Why Do Dogs Lick Blankets?

If your dog has been licking blankets a lot, you might be wondering why and what you can do about it. This post will show you a number of possible causes and what you can do about them.

Once you have a good idea of the most likely cause, it should become easier to get your dog to stop doing it. Examples could be if it does it more when a certain person is around, when you are about to leave home or when there are loud noises coming from outside.

If it tends to do it more when you are not home, it would be more likely that it is due to separation anxiety. It would help to try to limit reasons why it might be anxious by doing things such as exercising and feeding it before leaving it so that it is more likely to sleep while you are away. If it does seem to be doing it due to liking the taste, it could be a sign that there is something wrong with its diet.

This would be more likely to be the reason if you tend to give it things that it wants such as attention, treats or toys when it licks your blankets. Instead, it would help to reward your dog when it does not do it and to try to redirect its focus when it seems likely to start doing it. If it started doing it suddenly, it could be due to things such as if you started leaving it for longer periods causing it to get anxious, food or drink getting stuck to the blanket or it might have learned that it gets rewarded for doing it.

For example, if it tends to do it more when you are not home, it would be more likely to be the case that it does it due to separation anxiety. If it has been licking the blankets constantly then it would be more likely to be compulsive behavior and something youll want to get help on from a vet or dog behaviorist. By doing so, you should be able to get expert advice tailored towards your particular dog and to rule out more serious causes.

Reduce its access to your blanketsGive it other things to lick In addition to the above, you could also give it things to be distracted with so that it is less likely to want to lick blankets. Things that you could give it could be toys, puzzle games or bones.

Why is my dog licking the blanket so much?

Excessive licking can be a symptom of liver disease, inflammatory bowel disease, dental problems and other conditions. Dogs often will lick fabric if they have an upset stomach — it apparently is their version of Pepto-Bismol. Talk to your vet about Rascal’s diet.

Why do dogs lick pillows and blankets?

Dogs lick blankets for the same reason they lick pillows. Blankets contain dead skin cells and sweat, which appeals to your dog’s appetite for salt.

For dog owners, a pup who likes to lick things isn’t unusual. In fact, this type of behavior is just as common as tail wagging, head tilting, and barking at a squirrel. If you notice your dog licking its lips when you bring over a bowl of food or when you give them a treat for completing a trick, there’s definitely no need to panic. They’re just excited for a snack! However, excessive licking can sign some concerning issues, including pain, anxiety, and allergies. If you notice your pet suddenly licking excessively, make sure you call your vet and schedule an appointment for the check-up. In the meantime, you can learn about five common reasons why dogs start licking things more.

Check for bumps, lesions, and foreign bodies, and monitor how they move to see if arthritis or an injury may be the issue. If you have ruled out medical issues as the cause of your dogs licking, the root may be behavioral, says Whitney Miller, D.V.M., director of veterinary medicine at Petco .

– 7 scenarios of dogs licking blankets and/or furniture#1: Dog licks blanket before bed#2: Dog licks blanket constantly#3: Dog licks blanket/furniture after eating#4: Old dog licking blanket/furniture#5: Dog licking furniture excessively#6: Dog licking leather furniture#7: Dog licking wood furniture

What makes dogs lick blankets and furniture. 7 different scenarios of canines licking surfaces explained.

Dogs lick blankets and furniture because theyre stressed and calming themselves down, understimulated, hungry, thirsty, investigating, or searching for food crumbs. This behavior can also be due to OCD, nutrient deficiency, dementia, joint pains, allergy, adrenal disease, dental issues, and nausea. #1: It has a calming effect If kids suck their thumb to pacify themselves, what do dogs do?

This action produces endorphins which are hormones that reduce stress. Your dog might be licking your blanket excessively due to separation anxiety. And theyll also show destructive behaviors.

Along with the calming effect of licking, Fidos also seek comfort in the scent of their humans. And your sheets are rich in your sweat and dead skin cells. #3: OCD Your dog wouldnt stop licking the blanket even if you told them to leave it countless times.

And theyll also do this repeatedly for longer hours without any clear reason why. PetMD says that this may have started as a simple response to stress. Then because the action is soothing, theyll do it again but with greater intensity.

They might have aggressive or fearful behavior when they grow up. And this is because they lack early maternal care and socialization. Those experiences help them deal with life later on.

#4: Lack of stimulation How much exercise does your Fido get every day? And they may not also get their daily dose of physical activities. Or your detective Fido found an interesting scent.

Like the odor of a stranger, another animal, or your new perfume. So they wet the spots to make the faint scent stronger. As moisture helps in making the odor stick more to their olfactory areas.

Sometimes, your dog can also act as an excellent vacuum cleaner. Theyll be licking food crumbs in your bed, chair, or under your desk . #8: Appetitive behavior This condition is a more serious case than the previous one.

