Why Does My Dog Lick My Pillow?

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When you sleep at night, there are dead skin cells and sweat that will start to collect on your pillowcase. If you tend to get sweaty during the night, this can be the primary reason why your dog keeps licking the pillow.

If your dog is excessively licking the pillow (because of the taste), it could also be a sign that there are issues with its diet. Keeping that limited should help to deter your dog from wanting to lick your pillow on a regular basis. Maybe you havent caught your dog in the act of licking but have noticed that your pillow is randomly damp.

Licking the pillow is a minor one, but you should still consult the vet just to make sure that there arent larger issues at play. There are some helpful suggestions for not only figuring out when your dog began licking your pillow, but how to address the problem as well. Still, the closer you can get to when the problem started, the better youll be able to identify the factors that contributed to the licking.

Pinpointing when you first began to notice it can give you a better idea of whether or not it was a random factor at play or if it is a behavioral issue. But if you notice that the dog is licking your pillow just before you leave, this could be due to potential separation anxiety. Whatever the reason is, the ultimate goal is to ensure that your dog stops licking your pillow.

You will always want to deter behaviors that are detrimental in any way and try to instill discipline in your dog. It may take a little bit of time for them to pick up on the message, but this could be all you need to do to deter them from licking the pillow. Because separation anxiety could be the culprit, it will require a bit of training to get your dog feeling comfortable when you leave.

This will help to build to the point where your dog can feel comfortable with you not only leaving but being gone for hours at a time. Repeat these steps until the dog starts to get the idea and stops moving to lick the pillow. Eventually, this repeated direction/rewarding should teach your dog not to lick the pillow without constant reminding.

Dogs need a proper diet to remain healthy, bring a greater shine to their coat, and even prevent some behavioral issues.

What does it mean when a dog licks your pillow?

Dogs tend to love things that taste salty. And while you may not know, your pillow is a particularly salty object. … So your pillow will get the attention of your dog’s nose. And when they lick it, the saline sweat and lotion immediately appeals to your dog’s taste buds.

Why does my dog lick where I sleep?

Yes, your dog has decided to lick themselves while you are trying to fall asleep. The most logical explanation is that your dog is merely grooming themselves prior to going to sleep. It can be relaxing to the dog. After a hectic day it may be the perfect time to take a bath and get ready for bedtime.

Why do dogs like your pillows?

A pillow may provide comfort to your dog, especially due to scent on the pillow being of you. If your dog is feeling insecure or vulnerable, they will get on your pillow to feel comforted and more secure. Your dog might want to be as close to you as it possibly can be even when you aren’t home.

Its no secret that dogs like to lick and slobber on things that wed rather they left alone. And unfortunately for us, our pillows seem to be a special source of attraction for dogs who like to lick. Why is that?

And when they lick it, the saline sweat and lotion immediately appeals to your dogs taste buds. In manycases, your dog will seek things that comfort them and reminds them of you, and your pillow fills this role perfectly.

Dogs that develop this disorder will consistently repeat a specific behavior, even to the point of physical harm. Some dogs with OCD show signs like scratching a spot till it bleeds, or chasing their tails continuously for hours. Forcefully trying to stop a dog with OCD from repeating destructive behavior can lead to aggression.

If you have recently changed your dogs diet, they might be making up for the lack of fulfillment by licking your pillow. If you tweak it a bit by changing up their diet, they might feel unfulfilled and turn to your pillow to satisfy their cravings for salt. In this case, you might be accidentally praising your dog or giving them a treat right after they lick your pillow.

Otherwise, if you notice that your dog comes to you expecting a treat after licking the pillow, it could be a case of unintentional positive reinforcement. If youve recently changed their diet, your dog could be licking the pillow to satisfy their salt cravings. If youve started a new job that changes your schedule, your dog may be experiencing separation anxiety.

