My dog doesn't like (queue spooky music) Human Blood...
June 12, 2006 5:57 PM   Subscribe

MacabreFilter : Why doesn't my dog show an interest in my blood?

I was playing with my dog to bed the other night when I experienced a spontaneous nose bleed, which is something I get from time to time.

There was some blood on the ground, some on my hand. My dog sniffed the blood briefly, but was not that interested in it.

Many years ago I owned a cat who showed more of an interest in my blood, but didn't eat it (again - nosebleed).

If a drop of cow blood or fish juice or almost anything else hits the floor, she's on it in a flash, but she showed no interest in it.

While this is a good thing (I'd hate to knock myself out somehow and wake up missing a pound of flesh) , I'm curious as to why she isn't interested. My theory is that she smells my distinct odour in the blood and won't eat it for the same reasons she won't bite me when we're playing. I'm not about to go around finding samples of other people's blood to test her out with though.

Any suggestions?
posted by tomble to Pets & Animals (18 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
 
I would imagine a taste for human blood would be one of the first things humans would want to eliminate when they were domesticating carnivores.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 6:34 PM on June 12, 2006


I know very little about animals, but I bet it's considered rude to eat the pack leader's blood in front of him. There may also be some thing about maybe he thinks you're another dog, and dogs don't eat each other's blood? Cannibalism? Like I say, I know very little about animals, but I do have some half-assed theories about them!
posted by Hildago at 6:42 PM on June 12, 2006


My (uneducated) guess would be that it's the same reason the dog doesn't eat you when you sleep (because I'd guess that you're just as edible then). I would definately think a dog would have a good enough sense of smell to tell that the blood is yours.
posted by Serial Killer Slumber Party at 7:26 PM on June 12, 2006


My cats also don't like human blood, but then again, they're insane and don't even like fresh tuna served to them in a fancy kitty dish.
posted by tastybrains at 7:50 PM on June 12, 2006


Yeah, isn't that funny about fresh tuna? Sure, canned tuna, great. fresh stream caught trout though? Neh.
posted by prettyboyfloyd at 7:59 PM on June 12, 2006


Don't be fooled though. If you died and fido ran out of food he'd devour your in a second.
posted by DieHipsterDie at 8:21 PM on June 12, 2006


If you died and fido ran out of food he'd devour your in a second.

Gross. Really?
posted by moonshine at 8:38 PM on June 12, 2006


What a good question! Especially since many of them will lick your wounds if you'll let them (my dog always tried) and reportedly do an excellent job of disinfecting them, too...
posted by jamjam at 8:41 PM on June 12, 2006


Dogs don't have color vision so there would be no reason for them to specifically recognize blood. And unless you regularly feed them human meat, there would be no reason for them to associate the smell of it with food.

The only reason you think it is strange is because you recognize the concept of blood. Your dog does not.
posted by 517 at 8:55 PM on June 12, 2006


A dog's nose is something like 20.000 times more sensitive than a humans. Dogs can smell: termites; bedbugs; disease such as cancer in humans; dvds; I have no doubt your dog recognizes blood and knows its yours. With the right training your dog can even let you and your friends know when/if you get cancer.
posted by zia at 10:47 PM on June 12, 2006


Your dog and cat were probably terrified that something strange had happened, and you're misreading "disinterest" for "what the fuck is that? I don't know, but I'm not gonna touch it."
posted by frogan at 10:59 PM on June 12, 2006


Dogs don't have color vision so there would be no reason for them to specifically recognize blood.

This isn't actually true.
posted by Serial Killer Slumber Party at 4:46 AM on June 13, 2006


Gross. Really? -Moonshine

Yep!

posted by Atreides at 5:17 AM on June 13, 2006


It's actually pretty much true. They are also incapable of detecting the color red as are cats.
posted by 517 at 7:36 AM on June 13, 2006


Gross. Really?

uh, if you were lost in the mountains and your friends died, and you had no food... well... animals have a survival instinct.
posted by mdn at 7:50 AM on June 13, 2006


I know a lot of law enforcement folks and it is definitely true--when pet owners die and the bodies aren't found for awhile, Fluffy and Sandy do what they have to do...
posted by printchick at 3:13 PM on June 13, 2006


But but but

Yeah, okay, I see. For some reason I thought the scent of the owner would trump hunger.
The Reed Family managed to survive through the winter without eating anyone.
posted by moonshine at 2:09 PM on June 14, 2006


Lol @ the dog who ate part of his owner. I want that dog just so I can tell my friends he ate someone.

Did you hear about that woman who lost consciousness and woke to find that her dog had eaten half her face? Yeah she was the first person to have a face transplant... kinda interesting.
posted by lain at 11:45 PM on June 15, 2006


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