Because dogs who have this will be in a constant search for food. And theyll always lick the couch where you usually eat. This is because they learned that there are often fallen bits of snacks in that place.

Because VCA says that if they lack fatty acids like omega-3, their skin will become dry and flaky. While deficit in zinc can cause skin ulcers, hair loss, and cracking of footpads. Note: Stress may also affect the absorption of nutrients.

If your Fido is constantly anxious, their bodies will produce high levels of cortisol. This is the aging of the brain, which leads to memory loss. Note: Experts say that 68% of canines may have this condition when theyre above 14 years old.

#12: Allergy So check for red spots, hair loss, and skin irritation. Note: If you have a yeasty dog, soak their paws in a solution with white vinegar, hydrogen peroxide, and water. #13: Adrenal diseases Kidney ailments will make dogs feel more thirsty.

Studies also show that adrenal diseases could be genetic in breeds like: This can be due to an infection, wound, or tumor. #15: Nausea This is a sickly feeling that you get from needing to vomit.

And this could be the reason why your dog is obsessively licking furniture and sheets. So some Fidos lick strange surfaces such as upholstery, floors, and walls. As much as possible, avoid making your dog worked up and nervous.

A consistent daily schedule will make them feel at ease. Release more happy hormones Exercising also produces endorphins. So, ensure your pooch is getting enough physical activities every day.

And they wont resort to excessive licking just to feel good. Give them bones and chewy puzzle toys to kick instead. And teach them new tricks or give them a daily task.

Your Fido wont be obsessed with licking food traces on your bed or desk if you keep them clean. Note: The purpose is to make the solution have a terrible taste and smell. So only use edible ingredients and dont put too much.

If this behavior doesnt stop, its more likely a medical or neurological condition. Note: If all medical issues are ruled out, a dog trainer can help you with your Fidos behavioral problems. So, make sure you feed your pooch complete balanced meals every day.

If you suspect your pooch to have an allergy, you may feed them a bland diet. This classic plain boiled white rice and chicken combo may help you confirm if they have one or not. And avoid giving them fatty and table foods.

Divide their meals into smaller portions and spread them throughout the day. This behavior could make them ingest debris, hair, or fibers from fabric. The sweet pooch has been licking the floor where his dog parents hair fell.

What the vets found was a huge gross lump of hair that had stuck in the poor dogs body. They removed it and ever since the dog parents of the Pom ar being very careful. So curbing the behavior will be more effective than cleaning like a mad man.

If its mainly a behavioral issue, you can correct this with consistent effort. When your dogs about to lick your cover, distract them with a yummy treat. If so, a command might work on them like leave it. And train them using positive reinforcement.

They might be overstressed by loud noises or strangers in the house. But, if they suddenly do this after you changed their diet, this can be due to: Note: Canines could also throw up if they eat fast.

Or add water to their dry kibbles to avoid them from inhaling their food. As canines age, they also become prone to many health problems. Note: They could also be itchy and irritable due to an allergic reaction.

Its common for dogs to explore the world with their tongue. And they know that people often leave some on their chairs, table, and beds. So theyll always feel the need to do it for no reason at all.

Same with dogs who have pica, they might also lack essential nutrients.

I understand first hand how after a while it can be really bothersome and can even worry you after a while, especially when they turn their attention to themselves.

If your dog is excessively licking their bed as they lay down to settle in, the reason may be just as simple as them getting comfortable. Dogs tend to mark their territories, and for some pooches, licking is the way to get their scent on their bed.

Also keeping them busy and playing through the day, they are more likely to tire out than focus on their obsessive licking. If you have a senior dog that is getting up there in years, the licking can be explained as only growing pain and response to it. Another reason your dog may be licking random objects or surfaces beyond what I have described is gastrointestinal issues.

Licking things randomly can help relieve some of the pain by having their minds focus on something else. The suggestions below are only if your dog is licking based on behavior and not any medical issues. As I always say, there is no harm in giving your pup a little more love and attention during the day if it benefits their health.

Give them some extra cuddle or divert their attention from licking with some pets. Just like giving your dog more attention, exercising, or playing with them can physically tire them out enough where they can forget about the behavior. When their day is full of fun and energy, when they settle down to bed they will have no trouble falling asleep.

Take your pup for an extra walk or go ahead and play more with their favorite toys. I suggest taking the new toy and offering it every time your pup starts the behavior, almost like a reward for when they stop. If this is the case for you, enrolling your pup into a doggy daycare while you are out could keep their mind off of you and in the new environment.

Just getting out of the house can get their mind completely off the behavior and on more sensory triggers on the way to the park. In some cases, the licking may be due to their food making them nauseous or in search of something they can not find in their diet. Changing their food to something of equal or preferably better quality can give them what they need and may soothe their need to lick to alleviate their upset stomachs.

