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7 Reasons Why My Dog Eats My Pads (+ Quick Fixes)

If you’ve ever caught your dog munching on your pads, you’re probably wondering why they’re doing it.

It’s a strange behavior for sure, but there are some legitimate reasons behind it. Let’s dig into seven common reasons.

And we’ll explain what to do about this below!

why does my dog eat my pads

Why Your Dog Eats Your Pads: 7 Common Reasons

Let’s run through the main seven reasons why dogs engage in this kind of behavior.

We’ve learned this from vets, behavior experts, and from many of our readers messaging us about this topic!

It can be difficult knowing exactly which reason is the case for your dog, but you can narrow it down if you consider their overall behavior, routine, lifestyle, and personality.

1. Smelling Your Hormones

Dogs have an incredible sense of smell, much better than humans.

When you use a pad, it has your unique scent and hormones.

To your dog, this scent is like a compelling mystery book, something they feel driven to explore.

Because of their intense smelling power, dogs can be intrigued by the scent of your hormones on the pad.

While you might find it gross, from a dog’s perspective, it’s a scent-rich item that’s hard to resist.

However, it’s important to remember that pads aren’t food and are not safe for dogs to consume.

Make sure to keep used pads well out of your pup’s reach.

2. Pica

Pica is a medical condition where dogs eat things that aren’t food.

This can include items like pads, shoes, and other non-edibles.

For some dogs, eating non-food items becomes a habit that’s hard to break.

Pica can be triggered by various factors like dietary deficiencies, boredom, or anxiety.

If you think your dog is showing signs of pica, it’s a good idea to consult a vet.

Left untreated, pica can lead to digestive issues and other health problems for your pet.

Your vet may recommend dietary changes or even medication.

3. Enjoy the Smell & Taste

Some dogs are simply attracted to the smell and taste of used pads.

Just as some dogs enjoy the smell of garbage or the taste of their own poop, pads can attract dogs for the same reasons.

It might be unpleasant for us to think about, but to the dog, it’s something entirely different.

Given that eating pads can be harmful to your dog, it’s best to store these items in a place your dog can’t get to.

A secure trash can with a lid, or a high shelf, can do the trick.

4. Curiosity

Dogs are naturally curious creatures!

They love exploring new things, whether it’s a new toy, a new part of the yard, or, unfortunately, a used pad.

A dog might decide to eat the pad simply because they’re curious about it and want to know what it is.

However, curiosity can lead to dangerous behaviors, like eating things they shouldn’t.

It’s crucial to keep pads, and other harmful items, safely stashed away.

5. Natural Behavior

In the wild, dogs are natural scavengers.

They forage for food and aren’t too picky about what they eat.

This instinct may drive your dog to eat a pad. In their mind, they’re just doing what comes naturally, even though it’s not a healthy choice.

To keep your dog safe, it’s essential to ensure that they can’t access pads.

That means keeping bathroom doors closed and putting used pads in a secure bin.

6. Boredom

When dogs get bored, they find ways to entertain themselves.

Sometimes that means digging in the trash and finding a pad to eat.

Boredom often leads to destructive or undesirable behavior in dogs, including eating things they shouldn’t.

You can help alleviate boredom by providing plenty of toys, exercise, and mental stimulation for your pup.

Regular walks, playtime, and training can go a long way in keeping your dog entertained and out of mischief.

Great ways to stimulate any dog (important article)

7. Scavenger Behavior

Scavenging is a big part of a dog’s natural behavior.

They like to root around in trash cans or anywhere they might find food or something interesting.

While humans know that pads are not food, a dog’s scavenger mentality doesn’t make that distinction.

The simplest way to prevent this behavior is to keep bathroom doors closed and use secure trash cans that your dog can’t easily open or knock over.

Is This Common Behavior Among Dogs?

You might wonder if your dog is the only one with this strange habit. The answer is no!

Many dogs show interest in pads and similar items.

They’re not being weird or unusual; they’re just being dogs.

The reasons can vary from one dog to another, but the behavior itself is not super rare.

That said, while it might be somewhat common, it’s not a good or safe habit for dogs to have.

Eating pads can lead to digestive issues and other health problems.

If you catch your dog in the act, it’s important to take steps to prevent it from happening again.

Remember, dogs don’t understand what pads are for. They act on instinct and curiosity.

So, if your dog is doing this, know that you’re not alone.

But also know it’s something you’ll want to address for your dog’s safety.

5 Tips To Stop Your Dog Eating Pads

Stopping your dog from eating pads is important for their health and your peace of mind.

Here are some tips with more details to help you out.

1. Secure Trash Cans

One simple way to keep your dog away from pads is to invest in a secure trash can.

Look for one with a strong, lockable lid. Some trash cans are even designed to be dog-proof.

The idea is to make it difficult for your pooch to lift the lid and reach inside.

If your dog can’t get to the pad, they can’t eat it. It’s an easy but effective first step.

2. Use Baby Gates

Baby gates are not just for babies; they’re great for dogs too!

If your dog often sneaks into the bathroom to grab a pad, block their path.

Set up a baby gate to keep them out of the bathroom entirely.

Make sure it’s sturdy enough so that your dog can’t push it down or jump over it.

If your dog can’t get in, they can’t get to the pads.

3. Give Them Toys

Boredom might be why your dog is eating pads. Keep them busy with toys that they love.

You can go for chew toys, puzzle feeders, or even toys that squeak.

When they have fun and interesting toys, they’ll be less likely to seek out pads for entertainment.

Mix it up, rotate the toys, and keep your dog engaged.

4. Regular Exercise

Exercise is a great boredom-buster.

A well-exercised dog is less likely to engage in destructive behaviors, like eating pads.

Walks are good, but you can also play fetch, go for a swim, or have a fun game of tug-of-war.

The more energy your dog burns, the less they’ll have for mischief.

5. Teach Them the “Leave It” Command

Training can solve a lot of problems, including this one. The “leave it” command is super useful.

When your dog goes near something they shouldn’t, like a pad, you say “leave it.”

With practice, your dog will learn to move away from the item.

Start by training this command using treats and less tempting items.

Then, work your way up to practicing around pads under controlled conditions.

Final Thoughts

While it may seem weird to us, dogs have their own reasons for eating pads.

Understanding these reasons can help you take steps to prevent this unwanted behavior.

Always consult your vet if you have concerns about your dog’s habits, and keep those pads safely out of paws’ reach.


The advice given in this article is for educational purposes only and does not constitute professional advice in any context. Before making any decisions that may affect the health and/or safety of your dog, you should always consult a trained veterinarian in your local area. For the FULL disclaimer Visit Here

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