Probably due to their wolf ancestry, canines have one of the keenest senses of smell of any domesticated animal and some dogs have been known to smell objects and people up to 20 kilometers away.
Also, these furry pets are capable of detecting various emotions and responding either in a positive or negative manner.
The question is “Can dogs sense when you are on your period?”
Dogs might not understand the science behind the female menstrual cycle but they are capable of sensing one by the way of odor or changes in hormonal levels. During your period, your dog may show some unusual behaviors like sniffing, licking, or humping.
The sense of smell in dogs is far superior to those of their human counterparts. This is attributable to their 200 million olfactory receptors as opposed to 5 million olfactory receptors in humans.
Hence, it’s safe to say that these receptors are about 40 times greater in canines.
You can see why those furry companions are very sensitive to various hormones and pheromones produced by females during their period.
This might pose a problem if your pooch is so attracted to the smell of your period such that he is altogether in your private life.
Even worse if you have scent hounds like bloodhounds or basset hounds because they are known to have the strongest sense of smell in the world of canines.
Now you know that your canine friend can sense your period, I’ll discuss more on how they are able to do such, some strange behaviors your dog could exhibit at this time of the month, and what you can do to put a stop to that.
How Dogs Can Sense When You Are On Your Period
Dogs smell in parts per trillions and scientists suppose that their sense of smell is 10,000 to 100,000 times more acute than ours.
Because of their sharp sense of smell, they are used as sniffer dogs for the detection of illegal substances like drugs, bombs, blood, contraband electronics, and also to track down criminals.
Furthermore, dogs are capable of detecting health problems like cancer, migraines, diabetes, and UTIs.
Coupled with their abundant olfactory receptors, canines have an extra olfactory system called the Vomeronasal organ or Jacobson’s organ.
It’s located at the bottom of the nasal cavity. Jacobson’s organ helps dogs to detect pheromones causing emotional or behavioral changes.
They also have larger and more developed olfactory lobes which receive and process smell impulses. However, scientists still find it incredible how dogs can have such powerful sensory capabilities.
When a female is menstruating, the olfactory receptors and Jacobson’s organ detect chemical signals in the form of pheromones and hormonal changes. These signals reach your dog’s brain through the olfactory nerve allowing your dog to recognize the scent.
How Do Dogs Act When You Are On Your Period
Some dog owners often report that during their period their dog becomes overly loving and comforting.
The rest admit to heightened aggression in their canine or other weird behaviors like crotch sniffing, licking, humping, laying on you, and more.
While you may find these behavioral concerns strange, it’s nothing unusual for dogs.
Dog Affectionate When You Are On Your Period
We all know genetics may play a big role on a dog’s personality as these traits may vary from one breed to another and even among individual canines of the same breed, however, the influence of external factors cannot be neglected.
Dogs are very attracted to the smell pheromones in period blood, and these biochemicals can cause behavioral or emotional changes in dogs. Hence, during your menstrual flow, your dog can respond with more affection and care toward you.
While you some dog owners may find overwhelming affection or sometimes, clinginess strange, it’s a great way to strengthen the bond between you and your scent-loving pooch. However, if you think your dog’s actions are out of character at any point, you can always correct him through positive reinforcement.
Dog Acting Aggressive When You Are On Your Period
During your time of the month, you are more likely to find aggression in dominant dog breeds but such behavioral change is still pretty common with every dog breed. Depending on whether your dog is a male or female, the reason for aggression might differ.
Intact male dogs usually seek to mark their territory and prevent other dogs and humans that could pose a threat to the woman.
It’s likely behavior in dominant male dogs where they act aggressively to guard ovulating or pregnant female dogs. They can be as protective of human females having their period.
On the other hand, intact female dogs can become aggressive because she normally sees other ovulating or pregnant females as a threat including their female owner.
The hormonal changes in ovulating dogs have similar effects on other dogs as those of female humans. It’s more like a woman in her procreative age trying to protect what’s hers from other women.
Dog Acting Weird When You Are On Your Period
You must be wondering why the hell your dog is sniffing your crotch, licking you, laying on you, humping you, following you everywhere you go or stealing your underwear when the red river is flowing.
The main reason why dogs act weird during menstruation is that during this time, pheromones are usually produced in a greater amount resulting in hormonal imbalance which then gives rise to emotional and behavioral changes in your dog. These pheromones are produced by the apocrine glands largely confined to the groin area.
The truth is that the nose is the most prominent sense organ in dogs. Certain types of hounds are usually fascinated by scents and can easily forget boundaries when trying to locate an attractive scent.
Also, dogs often smell each other’s butts to collect important information about each other. They use this method to identify if they have met the dog previously, or tell when a dog is ready to mate and they have good scent memory to better differentiate between the smells.
What To Do If Your Dog Sniffs Your Period Blood?
1) Keep All Period Items Out Of Your Dog’s Reach
Because these four-legged companions have a sharp sense of smell, It’s only natural for them to sniff random objects and may even be at risk of swallowing them.
As a pet parent, make sure to keep your period underwear out of your dog’s reach. Your bathroom or laundry room should suffice provided the door is always closed or better locked.
