Dogs for a variety of reasons love to run away and play with our used clothes. Dirty socks and underwear seem to be their favorite pick. There’s no denying that the pup looks extremely cute running with your sock in its mouth but in case the dog ingests a piece of clothing it is bound to suffer from serious health issues.
- Dog stealing dirty laundry is comfort-seeking behavior: Dirty laundry is laden with our personal scent and dogs love to play with and snuggle in our clothes that remind them of us. They have a very strong sense of smell and feel more at ease when surrounded by some item of clothing that has heavily absorbed our body odor especially to beat loneliness, fear & anxiety. Socks and underwear are a dog’s first pick as they have much of our personal scent and are soft to chew.
- The dog wants its owner’s attention: If your pooch is bored it may just sprint with one of your clothing eliciting a chase from you. The pup will repeat this behavior often if it succeeds in making you run after it each time. If you want your dog to stop running with your dirty clothes don’t chase it or participate in this game. Stay calm and call your pet to you.
- Dog’s instinct to hunt takes over: A dog will try and get its paws and teeth on things within its reach. They don’t understand the meaning of personal belongings. In the wild dogs search and hunt for their meals, pets don’t face the need to hunt for food but may turn towards other objects instead to satiate their hunting urge.
How to stop dogs from stealing & swallowing laundry?
- Needless to say, remove all items from the floor or within your pet’s reach. Dirty laundry must be stored in a closed closet/hamper.
- To prevent boredom offer appropriate dog chew toys and rotate them often. Make available 3 to 4 toys at a given time. Rotation will introduce the pooch to a set of toys it hasn’t played with for quite some time and this way makes it more interested in them. Make sure it cannot swallow any toy you offer it, therefore select the right size.
- Spend quality time with your pet dog each day. Start a little play session indoors at any time of the day and also take it outside for walks on a daily basis.
- Some dog owners may get tempted to offer their puppies a used shirt while leaving home for work or during a stressful car ride for the pet. This practice should be avoided. Opt for a safer alternative such as a pouch with a mesh window. Insert your worn garment into it and let the dog relax cosseted by its owner’s scent.