If all else fails to help rid your dog of their excessive licking behavior, it could be something only your vet could fix. So if your dog cant stop licking themselves, it is best just to take them to the vet before the issue gets worse. It can be a number of things from untreated skin conditions, infection, or a parasite to liver complications or gastrointestinal issues.

Consulting a vet could pinpoint why they are exhibiting the behavior and get your pup on track to feeling better.

Why your dog licks blankets

Below are common reasons why dogs do it and what would make them more likely to be the main reason why your dog has been doing it.

Compulsive behavior

The reason might be that it is due to an obsessive-compulsive disorder. This is where it has an irresistible urge to lick blankets so it keeps doing it. This would be more likely if it has been licking blankets constantly for a few weeks now. In this case, the best option would be to get help from a vet.

Anxiety

Anxiety could be what has been causing it to do it. This would be more likely if it has started doing it after something happened that could make it anxious or if it does it more at a time where it is likely to be anxious. Examples could be if it does it more when a certain person is around, when you are about to leave home or when there are loud noises coming from outside.If it tends to do it more when you are not home, it would be more likely that it is due to separation anxiety. This would be more likely if your dog tends to become anxious when you are leaving home and if it licks the blankets that you use yourself since they likely have a strong scent from you on them. It would help to try to limit reasons why it might be anxious by doing things such as exercising and feeding it before leaving it so that it is more likely to sleep while you are away.

It likes the taste

When you sleep, sweat and dead skin cells will gather on the blanket which tastes salty to your dog. The reason why it licks blankets could be that it likes the way that they taste. This would be more likely if it tends to lick blankets that you have been using and if it does not lick them as much after you wash them.If it does seem to be doing it due to liking the taste, it could be a sign that there is something wrong with its diet. This would be more likely if it started doing it after a change in its diet.

It smells your scent

It is likely that the blanket has a strong scent on it. The reason why it tends to lick the blanket could be that it smells you scent on it and that the scent causes it to feel calmer. This would be more likely if it tends to do it more when you are not around.

You have been inadvertently rewarding it

The reason why it licks blankets could be that you have been inadvertently training it to do so. This would be more likely to be the reason if you tend to give it things that it wants such as attention, treats or toys when it licks your blankets. Instead, it would help to reward your dog when it does not do it and to try to redirect its focus when it seems likely to start doing it.

Things to consider

Below are some things to consider when figuring out the main reason why your dog has been doing it.

What is different when it does it

It would also help to consider the timing of when your dog tends to do it since it might be the case that the timing has something to do with it. For example, if it tends to do it more when you are not home, it would be more likely to be the case that it does it due to separation anxiety.

How often it does it

It would also help to consider how often your dog does it. If it has been licking the blankets constantly then it would be more likely to be compulsive behavior and something you’ll want to get help on from a vet or dog behaviorist.If it does it less often then it would help to consider what is different when it does do it.

Avoid encouraging the behavior

As mentioned above, it might be the case that you have inadvertently encouraged the behavior by giving your dog rewards when it does it. Instead, it would help to reward your dog when it does not do it, to wait for it to stop before giving it any rewards and to try to redirect its focus when it seems likely to start doing it.

Get help from a vet

If your dog has been doing it excessively, the best option would be to take your dog to a vet. By doing so, you should be able to get expert advice tailored towards your particular dog and to rule out more serious causes.

Reduce its access to your blankets

Another option would be to make it more difficult for your dog to get access to your blankets so that it is less likely to start licking them.

Give it other things to lick

In addition to the above, you could also give it things to be distracted with so that it is less likely to want to lick blankets. Things that you could give it could be toys, puzzle games or bones.

Most Recommended For Dogs

You could also do lots of leave it training with your dog. To do this you would:This post may contain affiliate links. Petdogowner may be paid a commission from the companies mentioned in this post. This has no effect on the price that you pay and we are very grateful for any support.

#3: OCD

If kids suck their thumb to pacify themselves, what do dogs do?They lick instead.This action producesFidos can be anxious because of:
Take note of these common stress signals:

Early maternal separation

Research shows that pups who are separated too soon from their moms are more likely to have this.They might have aggressive or fearful behavior when they grow up. And this is because they lack early maternal care and socialization.Those experiences help them deal with life later on. So without them, even trivial things could stress them out quickly.
They must be at least 8 weeks old. This is also implemented in pet shops in some states in the U.S.

#4: Lack of stimulation

How much exercise does your Fido get every day?I ask because their licking behavior could also be due to boredom.Your dog might not be enjoying their toys. And they may not also get their daily dose of physical activities.So they choose to lick anything they see instead to keep themselves busy.