To do this, you can implement multiple techniques that can help your dog overcome the reason which triggered the habit in the first place. For milder cases, offer your dog some activity that rewards them,such as a puzzle hiding treats or a chewing toy stuffed with food. But if your pups case is more severe, you might have to be more patient and gradually increase the time your dog spends alone.

If you suspect that the habit has developed purely due to boredom, offer your dog other alternative entertainment sources when you leave them alone. For those dogs lacking in nutritional fulfillment, modifying theirdiet could help solve the pillow-licking habit . If all else fails or you cantfigure out why your dog is licking your pillow, you can always train them to stop through positive reinforcement.

Repeat this daily, and your dog will eventually recognize that theyll get praised when they dont lick your pillow . Blankets contain dead skin cells and sweat, which appeals to your dogs appetite for salt.

A dog licking its body and lips is natural and expected. A dog licking its owner is also a common doggy habit whose meanings you probably already know. What about a dog licking its owners bedding? Now, that sounds strange.

The most common reason why your pooch may be fond of licking your bedding is that the dog likes the taste and smell of your pillows and blankets. Our bodies secrete sweat, and as you shall find out, dogs love that salty taste.

The following section shall highlight a few ways canines communicate with other dogs as well as their human friends. But if the dog has its mouth wide open and bares all its teeth, that could signal an impending attack. A dog thats attentive or alert will have all its ears erect and slightly leaning forward.

Ears that are pulled back and resting flat against the dogs head are usually a sign of anxiety and fear. If the dog doesnt perceive you as a threat, it will try to avoid eye contact at all costs. Much like the eyes, dogs tend to assert their dominance by pointing their heads directly at the perceived threat, sometimes also baring their teeth.

On the other hand, canines show submission by turning their head away from their owners or other dogs. For instance, a dog thats trying to alert its owner about an intruder will bark in rapid strings, often pausing in between. If the barking is prolonged , it could be indicative of loneliness or the readiness to confront a perceived threat.

It isnt necessarily a sign of submission, but an expression of the dogs unwillingness to be confrontational. And that often ranges from licking their human bodies to the furniture in the house, beddings and anything else that the dog associates with its owner. As you sleep, your bodys metabolism doesnt shut down, and all the physiological processes continue to take place through the night.

If youve been keen enough, you must have realized that your puppy goes to drink immediately its done licking your pillow. These dead matter also have a degree of salinity, which makes them taste sweet to your dog. Also, the mere fact that you spend a long time on your bed means that the dog naturally associates your pillow with you.

So, even if you dont leave any scents there, the dog will always lick the pillow to show its love for you. Some of our canine friends just adore the smell and taste of our facial products and body lotions. Needless to mention, the presence of broth spills on the pillow will inevitably cause your dog to lick it.

Therefore, a slight change in their routine is likely to throw them off balance, getting them to lick excessively on anything they can find, including your pillows. At times, your dog might be totally opposed to the new diet and by licking your pillow, it may be trying to communicate its aversions. A dog thats suffering from separation anxiety will, in most cases, lick the pillow when youre about to leave the house.

And the same explanation might also help pet parents who often find themselves asking, why does my dog lick me in the morning? Remember, the only part of you that you left behind is the sweat, oils, as well as the dead hair and skin follicles on your pillow and bedding. Whichever the medical condition the dog is suffering from, your best bet is to enlist the services of a professional vet as soon as possible.

Last update on 2021-11-20 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

We know that dogs like to licka peanut butter treat, their own paws, us, and sometimes, soft things in the house like the carpet or the sofa. They use their tongues to self-groom, to show their humans affection, because they like the taste of our salty skin, or to savor something delicious. But if you notice that your dog is frequently and persistently licking the furniture, there may be more worrisome reasons. Does your dog lick the sofa, your favorite chair, the bed pillows, and other surfaces? Its probably not because the sofa is slathered with peanut butter. Licking the furniture can signal a dogs anxiety or stress or even a medical condition.

One sees this in dogs that experienced severely restricted, sterile environments, like being chained in a yard or caged without exercise or socialization. These dogs may exhibit a stereotypy, defined as a singular, specific, nonfunctional behavior that they repeat constantly, in this case licking furniture.

