Nothing in the world can make a loving pet parent truly mad at their loyal and caring doggos. Yet, some behavior in your pet may be cause for concern, not just for yourself but your pet.
It may be baffling and concerning for first-time parents find their fluff balls licking furniture without any discernable reason. Many first-time pet parents find that their dogs love to lick their bedsheets.
Why does your dog lick your bedsheets? There can be several reasons why your dog is licking your bedsheets. Usually, this is a simple exploratory behavior or they are smelling your scent. However, if the licking doesn’t stop and it’s hard to pull them away from it, your dog may have a serious issue such as canine OCD, pica, or anxiety.
Continue reading to find out more about general canine behavior and some of the possible causes for excessive licking.
Reasons for Licking the Bedsheet
Now, there are several things that pet people have to understand before making any assumptions. You see, if your dog comes around your room and occasionally licks the bed or the floor, then there is no reason to worry at all.
However, if your pet is constantly licking away at your sheets, then you have to consider that your pet may not be exhibiting normal behavior and it may be time to take them to the vet. Here are the most common reasons why dogs lick bedsheets.
Just as you discover the world around you through your senses, so does a dog. The defining difference is that a canine uses its senses of taste and smell to learn and experience new things.
So, if your pooch comes around your bed and licks it randomly, then you don’t have to worry. Your fur-baby is simply familiarizing itself with the environment.
2. They Smell You
Any dog parent will vouch for the fact that their doggos worship the very ground that their humans walk on. Many dogs do not just love and are loyal to their owners; they are more than willing to risk their own lives for the well-being of their parents.
It’s little wonder that we see service dogs, therapy dogs, and even military or police dogs. In short, your dog is licking at your bedsheet because it can smell and taste you on the bedsheet.
You see, when you sleep at night, you sweat away and leave behind plenty of dead skin cells, and when your dog licks at your bedsheets, it can taste you on it. Kind of gross, I know, but as your dog adores you, it also loves the scent and taste of you.
3. Bad Behavior Unknowingly Rewarded
Many first-time doggo parents reward bad behavior unintentionally. You see, when your dog comes and licks your sheets, and you pull it towards you and start to show it affection, your dog will think that you appreciate its licking.
Your show of love can function as positive reinforcement, and you may not know that. Your dog may come around and start to lick your sheets to get a good cuddle. If the licking is driving you crazy, stop responding in this way. Instead, you can ignore the behavior until they stop, or calmly tell them to get off the bed.
4. Feeling of Isolation
Most dog parents are advised during the adoption process to heed the way they live. If you’re a workaholic, always away from home, or do not enjoy taking up responsibility for the well-being of another life, then you are told to avoid keeping pets.
You see, it’s a well-known fact that dogs are brilliant as well as sensitive creatures. So, if you don’t spare any time for your fluff balls, they feel alone or ignored quite keenly.
And it may be that your dog is licking your bedsheet as it feels your presence there the most. You can’t be mad at your dog for missing you. So, the best way to remedy your dog’s new habit is to give it the attention and care it deserves.
If you already spend a ton of time with your pup but they still seem to go crazy every time you leave or exhibit destructive behavior while you’re away, your dog could have separation anxiety.
There are ways to train your dog to relieve stress in healthier ways, and sometimes getting another dog is a good way to relieve their loneliness, keep them from getting bored, and help them expend their energy.
You may also want to consider hiring a dog walker or someone to come check on your dog in the middle of the day so they have something fun to look forward to even while you’re gone and can get some exercise and social playtime.
5. Obsessive/Compulsive Behavior
Dog OCD can stem from many things. If your dog isn’t getting the attention they so rightly deserve, then your dog may start to lick not just your bed sheets but all of the furniture in the house.
Now, you have to understand that there are many ways to put an end to such behavior. But, none of the methods you apply should ever negatively impact your dog or its psyche. Positive reinforcement is always the best way to train your dog. They should always feel safe and loved in your care.