#5: Act of exploration

If this behavior isn’t overdone…Your pooch might only be inspecting out of curiosity.They may like the texture of your couch or duvet. Or your detective Fido found an interesting scent.Like the odor of a stranger, another animal, or your new perfume.So they wet the spots to make the faint scent stronger. As moisture helps in making the odor stick more to their olfactory areas.

#6: Hunger/thirst

Does your dog do this between meals?Or when you forget to feed them at the right time?If so, they might be hungry, and their meal wasn’t enough. Or they need a refill of water.

#7: Bits of food

Sometimes, your dog can also act as an excellent vacuum cleaner.They’ll be licking food crumbs in your bed, chair, or under your desk. Even in areas that aren’t reachable by your Roomba.

#8: Appetitive behavior

This condition is a more serious case than the previous one. Because dogs who have this will be in a constant search for food.So they’ll look for crumbs intensely. And they’ll always lick the couch where you usually eat. Even if there are traces of food or not.This is because they learned that there are often fallen bits of snacks in that place.

#9: Nutrient deficiency

Excessive licking might also be due to a deficit of nutrients. And this could happen after a change in their diet.Your pooch might be trying to get the vitamins or minerals they need. Or to relieve their itchiness.Because VCA says that if they lack fatty acids like omega-3, their skin will become dry and flaky.While deficit in zinc can cause skin ulcers, hair loss, and cracking of footpads.

#11: Joint pains

If your senior dog does this suddenly, it can be a sign of dementia.This is the aging of the brain, which leads to memory loss. And two of its indicators are repetitive behaviors and ‘zoning out.’Other symptoms are:

#13: Adrenal diseases

Your pooch might also lick repeatedly to ease their itchiness. And this could be due to an allergy.So check for red spots, hair loss, and skin irritation. They can also scratch and rub their face a lot.
Yeast infection is common in dogs. Those who have this will lick their paws a lot. Plus, they’ll smell like corn chips too.

#1: Keep their stress at bay

As much as possible, avoid making your dog worked up and nervous.A consistent daily schedule will make them feel at ease. As well as staying away from the usual things that freak them out.Also…

Release more happy hormones

Exercising also produces endorphins.So, ensure your pooch is getting enough physical activities every day. And they won’t resort to excessive licking just to feel good.Oh, don’t forget that their minds are bored too.Give them bones and chewy puzzle toys to kick instead. And teach them new tricks or give them a daily task. Like finding and picking up things.These will tire both their mind and brain out. So more time for rest, less time for worries! 🙂

#3: Seek experts’ help

Prevention is always the best option.Your Fido won’t be obsessed with licking food traces on your bed or desk if you keep them clean.The same also goes for their bed. Feed them away from it. And ensure that it’s crumbs-free.But how can you stop your dog from licking furniture?If they still love to do it, try spraying a licking-deterrent solution on them. Its awful taste could make them think twice. And it may change their mind for good.This won’t have to be bought from a market. If you have these at home, you can easily make your own:

#5: Curb the licking

A poor diet can be the culprit of all this licking. So, make sure you feed your pooch complete balanced meals every day.Experts say they should have:If you suspect your pooch to have an allergy, you may feed them a bland diet. This classic plain boiled white rice and chicken combo may help you confirm if they have one or not.But if they have stomach problems, see to it that they eat enough fiber. And avoid giving them fatty and table foods.

#1: Dog licks blanket before bed

This is likely a self-soothing behavior before going to sleep.If they do it often and calmly, it’s only a ritual. But if the licking is intense, they could be anxious or stressed.Dogs may also do this to clean their place. This can be an instinct, or they’ve learned it from their mother.They probably had seen her tidying up their nest when they were young. And it became a habit since puppyhood.

#3: Dog licks blanket/furniture after eating

Your pooch wets your cover until it’s soaking wet.Why’s that?They might be overstressed by loud noises or strangers in the house.This could be out of fear as well. And maybe, they’re freaked out by a truck passing by or a phone ringing.If they do this while you’re gone, they may also be bored or have separation anxiety.However, if they won’t stop doing it, this can be a sign of:

#5: Dog licking furniture excessively

As canines age, they also become prone to many health problems. So this licking behavior can be caused by:But have they been acting weird these days?Like being confused most of the time and staring at nothing?If so, they might have dementia.Dogs who have this will often be anxious and irritable. And because of faded memory, they may not respond when they’re called by their name.

#6: Dog licking leather furniture

There could be 4 reasons for this.One, they might like the unique scent and texture of leather. So they prefer it over velvet or tweed material.Two, your scent and sweat that they love are also there if you use the furniture often.Three, if this is repetitive, they may have OCD. So they’ll always feel the need to do it for no reason at all.Last, this can be a sign that something’s wrong in their G.I. tract. And they’re having some stomach problems.