It's frustrating when you've worn your brand-new panties one time, only to have Chomper chew out the crotch. Don't worry; your dog is not some kind of freak. It's common for some dogs to eat underwear. The website petMD reports that underwear is the second most popular non-food item dogs eat after socks. These items of clothing carry your scent, and your faithful pal finds this scent comforting. Regardless of the reason behind the thievery, this behavior, while costly for you, may not be good for your dog either should he ingest the fabric. You won't need to go "commando" once you learn some methods to save your dirty drawers from Doggie!
Put Underwear Away
It's easier to dog-proof your home than it is to stop the panty raiding behavior. Simply get a tall (not short) hamper with a lid, put your dirty underwear in it. If you forget and leave your underwear loose in the laundry basket or tossed on the floor, your dog will sniff it out and will likely eat it. Dogs know and are drawn to your smell, and chewing the underwear brings out your smell even more.
Provide Chew Bones and Toys
If you just take away the underwear, your dog will likely look for something else to chew. If you don't want it to be your socks or your windowsills, give your dog suitable chewing paraphernalia. Many chew bones keep your dog busy for long periods. Never give your dog leftover chicken bones, T-bones or bones from the butcher because they can injure him. Your veterinarian can tell you the types of natural chew bones that would be good for your dog. Toys can be a good substitute for panties. You can fill some types of chew toys with food. Put part of your dog's ration of regular dog food in a puzzle toy or fill it with peanut butter.
Monitor Your Dog
Part of stopping your dog from chewing unsuitable objects is telling him to stop. As soon as you see your dog nearing your panties, say "no" or another short sound, such as "uh." If he already has the panties, stand over him, put your hand under his mouth and say "give." Then take the panties from him. Praise him for all the right things he does. When you say "no" and he stops, praise him. When you say "give" and he does, praise him for that, too. Give him a substitute chew bone or toy.
Wait and Your Dog Should Outgrow It
Chewing panties is something usually only puppies and young dogs do. Most will grow out of it, according to WebMD. But in the meanwhile, take action to stop the undesired behavior. That's always preferable to waiting and hoping the behavior will stop on its own.
By Laura Agadoni
About the Author
Laura Agadoni has been writing professionally since 1983. Her feature stories on area businesses, human interest and health and fitness appear in her local newspaper. She has also written and edited for a grassroots outreach effort and has been published in "Clean Eating" magazine and in "Dimensions" magazine, a CUNA Mutual publication. Agadoni has a Bachelor of Arts in communications from California State University-Fullerton.