Our pooches are capable of doing some really weird things, and one of them would be eating the dirty laundry. Vets all over the world have had to surgically remove socks and underwear stuck in dogs' stomachs and intestines.
What exactly is the appeal of dirty laundry that makes Fido inclined to gobble it up? Well, research shows that it's because he loves your natural odour.
It's The Smell
We know how dogs love smelling and sniffing things, and compared to humans, they have a heightened sense of smell. Having more dedicated olfactory receptors than us, our pooches are able to read coded chemical messages more specifically than we can. This causes canines to be very sensitive towards scents and hold them in high regard.
As a result, if an item carries your intimate scent, your dog will assume that you have marked it as a valuable asset item – and will do his best to attain it and eat it up. Chewing the piece of clothing also helps to bring out the smells that he is interested in.
Put A Lid On It
Our dirty laundry – especially sweaty socks and underwear – may also be damp, which further promotes the odour molecules and raises your pooch's perception to the particular clothing item.
To control your dog's habit of chewing on dirty laundry, don't leave them lying around in the first place. Get a laundry basket with a lid that he won’t be able to remove.
In addition, give Fido a chew toy to keep his mouth occupied, and use positive reinforcement by rewarding him for chewing on the right things.
With all that said, your furry friend may just be giving you a gentle reminder to be on top of your laundry schedule!
*This article was updated on 18 Apr 2021. It first appeared in PetsMagazine.com.sg on 29 Apr 2016.