort or distress. These could include vomiting, changes in bowel movements, or lethargy. If they show any of these signs, consult a vet as soon as possible.

How can I prevent my dog from eating underwear?

Keeping your laundry, particularly underwear, out of your dog’s reach is a good start. You can also ensure they have sufficient mental and physical stimulation to prevent them from seeking out things to chew on.

Is it dangerous if my dog ate underwear?

Yes, it can potentially be dangerous. Eating underwear can lead to a bowel obstruction, which is a serious condition that requires immediate veterinary attention.

Should I induce vomiting if my dog ate underwear?

It’s not recommended to induce vomiting without professional guidance as it may cause more harm. Always consult with your veterinarian first.

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