Why Does My Dog Lick Blankets

In this article, we’re going to talk about all the different reasons, but most of the time it is behavioral.

Dogs arent’ born with this inherent anxiety; it’s a learned behavior, and just like any learned behavior, it can be undone or redirected.

Dog licking blanket issues have several causes, and we’re going to go over as many as possible to clear the air and help you get your dog to stop. It’s not a one-day fix; this may take weeks to correct, but it will be worth it.

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.

Reduce Access

It might seem like an obvious solution but can be easily overlooked.

Keep your blankets up high out of your dog’s reach, or keep them in a dog-proof box.

Understandably, that will stop your dog from blanket licking and save your blankets from being torn or chewed on.

Give Them Toys

Giving your dog-approved toys to lick will help channel their licking need.

There are plenty of toys, bones, and puzzle games you can introduce to your dog to keep their minds engaged.

Toys like puzzle feeders are an excellent choice in this case, and your dog will be challenged to get all their treats out of the feeder.

The following one from Amazon has amazing reviews and is the one to buy!

Licking Blankets:

Licking blankets specifically and not furniture is quite different.

  • Anxiety: This would probably start when something happens that would cause distress to your dog. For example, when you are about to leave the house or loud voices outside the home. Think about what happened when it first started. Maybe you began spending more extended periods outside the house, leaving your long alone for a longer time, causing anxiety. Monitor the timing of when your dog tends to lick the blanket; the timing may have something to do with the reason why. If your dog tends to do it more when you’re not home, most likely it is due to separation anxiety. Your dog would lick the blankets that you use since he will have a strong scent of you on them. The dog smells your scent on the blankets, which makes him feel calmer. Alternatively, maybe drink, or food has got stuck to the blanket, or unintentionally rewarding your dog when he does this behavior. Therefore, the best thing is to limit his separation anxiety by exercising and feeding the dog before leaving him alone. He would be sleeping most of the time while you are away. The dog may like the salty taste of your sweat or dead skin cells on the blanket. If he seems to be doing this due to the taste’s liking, this would be a sign of having something wrong with his diet. Most probably, the dog would start doing this after a change in his diet.
  • Compulsive behavior: An obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), dogs can get these conditions just like humans. Most likely, your dog will be having difficulty to stop licking at your command. He would have an irresistible urge to lick blankets. If this has been happening for a while, your dog would be under-stimulated, under-socialized, or experiencing stress and anxiety. Accordingly, the best thing is to seek your vet’s help. Considering how often does your dog lick the blankets will also give you an indication if this is a compulsive behavior or not. Suppose you are ready with answers to all these questions. In that case, you will help your vet or dog behaviorist figure out the suitable treatment options.
  • Inadvertently encouraging the behavior: Another possible reason for your dog excessive licking your blanket could be your inadvertently training your dog to do so. If you tend to give your dog the things he wants, such as treats, toys, or even attention when he licks your blanket. You’re unintentionally encouraging your dog to continue with this weird behavior. Instead, you can reward your dog when he doesn’t lick your blankets and after he stops doing it at your command. Also, you can try to redirect his attention when he starts doing it.
  • FAQ

    Why is my dog licking the couch and blankets?

    Dogs are creatures of habit and changes in their routine can make your dog anxious. Repetitive licking releases endorphins and is a way for dogs to self-soothe. In many cases, licking the sofa is an occasional response to occasional stress, loneliness, or boredom. However, it can become a habit if not checked.

    Why does my dog lick pillows and blankets?

    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.

    What does it mean when a dog licks fabric?

    Excessive licking can be a symptom of liver disease, inflammatory bowel disease, dental problems and other conditions. Dogs often will lick fabric if they have an upset stomach — it apparently is their version of Pepto-Bismol. Talk to your vet about Rascal’s diet.