Weighted Blankets Dangerous For Dogs

Us humans aren’t the only ones who need some extra comfort every now and then. We can actually look to some of the same tools we use to provide relief to our stressed-out pets.

When it comes to calming down The Fast and the FURRIEST, weighted blankets can be quite effective and appropriate for your pet, so long as you’re under the blanket with him or her and absorbing the majority of the weight. This is especially true for cats and smaller dogs.

We’ve shared a few symptoms that might indicate that your furry friend is in fact experiencing anxiety, which isn’t uncommon among pets—cats, dogs, and rescue animals, in particular.

You can use a weighted blanket with your pet, but if you have a small-to-mid sized dog or a cat be careful not to let your fur baby bury itself under the blanket alone.

Did you know? When they are still growing, puppies sleep on average 18-20 hours a day. Now THAT is a long nap!

You know your pet better than anyone else. You’ve probably dubbed him or her the “cutest in the world” and you probably talk to them in that high-pitched baby voice when they greet you at the door. You can also probably tell when they’re happy, when they’re bored and, of course, when they’re stressed. Sometimes it may be anticipated, like by a trip to the vet, and sometimes it may not be. But when it comes to our furry little friends, we can’t help but always want the best for them. Which is why it’s so difficult to see them upset or worried and feel like there’s absolutely nothing we can do. It can be quite… ruff, if you will.

Until recently, there haven’t been many solutions to help soothe our pets during restless times. We’ve had to sit back (in agony ourselves likely) and simply wait for it to pass. But us humans aren’t the only ones who need some extra comfort every now and then, and we can actually look to some of the same tools we use to provide relief to our stressed-out pets. Like a weighted blanket, for example. After all, loads of research has confirmed the positive benefits one can have on the body, especially when it pertains to the nervous system. However, you may be wondering if they’re safe for your best friend. Your browser does not support the video tag.

The safety risks for anxiety blankets are especially high for pets who already have difficulty breathing due to asthma, or a flatter-faced animal like a Bulldog or a Persian cat. In addition, if your pet has a skin condition, the constant pressure of a weighted blanket on their skin may be very irritating to them.

Are Weighted Blankets Safe for Dogs and Cats to Sleep Under?

Did you catch that part about choosing a weighted blanket that’s about 10 percent of your body weight? That’s super important, especially when we start talking about using a weighted blanket with dogs or cats around.

Though not that heavy for us humans, our weighted blankets can feel like a Goliath weight on top of our tiny fur friends. The biggest issue that occurs when a cat or dog sleeps under one is that it could end up being too heavy for them to easily get up or move around.

“Some dogs may panic underneath the blanket and this can cause a heightened sense of stress,” warns Dr. Tori Countner, DVM, founder of Balanced Pet Vet in San Diego, California. “Additionally, in cats, small dogs, older dogs or dogs with underlying respiratory conditions, the weighted blanket may be too heavy and can cause respiratory distress.”

Similar to the weighted blanket recommendation for us humans, any blanket or weighted product your pet sleeps beneath should be less than 10 percent of their body weight. So, for example, a 10-pound cat shouldn’t be under more than one pound, and a 20-pound pup should only curl up under a blanket that’s two pounds or less.

So, your 18-pound weighted blanket? That might not be the best bedding for your kitten or petite pup!

Another thing about human weighted blankets is that most are made with tiny beads to give them their heft. This could pose a choking risk to pets.

“If your dog is a chewer, or tends to chew and destroy things when anxious, they could easily swallow the beads,” says Dr. Countner. “Ingestion of the beads or part of the blanket can become a medical emergency due to blockage in the GI tract, so be wary.”

You don’t have to get rid of your weighted blanket if you have a cat or dog, but do be mindful about the way you use it. If your pet sleeps in bed with you, make sure they’re sleeping on top of the weighted blanket and not underneath it. And when you’re not using the blanket, keep it out of your pet’s reach to prevent chewing (especially if it’s beaded).

The concerns with pets and weighted blankets

Weighted blankets typically weigh between 10 and 30 pounds. While an adult human, who may be at least 110 pounds, can sleep with a weighted blanket and be just fine, ​a pet that climbs underneath one of these blankets might not be able to get out because the weight of the blanket is too much for them​.

What if you have a smaller dog like a Chihuahua with a body weight of only 5 pounds, or a cat that weighs 10 pounds? They would not be able to get out from under a heavy weighted blanket. If youre not there, they could become trapped.

​Additionally, a weighted blanket may put too much pressure on your pets chest​. The weight of it could have the opposite effect and cause your dog or cat to panic because they may have trouble breathing. If your dog or cat has asthma or a breathing issue, then the weight of the blanket is going to be dangerous for them.

Weighted Blankets Dangerous For Dogs

Another concern is that Gravity Blankets, a brand of weighted blankets, are made with weighted beads, and if your dog or cat bites the blanket and ingests the beads, you could have an emergency situation on your hands.

Some companies make weighted blankets specifically for pets, such as these found on Amazon. These products generally weigh in at between three and eight pounds and are designed for medium to large dog breeds. Its vital to make sure that these are appropriate in weight for your pets size and that tiny dogs in the household dont have access to them as they could be too heavy.

A lightweight faux fur snuggle blanket — such as The Dogs Blanket — emulates cuddling with a littermate or mother is one soothing option.

Are Weighted Blankets Safe For Pets?

You can use a weighted blanket with your pet, but if you have a small-to-mid-sized dog or a cat be careful not to let your fur baby bury itself under the blanket alone or unsupervised. It could be too much weight for them to absorb on their own.

Otherwise, weighted blankets can be an excellent way to help relieve their anxiety, just as it can be for us. Known to increase serotonin and decrease cortisol, they provide instant relaxation that’s both physical and mental. Of course, the use of one will depend on the symptoms your pet is showing and the root of their anxiety.

Calms body & mind for deeper sleep


Are glass beads in weighted blankets toxic to dogs?

Dogs who love chewing on their blankets

These blankets have non-toxic heavy plastic or glass beads with sand-like textures. This ensures an even weight distribution throughout the blanket.

Can dogs benefit from weighted blankets?

Weighted blankets for dogs are thought to have similar effects on dogs as they do on humans. Theoretically, the extra weight mimics the comfort of being hugged, or swaddled, which may be soothing to your dog. The aim of a weighted blanket is to decrease anxiety and stress, and to also help improve rest and sleep.

How heavy should a weighted blanket be for a dog?

The best weighted blanket for your dog is one that weighs no more than 10 percent of their body weight, just like those for humans. If your pup weighs 40 pounds, for instance, pick a blanket that weighs four pounds or less.

Can weighted blankets be harmful?

Are Weighted Blankets Safe for Adults? The quick answer is yes, weighted blankets are safe for healthy adults — at least, they are if you get the correct size based on your body weight. Using a weighted blanket that is too heavy could make you feel restrained and possibly contribute to anxiety and sleep issues.