Why Your Dog Licks Your Pillow

Generally speaking, it comes down to one of a couple things. The most likely reason is that there is something on your pillow that they like the taste of. This is usually enough reason for them to start giving your pillow a tongue bath.But it can also be behavioral issues that can vary from pup to pup. First, let’s talk about the taste. No, it doesn’t have to be that you dropped food on it at any point.

1 – Your Dog Likes the Taste

The most likely reason that your dog is licking your pillow is because it likes the taste. While your initial thought may be “but I didn’t spill anything on it,” it has nothing to do with that. It comes down to the things that you leave on your pillowcase at night.When you sleep at night, there are dead skin cells and sweat that will start to collect on your pillowcase. This can provide a salty taste. If the dog smells it, it may be inclined to lick it. That could be enough to keep your dog licking it.If you tend to get sweaty during the night, this can be the primary reason why your dog keeps licking the pillow.If your dog is excessively licking the pillow (because of the taste), it could also be a sign that there are issues with its diet. Dogs who lick pillows are far more likely to do this after there has been a change to their diet.Consider any recent changes and monitor your dog’s behavior in the days following that change.Also, make sure that you wash your bedding at least once per week. This will help to mitigate the sweat, dirt, and dead skin that gets on it. Keeping that limited should help to deter your dog from wanting to lick your pillow on a regular basis.

Compulsive Behavior

There are some dogs that simply have compulsive behavioral traits. Your dog may start a certain behavior and then continue to do it excessively. They may seem like they have no way to stop, either.Dogs that lick (or do anything else) compulsively should be taken to the vet. There could be neurological issues at play and the vet will be able to best assess what to do.Certain compulsive behaviors are more serious than others. Licking the pillow is a minor one, but you should still consult the vet just to make sure that there aren’t larger issues at play.

Things to Keep Under Consideration

There are some helpful suggestions for not only figuring out when your dog began licking your pillow, but how to address the problem as well. The key is recognizing a few different things that can give you the information that you need to proceed.There is also a chance that you have been inadvertently training your dog to lick your pillow. Though it isn’t likely, perhaps you have been giving it treats right after it licked your pillow.This can happen without your realizing this is the case.

Consider When it Started

Try to think back to the first time you noticed your dog licking your pillow. This can be a little tough to pinpoint because you may have just written off the first couple of times.Still, the closer you can get to when the problem started, the better you’ll be able to identify the factors that contributed to the licking.There is a good chance that your dog didn’t always lick the pillow. If that’s the case, there were definitely triggers that started the habit. Those changes could have come due to inadvertent rewarding, changing its diet, or a particularly hot and sweaty night.There are also dogs that simply do it from the start. That doesn’t mean the aforementioned factors aren’t a cause for doing it, it just means there is likely some kind of compulsive behavioral issue at play.Pinpointing when you first began to notice it can give you a better idea of whether or not it was a random factor at play or if it is a behavioral issue.

Consider When Your Dog Licks the Pillow

While it is important to figure out when this all began, it is also important to pinpoint if there are specific times when your dog licks the pillow. If it does it seemingly at random, it is more than likely a behavioral issue.But if you notice that the dog is licking your pillow just before you leave, this could be due to potential separation anxiety. If you have been preoccupied and haven’t been giving your dog attention, it could be trying to do just that.Try to show your dog some attention and love for a short period before going back to whatever it was you were doing. This could be enough to dispel the licking.

1 – Negative Reinforcement

If you catch your dog in the act, it could be as simple as providing some negative reinforcement. Say their name sternly and take the pillow away.It may take a little bit of time for them to pick up on the message, but this could be all you need to do to deter them from licking the pillow.But if repeated negative reinforcement doesn’t work, it may be time to try other tactics. Don’t just yell at the dog if it isn’t working; it won’t change anything. It will just continue to make both you and the dog upset, and you will still have a wet pillow.