It may be that your dog lacks training or that you lack the training to train your dog. Early training and socialization can help bring many positive changes to your doggo’s well-being and your own peace of mind. Training should be reinforced by positive encouragement at all times.
However, canine OCD may develop from a lack of proper routine and constant changes. Dogs are very intelligent creatures and will easily sense a change in its environment as well. The more significant the difference, the more your dog is likely to respond to it.
You should also keep in mind that the changes that will occur in your dog’s behavior will seldom be positive. Hence, animal behaviorists suggest that you should always stick with routine in your life even when big changes occur so that your dog can find some comfort in familiarity and adapt to other changes quicker.
And if changes are a must, they must be introduced slowly and gradually into the environment. Changes come in many shapes and forms, such as a distant family member visiting or a child’s birth. In such circumstances, pet guardians need to prepare their pet well in advance.
Lack of mental or physical exertion may trigger compulsive behavior in animals, too—time arrangement in the form of playdates, brain exercises, and toys (this one is my favorite). Lots of playtime or frequent walks will also lessen your dog’s compulsive need to lick itself or your sheets.
Like we mentioned before, it’s a great idea to hire a dog walker if you’re usually gone for long periods during the day.
6. Medical Causes
There are quite a few health issues that might cause your fur-baby to lick away at your furniture or bed sheets. When your dog has severe skin allergies, your dog will lick more. It will lick itself and everything around it far more than usual.
Infections from bacteria, fungus, and parasites will make your dog itch more. Excessive itching leads to more licking.
The easiest way to avoid such nasty medical problems is to have regular visits to the vet and to keep your dog’s environment as well as your home as hygienic as possible. The diet becomes a significant player in your dog’s overall healthfulness too.
Arthritis or an underlying pain from an injury can make your dog lick more too. When dogs lick themselves to soothe pains, their bodies release endorphins that help relieve the pain. Once again, a proper and complete body check-up can keep such problems at bay at the vet.
Gastrointestinal issues can make dogs lick everything and everyone. But dogs with GI exhibit other symptoms, such as excessive drooling, loss of appetite, diarrhea, dehydration, and shock. The simplest way to detect what is causing GI is to evaluate the signs the dog is showing.
Pet parents often find themselves in a fix when they find their pets showing irregular behavior. The more bizarre the behavior, the greater the concern.
Yet, it helps to understand what may be causing the change in your dog’s personality. You have to read on to find some of the other concerns that animal lovers have regarding their dog’s behavior.
Why Does My Dog Eat Strange Items?
Dogs can develop an eating disorder known as Pica. Pica is not uncommon in dogs. It is a psychological disorder when your dog consumes non-food substances. Your dog will try out anything when it suffers from Pica. Hence, dogs can eat metals, plastics, dirt, rocks, and even garbage.
Coprophagy is the medical term for eating feces. Pica and coprophagy are both quite dangerous for the well-being of your dogs.
Many times, canines have eaten something inedible, and the item has become lodged in the dog’s throat. In such scenarios, immediate surgery is the only way to save your dog’s life. And, choking hazards are a real peril to your dog’s life.
Why Does My Dog Bite My Shoes?
Young dogs experience discomfort in their teeth and gums during their teething phase. As mentioned earlier, licking and chewing release endorphins in their body that relieves pain. Also, most shoes are made from leather that provides your dog’s most favorite scent, taste, and texture.
Adult dogs tend to indulge in biting shoes as a way to gain attention. When doggos feel neglect or loneliness, they will exhibit behavior that is deemed harmful. Furthermore, shoe biting is also a great pastime. But pet guardians need to get to the root of the cause.
Giving your pets extra TLC or something better to chew on brings about positive changes in animal behavior.
Also, a visit to the vet to ensure that there aren’t any underlying medical conditions will be a huge help in relieving your dog’s pain, boredom, or stress. And providing your dog with constructive channels of physical exertion will bring an end to shoe bites.
You can arrange playdates with pet pals, buy engaging toys, hire a dog walker, and practice time arrangement through walks and other activities with your dogs in such a manner that will use up their extra energy and prevent boredom.