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We have an affiliate relationship with and receive compensation from companies whose products we review on this site. We are independently owned and the opinions expressed here are our own.

Why Does My Dog Lick Blankets and Pillows?

Dogs have peculiar habits, and one of the most common is licking various objects in their surroundings. While it may seem odd, many dogs exhibit this behavior, particularly when it comes to licking blankets and pillows. This article aims to explore the reasons behind this behavior and provide answers to some common questions dog owners often have.

1. Why do dogs lick blankets and pillows?
There are several reasons why dogs engage in this behavior. One possible explanation is that dogs find comfort in the soft texture of blankets and pillows. Licking these objects can be soothing for them, similar to how humans find comfort in cuddling with a soft blanket. Additionally, dogs have a keen sense of smell, and blankets and pillows often carry the scent of their owners or other familiar individuals, making them attractive to lick.

2. Is it normal for dogs to lick blankets and pillows excessively?
While occasional licking of blankets and pillows is generally harmless, excessive licking can be a cause for concern. If your dog is obsessively licking these objects to the point where it interferes with their daily activities or causes physical harm, it may indicate an underlying issue such as anxiety, boredom, or a medical condition. In such cases, it is advisable to consult a veterinarian to determine the cause and seek appropriate treatment.

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3. Can licking blankets and pillows be a sign of stress or anxiety?
Yes, excessive licking of blankets and pillows can be a sign of stress or anxiety in dogs. Dogs may engage in this behavior as a coping mechanism to alleviate their anxiety or to self-soothe. If you notice your dog excessively licking these objects along with other signs of anxiety, such as restlessness, panting, or destructive behavior, it is important to address their anxiety and provide them with appropriate outlets for relaxation.

4. How can I prevent my dog from licking blankets and pillows?
If you find your dog’s licking behavior bothersome or if you want to prevent any potential damage to your belongings, there are a few strategies you can try. First, provide your dog with alternative objects to lick, such as chew toys or bones, which can redirect their attention. Additionally, you can use deterrent sprays or bitter-tasting substances on the blankets and pillows to discourage licking. Lastly, ensuring your dog receives enough mental and physical stimulation through exercise, playtime, and training can help reduce their desire to lick objects out of boredom.

5. Is blanket and pillow licking harmful to dogs?
In most cases, blanket and pillow licking is harmless. However, it is important to ensure that the objects your dog licks are clean and free from any toxic substances that could be harmful if ingested. Regularly washing blankets and pillows can help maintain cleanliness and prevent any potential health hazards.

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6. Can blanket and pillow licking be a sign of nutritional deficiency?
While blanket and pillow licking is not typically associated with nutritional deficiencies, it is important to provide your dog with a balanced and nutritious diet. If you suspect your dog’s licking behavior is related to a nutritional deficiency, consult with your veterinarian to ensure their diet meets their specific needs.

7. Should I be concerned if my dog eats blankets or pillows?
If your dog is actually ingesting pieces of the blanket or pillow, it can be a cause for concern. Ingesting foreign objects can lead to gastrointestinal obstructions or other health complications. If you notice your dog regularly consuming these items, it is crucial to seek veterinary assistance to prevent any potential health risks.

In conclusion, dogs licking blankets and pillows is a common behavior that can be attributed to various reasons, including seeking comfort, relieving stress, or simply enjoying the texture and scent. While occasional licking is typically harmless, excessive or destructive behavior should be addressed. By understanding the underlying causes and taking appropriate measures, you can ensure your dog remains happy, healthy, and content.