2 – Try to Reduce Separation Anxiety

Because separation anxiety could be the culprit, it will require a bit of training to get your dog feeling comfortable when you leave. Start out with small periods of time so your dog doesn’t get anxious. When you get back, reward the dog.With each successful trip, reward the dog to show it that there will be a reward for proper behavior. Each time you do this, spread out the time. It will take some time to build up to the point where your dog can handle you being gone for hours at a time.If your dog has severe separation anxiety, you may need to start at the very beginning. Don’t even leave the room, just get ready like you normally would before you leave. Try to be patient with your dog and show it love in addition to giving it treats.This will help to build to the point where your dog can feel comfortable with you not only leaving but being gone for hours at a time.

3 – Other Things to Chew/Lick

Diverting its focus can be another thing to consider, especially if it has compulsive behavior. They may be licking your pillow because it provides comfort for that compulsiveness. Try to give it something new to focus on.You can give it chews or bones or a new toy to focus its attention on. Keep in mind that this may not work 100%.It could distract them for a little while before they return back to the pillow. But anything you can do to distract them from licking your pillow is a step in the right direction.

4 – Introduce Training

There is a specific kind of training known as “leave it” training. This is to get the dog to understand that they are to leave the pillow alone and not lick it. This requires positive reinforcement, both verbally and using treats.First, get some treats that you know the dog likes and then go grab the pillow. Place the pillow away from the dog and tell it to “leave it.” If the dog acknowledges the pillow but doesn’t lick it, reward them with a treat, pets, or any other kind of positive reinforcement.If the dog does end up licking the pillow, take it away and place it away from the dog. Repeat the “leave it” command and see what it does. Repeat these steps until the dog starts to get the idea and stops moving to lick the pillow.Eventually, this repeated direction/rewarding should teach your dog not to lick the pillow without constant reminding. How long it takes depends on your dog.

5 – Reduce Access

Generally speaking, licking pillows will only happen with bed pillows. This is because your scent will be strongest on these pillows. So, if you are having issues keeping them away from your pillow, the easiest solution could be to cut off their access.Keep the bedroom door closed whenever you aren’t in it. This can be difficult to remember initially but try to do so. This could be enough to break them of the habit simply because they can’t get at the pillows when you aren’t there.The less access they have to your pillow, the more likely they are to shift their attention to other areas. Soon, they will forget all about the pillow and your problem will be solved.

Understanding Why Dogs Lick Things

A Dog doesn’t have hands, so it uses its mouth to explore. Dogs pick up things, carrying things, and exploring tastes and textures by licking.But how does this explain continuously licking something as bland as a pillow?

Why Is Your Dog Licking Your Pillow?

You may wonder, if your dog has food and treats to savor, why would they go after something as tasteless as a pillow?It turns out your pillow does taste good to your dog. Otherwise, the reason could merely be psychological. Here are some common reasons why your dog might be licking your pillow:

2. Your dog could have separation anxiety

Some dogs can develop a fear of separation from their owners, which causes them to become very anxious after their owners leave, and they start acting out due to stress.In manycases, your dog will seek things that comfort them and reminds them of you, and your pillow fills this role perfectly. Since you spend almost 8 hours every day sleeping, your pillow smells most like you.And because dogs have a super-sensitive nose, that’s the first thing they’ll go after. If you come back home after work and usually find your pillow soaked in saliva, your dog may have separation anxiety and tries to soothe itself by licking your pillow.

3. Your dog has obsessive-compulsive disorder

If you notice that your dog is licking your pillow without stopping, they could be suffering from OCD. Dogs that develop this disorder will consistently repeat a specific behavior, even to the point of physical harm.Some dogs with OCD show signs like scratching a spot till it bleeds, or chasing their tails continuously for hours. Or, they might also develop a habit of licking your pillow non-stop for abnormal amounts of time.Forcefully trying to stop a dog with OCD from repeating destructive behavior can lead to aggression. So if you suspect that your dog is suffering from it, you’re better off taking them to a veterinarian.

