Woman hugging her beautiful pet dog

Can Your Pets Tell When You're On Your Period?

Max, Charlie, Bella, or Luna...however you choose to call them, one thing's for sure: your pets can be some of your most loyal companions. Whenever you're feeling blue, you're sure to get some lovely snuggles from your darling dog or cat. And that's because animals can think and feel. In fact, whether furry or not, many critters show many humanlike qualities. For instance, they can express affection and devotion.

The similarities between animals and people don't end there. They, too, can show fear, surprise, joy, sadness, and even grief. In his book Beyond Words: How Animals Think and Feel, Carl Safina, an award-winning environmental writer, explains that animals have their own "thought processes, emotions, and social connections." In addition, he says that "consciousness isn't merely a human experience."

Hmmm…so you know you love them, and they love you back a hundredfold. But seriously, do pets really have a keen awareness of the world as we do? And that brings us to a question women have been curious about for so long: "Can pets tell when we're on our period?" Let's investigate further…

Can Fido figure you out? 

So, can dogs tell when you're on your period? Isn't it that when Auntie Flo comes visiting, you just feel as if your beloved pup is especially on the alert. How often is it that, whenever you have your period and a friend comes along with her furbaby, the former just seems to zero in on you to sniff out your nether regions. 

Perhaps you're wondering if it has to do with your heavy flow. Or maybe, you have a leak and it's gone past the "safety zone" of your pad or tampon and onto your undies. Whatever the reason, you feel like dogs just know. 

According to Dr. Kate Mornement, a PhD-qualified Applied Animal Behaviourist and Consultant, "Dogs are scent-driven creatures" and "experience their world predominantly through their sense of smell. So when a woman is on her period, she probably just smells different, which is interesting to the dog."

And it isn't just the blood that dogs can smell a mile away. During our period, we also release pheromones, chemicals that attract the opposite sex. We don't intentionally do this, of course. Our feminine makeup is biologically wired to make us attractive for possible mating, which is, of course, what ovulation preps us for. These feminine odors are what canines can detect. 

Their sense of smell is so sophisticated that dogs find employment as drug busters, bed bug detectors, and even as competent allies in forensic investigations. The reason for this is that dogs' noses are equipped with—get this—300 million special receptors. In addition, a portion of their brains is dedicated to processing scents, which makes their sense of smell 40 times more powerful than ours. 

So, yes, dogs know when we're having our red-letter days. However, they don't know that what they smell is called menstruation. All they can figure out is that you smell differently and deserve some special inspection.

Can cats tell when you're on your period?

Fluffy, of course, also has to be part of the conversation. In addition to sounds, cats decipher and become conscious of the world through scents, much like your pooches. While their olfactory sense isn't as strong as dogs, they’re still relatively "heavy-duty" because cats can smell 14 times more than humans. This makes up for their weak sense of taste and visual acuity (they can see 10 times less than people, although they can see better in the dark).

But in contrast to dogs, who tend to be all over you when you're menstruating (and sometimes, when you aren't), cats behave in a much different way. Cat behaviorist Dr. Mikel Maria Delgado was perhaps answering the question "How do cats act when you're on your period?" when she explained that even if cats smell your menstrual odors, they can't care less, especially if you're their human or if they know you somehow. Although you may not smell the same to them during a certain period, they can still use their other senses to identify you, so they don’t get all panicky that you may be someone else.

And just like dogs, felines absolutely have no idea about what your menstruation is or why you're experiencing your slew of PMS symptoms. So when you notice them coming up to you when you're on your period, they're not exactly cozying up to comfort you as dogs would. Most likely, they're the ones getting snuggles off you.

Do periods attract animals?

Aside from dogs and cats, rodents (yes, some keep them as pets) also have an advanced sense of smell. However, although they can detect whether or not their humans are menstruating, they are even less bothered about it than cats since rodents aren't particularly responsive to humans, to begin with.

On the other hand, birds do not have as keen a sense of smell as rodents do, so most likely, they are oblivious to periods, according to Lorelei Tibbetts, practice manager of The Center for Avian and Exotic Medicine in New York. 

While the two pet animals we mentioned seem to be cool with your period, iguanas, especially male iguanas, are a different case. They are the pets you don't want around when you're on your monthly cycle. According to Melissa Kaplan, educator and wildlife rehabilitator, pet iguanas have been known to act aggressively towards their menstruating owners. Although more studies need to be made, it would be a good—make that a brilliant idea— to steer clear of pet lizards in the meantime.

Whether or not your beloved fur babies are drawn to you when you're having your period, ensure that you respect their personal space while continuing to give them lots of love. One thing that can perhaps make pets happy is if their owners are less stressed out. This you can be with Ruby Love period apparel.

Go worry-free with Ruby Love. Our period period underwear, with a comfy fabric with seamless edges that disappear under your clothing, or our Ruby Love period boyshorts, which features leak-proof technology, is designed to give you the confidence you need to be stress-free to have the time of your month! Check out our bestsellers at the Ruby Love shop today!
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