Proper disposal of your period items (like tampons, pads, or menstrual cups). Use only a trash can with a secure lid and ensure you keep it in an outdoor space that is hard for your pooch to locate.
2) Teach Your Pooch Essential Commands
Dealing with unwanted behavioral changes that may occur in your dog while on your period may seem quite challenging especially when your dog sniffs your crotch in public or your guest’s crotch during a visit. And now, you can’t trust your fluffy buddy around some of your personal belongings anymore.
Thankfully, there’s always room for your dog to pick up good behaviors if you train them to do so. An effective way to stop your pooch from sniffing your period blood is by teaching them essential commands.
To begin with, move a soft treat above your dog’s head to make him sit. Once he sits, mark this action with a marker word like ‘Yes’ and reward him with the treat. Repeat many times before using the cue word “sit” while he sits. You may also seek assistance from dog training professionals for more effective training methods.
3) Distract Your Pooch With Other Fun Scents
While it’s quite difficult for dogs to stop sniffing females’ period blood (especially if they are scent hounds), they can utilize their powerful sense of smell in some fun scent games.
From providing both physical and mental stimulation to improving self-confidence, these scent games hold surplus benefits for your canine counterpart. They can also help to improve your natural dog’s scent ability.
Examples of some fun scent games to play with your pooch include find the food, pick the hand, scent trails, hide and seek, and nose work.
What Happens If My Dog Licks Human Period Blood?
It’s unhygienic for your dog to lick human period blood. It poses a health risk to them as it’s often contaminated with bacteria from the vaginal flora as well as the environment. Moreover, bacterial growth and multiplication are favored if the blood is left for long hours posing a greater risk.
Apart from the health impact, it’s easy for your dog to make a mess while having a blood meal causing him to stain his coat.
If your dog happens to swallow a tampon alongside the period blood, the tampon normally remains undigested in your dog’s gut potentially causing intestinal blockage. If you think your dog has swallowed a tampon, quickly call your vet for medical advice as this condition can be life-threatening.
Frequently Asked Questions
Why Are Dogs Attracted To Period Blood?
Just like wolves, dogs are attracted to blood regardless of the source. It could be that they see it as food or are just trying to seek information. However, dogs can also be attracted to period blood because it contains pheromones, a scent that sends signals to your dog causing biological changes in their body.
Does My Period Affect My Dog?
No matter the gender of your dog, a woman’s period can impact them in one way or another. The way your pooch responds when you are on your period depends on the information transmitted through the pheromones. Usually, males tend to be more affectionate and protective of their owners while females are more likely to exhibit aggression directed toward female dogs.
Help! I’m On My Period and My Dog Won’t Leave Me Alone.
If you are not okay with the excessive attention you are getting from your pooch during your time of the month, a quick fix will be to direct his attention to other scents like lavender, coconut, ginger and vanilla. But in the long run, it’s necessary to train your dog to respect boundaries and to respond to basic commands.
My Dog Humps Me When I’m On My Period
Whether you are on your period or not, canines are not strange to humping. But when an intact dog humps you only when you are menstruating, it’s most likely the various pheromones you give off have provoked sexual arousal. However, this is not always the case. Older dogs may hump to assert dominance.
Humping is both a natural and learned behavior in canines and they have various nonsexual reasons why they may choose to hump their humans. These reasons are more likely if your dog is spayed, neutered, or old. They include dominance, as mentioned above, excitement, meeting new people, or a problem arising from lack of socialization.
My Dog Lays On Me When I’m On My Period
As man’s best friend, dogs often form close bonds with their humans and seek different ways to get closer to them. So, dogs laying on their humans isn’t necessarily a strange behavior. Most dog owners will welcome their little friend with a warm stroke while others may find it uncomfortable or invasive.
If you find your pooch laying on you during your period, it’s basically their response to the hormonal changes in your body. The reason for this behavior may be to attract your attention, for comfort, warmth, and safety, to express affection, to relieve stress, or to protect you. While this can be beneficial to both you and your canine friend, you can always set boundaries for your dog if you think they are invading your privacy.
My Dog Cuddles Me When I’m On My Period
Well, dogs can’t talk (at least they don’t speak human languages). So, don’t be surprised if your furbaby chooses to express how he feels by reaching for a warm cuddle especially if he’s one of those super-clingy velcro dogs
As mentioned above, your dog can tell when it’s your time of the month by picking up chemical signals in your pheromones. They can respond with either aggression or affection but if your pooch chooses to cuddle you, it’s a good sign most of the time.
It doesn’t just mean that they seek warmth and comfort from you, but that they love you, trust you and consider you a member of their pack. Dogs with guarding instincts can show affection by cuddling their owners to protect them. However, dogs can also resort to cuddling as a way of overcoming their insecurities.
Final Thoughts On Whether Dogs Can Sense When You Are On Your Period
Yes, our furry friends are naturally able to sense a woman’s period and we can acknowledge that fact by the different ways in which they react. This can vary depending on the gender, dog breed, or even individual dogs. Hope I have answered your numerous questions on dogs and humans period? Cheers to happy days ahead with your furbaby!
Thanks for reading!