When does your dog lick your pillow?

Finding out when your dog licks your pillow can help you find out the reason for this behavior.Most dogs that lick their pillow while they’re owners aren’t at home are doing it because of separation anxiety. If your dog does it right after you wake up, it might be because canines are most active during dawn.Otherwise, if you notice that your dog comes to you expecting a treat after licking the pillow, it could be a case of unintentional positive reinforcement.

1. Prevent your dog’s access to pillows

Before you try anything else, cut off your dog’s access to your pillows, the most straightforward and effective technique of all. When you’re not sleeping, store your pillows in the closet.However, this is not always effective or even suitable. If your dog licks the pillows to fulfill a need for salt or out of OCD, they might resort to licking other stuff or even becoming aggressive. Therefore, you should also fix the problem from its root for more permanent outcomes.

2. Treat your dog’s separation anxiety

Many dogs develop separation anxiety when they haven’t been trained that it’s okay to spend time alone. They createa need forconstant attention and become extremely anxious when they’re left alone.To prevent this from happening, train your dog to be comfortable in your absence. For milder cases, offer your dog some activity that rewards them,such as a puzzle hiding treats or a chewing toy stuffed with food.But if your pup’s case is more severe, you might have to be more patient and gradually increase the time your dog spends alone. Each time your dog doesn’t get anxious, offer a treat. With time, you can increase the duration you leave until your dog adjusts to your routine.

3. Offer your dog alternatives

Some dogs find it entertaining to lick your pillows when they’realone. If you suspect that the habit has developed purely due to boredom, offer your dog other alternative entertainment sources when you leave them alone.A great toy to keep your dog busy during your absence is the puzzle. These puzzles are designed specifically for dogs and challenge their sniffing abilities. Upon solving the puzzle, your dog receives a treat.These toys stimulate and challenge your pup, both mentally and physically. For naturally more intelligent dogs, these toys are a must to prevent them from becoming destructive.Apart from puzzles, you could also offer your dog chewing toys filled with treats. They come in different shapes and sizes and can be filled with a frozen treat.

4. Fix your dog’s diet

For those dogs lacking in nutritional fulfillment, modifying theirdiet could help solve the pillow-licking habit. If you recently changed your dog’s diet, the chances are that this is what’s causing the problem.The best way would be to adjust your dog’s diet would be to consult your veterinarian. They can help highlight which nutrients your dog lacks and help you design a diet that fulfills all their dietary needs.

Why is my dog licking the 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.

How Do Dogs Communicate?

One of the most frequently asked questions is, how do dogs communicate? How we answer that question is crucial in understanding why your dog licks your pillow.

1. Mouth Shape

If a dog closes its mouth tightly to hide its teeth or tongue, and has its gaze fixed in one direction, that could be indicative of a dog that’s attentive and focused on something.But if the dog has its mouth wide open and bares all its teeth, that could signal an impending attack.

2. Ear Position

A dog that’s attentive or alert will have all its ears erect and slightly leaning forward. Ears that are pulled back and resting flat against the dog’s head are usually a sign of anxiety and fear.And ears that are held sideways often indicate a dog that’s passing through conflicting emotions, as is often the case with a dog that’s trying to adjust to its new surroundings.

3. Eye Position

A fixed gaze with direct eye contact is often associated with confrontation. If the dog doesn’t perceive you as a threat, it will try to avoid eye contact at all costs.Some dogs will also blink as a way of trying to diffuse a tense atmosphere.Much like the eyes, dogs tend to assert their dominance by pointing their heads directly at the perceived threat, sometimes also baring their teeth.On the other hand, canines show submission by turning their head away from their owners or other dogs.

5. Tail Movements

Dogs display confidence by holding their tails high. And when a dog is attentive, you’ll observe that its tail lies horizontal and points away from the dog’s body, but isn’t stiff.Finally on tail movements, a dog may wag its tail to communicate its excitement to see you. A dog could also wag its tail as a calming signal or as an expression of contentment.

