Ever climbed into your bed after a hard day’s work only to find a damp patch on your bed or blanket? Well, don’t freak out thinking your dog has been making its territory all over your house just yet. Your dog could just be licking their blankets.
Licking is an instinctual urge in canines. But, several pet parents find their doggo’s compulsive licking to be a bit worrying. Many pet guardians wonder why their pooch is indulging in such bizarre behavior.
So, why do dogs lick blankets? There are several reasons your dog could be licking blankets, from boredom, anxiety, dietary issues, various medical concerns, mineral or vitamin deficiencies, or simply out of habit. If you’re worried that your dog is licking their blankets obsessively, it’s a good idea to take them to the vet.
Yes, dogs do lick blankets, but then dogs lick everything. The only time when licking becomes a cause for concern is when they start to lick something obsessively. You have no reason to worry, though. Simply read on to discover why your dog loves to lick your blanket. And the measures you can take to stop your dog’s strange conduct.
Why Is My Dog Licking My Blanket?
Dogs lick to comprehend their environment and get a feel of what surrounds them. But licking in canines isn’t just for the sake of exploration. Just as humans need all of their senses to understand the world around them, dogs use their sense of taste.
Licking is a form of self-hygiene in most animals, and your adorable doggo is not any different. Furthermore, licking is attached to a positive association for most dogs.
When your dog is only a puppy, it is licked by its mommy for hygiene purposes and also as an act of affection. So, it can manifest later in life as a learned behavior that becomes sort of like an instinctual habit.
This means licking in dogs is perfectly normal. The only time you need to worry is when you find your pooch showing obsessive or compulsive licking. Many reasons may trigger excessive licking. Here are a few of the most common ones:
If your dog was a perfectly well-behaved pup before and has suddenly started to lick your blanket a lot, then you need to investigate the root cause of the problem. Pay attention to anything that may have changed recently in your pup’s life or routine.
It might be that you have started to spend long hours away from home or there have been some loud noises outside your house due to some construction on the street. Either way, your dog is going to respond to this enormous change in its routine, and it may even start to suffer from separation anxiety.
Furthermore, obsessive Compulsive Disorder, aka OCD, is relatively common in pets too. It may be caused by any number of things, particularly any drastic changes in the environment.
The easiest way to solve separation anxiety is to allay your doggos fears. If your dog has separation anxiety, then you need to spend more time with it. Also, your doggo will require training. Training helps with OCD too.
Your fur baby will need to understand that you will be out of the house for some time. In that time when your dog is alone, you need to provide it with plenty of toys and interactive games that will encourage mental stimulation.
2. Dietary Issues
Many dog breeds suffer from weak digestive systems. So, when your dog starts to lick excessively, it may be an indication of nausea or gastronomical discomfort.
Now, most dogs are allergic to corn, wheat, and even soy. Yet, most dog food brands incorporate grains in dog food as a filler. So, if you happen to be feeding your furry friend something it might be allergic to, excessive licking is going to be the resulting consequence.
The cure for an upset stomach is not home remedies. You need to consult with your vet and make gradual changes to the diet of your canine. It is imperative when your fur baby has a weak stomach that you go for only non-GMO, grain-free, and organic products.
3. Medical Concerns
The impulsive and excessive licking along with red skin or irritation may be a clear sign of allergies. If your dog does suffer from specific allergies, then you have to consult with a vet. In the meantime, keeping your dog away from dust, pollutants, any form of harsh chemicals, and even grains will provide relief from allergies.
Unfortunately, excessive licking can also mean a bacterial or fungal infection. When your dog licks its skin, the licking releases endorphins in the dog’s body, providing it with a natural painkiller. Technically, your fur baby may be in a lot of pain and may be licking to seek some relief from the pain.
There is no avoiding the vet if your dog does have an infection. An underlying condition in canines must be treated promptly, or it may fester into something worse and become untreatable. It is wise to check for any bumps, lesions, or cuts on your dog’s body too.
If you’ve ruled out any medical conditions and seem to believe that your doggo isn’t suffering from separation anxiety, then your dog may be licking your blanket because it simply likes to. When humans sleep, they leave behind plenty of dead cells and skin on their bedding.
As you may know, your dog’s most sensitive organ is its tongue, so your dog keeps licking your blanket because they smell your scent on the blanket, and it reminds them of you. Furthermore, dogs also enjoy licking themselves because licking releases endorphins in their body.
This feel-good enzyme puts your dog in a content and happy mood. So, your dog may combine licking your blanket and itself to while away free time when you are not around.
It may be upsetting for you to encounter a dog-spit-soaked blanket every time you head to bed. Yet, it isn’t a problem with no solution. You can quickly train your dog not to do this. If basic dog training isn’t one of your skillsets, then you can always get in touch with an animal behavior expert or dog trainer to help you out.
5. Dirty Blanket
Many dog owners don’t understand why their dogs sometimes lick their blankets. But what they really fail to understand is that they may be the actual cause behind such bad behavior. A lot of times, pet parents like to snuggle with their pets, watch movies, and munch on treats.
Now, if you happen to be crunching down on your and your doggo’s favorite snack and happen to drop some on the blanket, your dog will be able to smell it out.
Sometimes, dogs discover some microscopic food particles ingrained into the blanket’s fabric and lick away at those food particles to get a taste of it. But, even when there is no food stuck to your blanket, and there is just a scent of your doggo’s much-liked snack, your pet will happily lick away at it for hours on end.
The only solution to this problem is hygiene. Just as your pet practices self-hygiene, you, too, need to get accustomed to the idea of cleaning up after yourself. There’s no harm in movie time with your pet, but if you’ve nibbled on treats, it is a must that you clean up the couch as well as wash the blanket you used during movie time.
6. Mineral Or Vitamin Deficiency
There is also a very high probability that if your pooch is practicing excessive licking, the poor fellow may be suffering from a severe lack of vitamins or minerals. Many pet guardians are extra careful when it comes to the diet of their doggos. But, there are times when some breeds have an innate lack of calcium or certain vitamins.
The only way to be sure if your dog does not suffer from a mineral or vitamin deficiency is to head for a vet. Also, it is never advisable to start your pets on any supplements without the advice of a vet.
An addition to the family in the way of a pet can mean lots of laughter and joy. Yet, keeping and caring for a pet, particularly a dog, means a lot of responsibility. Dogs are intelligent creatures that are loyal to a fault. When they love their humans, they love unconditionally.
They deserve the same affection and love from you. So, if you want to bring a dog into your household, you must be willing to dedicate a considerable chunk of your time, attention, and consideration to your furry friends. These beautiful beings deserve nothing less.
If your fur baby seems to be licking itself way more than it usually does, there is no need to worry. A short visit to the vet and some training will easily take care of most of the problems your adorable furball may be facing.
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