6. Barking and Growling

A dog’s bark could mean different things, depending on how the sound comes out.For instance, a dog that’s trying to alert its owner about an intruder will bark in rapid strings, often pausing in between.In most cases, growling is associated with dominant dogs. It’s a sound that a dog gives to scare away threats and display its intention to attack if the threat doesn’t back away.

7. Yawning and Licking

Dogs mostly yawn as they try to awaken, but some yawns are associated with stress.A dog may also yawn when trying to pacify another aggressive dog. It isn’t necessarily a sign of submission, but an expression of the dog’s unwillingness to be confrontational.Adult dogs lick themselves as a way of cleaning and grooming themselves, while mothers lick their puppies as a way of building strong bonds.But when it comes to humans,

2. Your Skincare Products Taste Good

It’s not only the taste of your sweat that might draw your dog to your pillow.Some of our canine friends just adore the smell and taste of our facial products and body lotions. It could even be the laundry detergents or softeners that you frequently use.The best way to establish that your dog is drawn to your skincare and laundry products is to change the product and observe how the dog responds.In some cases, the fluffiness of your pillow may also be a pull factor. Needless to mention, the presence of broth spills on the pillow will inevitably cause your dog to lick it.

3. Change of Diet

A change of diet is also another possible reason why your dog could be licking your pillow.You must remember that dogs are creatures of habit. Therefore, a slight change in their routine is likely to throw them off balance, getting them to lick excessively on anything they can find, including your pillows.At times, your dog might be totally opposed to the new diet and by licking your pillow, it may be trying to communicate its aversions.
Separation anxiety is one of the most common mental disorders that pets suffer from. And as the name suggests, this condition refers to the anxiety that stems from loneliness and boredom.
So, if you’ve always been wondering,Separation anxiety usually results in low self-esteem. As such, a dog may lick your pillow as a way of consoling itself when you’re away. It’s their own way of trying to banish their fears, worries, and insecurities.Remember, the only part of you that you left behind is the sweat, oils, as well as the dead hair and skin follicles on your pillow and bedding.

5. Dogs’ Activity Peak at Twilight

Much like cats, dogs are crepuscular animals. That means they’re generally more active at dawn and dusk. And that might help to explain another common pet-related question –

Final Word

It’s not unusual to come across your dog licking your pillow. The only thing to establish is if the action is abnormally frequent and intense.If you suspect an underlying medical condition, take the dog for veterinary examination as soon as possible.

Furniture Licking and Obsessive Compulsive Disorder

In some dogs, excessive furniture licking is genuinely obsessive-compulsive behavior. If your dog can’t be distracted from licking, licks with intensity or aggression, or seems almost spaced out, that is obsessive and/or compulsive behavior. In humans, it’s the difference between biting your nails when you’re anxious or not being able to leave the house without checking seven times that the door is locked.No particular breed is more or less susceptible to canine OCD, but some dogs may be more prone to compulsive behaviors than others. One sees this in dogs that experienced severely restricted, sterile environments, like being chained in a yard or caged without exercise or socialization. These dogs may exhibit a stereotypy, defined as a singular, specific, nonfunctional behavior that they repeat constantly, in this case licking furniture. Even moving to a caring, stimulus-rich environment may not change the behavior, because stereotypies can become ingrained behavior that’s difficult to break.But dogs brought up in a consistent, loving, and healthy environment can also have obsessive-compulsive disorder. Distraction and stimulation may not work in this case. Talk to your veterinarian about possible treatments, like anti-anxiety medication and behavior modification therapy. Over time, you’ll also learn to distinguish triggers and anticipate the behavior.Excessive furniture licking can also have physical causes. Dogs have sensitive digestive systems and it may indicate that your dog is nauseated or has an upset stomach. Older dogs may have canine cognitive dysfunction (dementia) and that can bring on compulsive licking.