Why Does My Dog Lick My Pillow?

Do you ever wonder why your dog licks the pillow? It’s a mystery that has puzzled pet owners for years. Is your dog attempting to communicate with you in some manner? Is he simply bored, or is he seeking something to do? We will explore the reasons behind this puzzling behavior and offer some useful tips.

Understanding Why Dogs Lick Things

Dogs lick things for a variety of reasons. Sometimes it’s because they’re trying to get something off their fur, like dirt or food. Other times, it’s a sign of affection or excitement. And sometimes, it could be a medical issue.

Understanding Why Dogs Lick Things

Let’s take a look at some reasons:

  • They enjoy the taste: Just like people, dogs have different taste preferences. Some dogs simply enjoy the taste or smell of their owner’s pillow and will lick it as a way to show affection.
  • They’re trying to get your attention: If you often give your dog attention when they lick your pillow, they may start doing it more frequently as a way to get your attention.
  • They’re bored or anxious: Dogs can get bored or anxious just like people. If they don’t have anything else to focus on, they may start licking objects out of boredom or anxiety.
  • They have a medical issue: As we mentioned before, if your dog is continuously licking something, it’s vital to contact your veterinarian to rule out any medical issues. [1]

Why Is Your Dog Licking Your Pillow?

There are a few reasons. It could be the dog enjoys the taste or smell of your pillowcase, or it could be a sign of anxiety or stress. If your pup only licks your pillow occasionally, it’s probably nothing to worry about.

Your dog likes the salty taste of the pillow

One theory is that dogs lick because they like the taste of our skin cells. Dogs have a keen sense of smell and can detect these skin cells from far away. They may also lick pillows because they enjoy the scent of our shampoo or perfume.

Separation anxiety

If your pup only licks the pillow when you’re not around, they may have separation anxiety. This is a condition where dogs become anxious when left alone. They may start licking objects as a way to self-soothe and cope with their anxiety. If you think your dog has separation anxiety, you should take them to the vet for a diagnosis.

Treatment for separation anxiety will vary depending on the severity of the condition. In some cases, behavior modification training can help dogs learn to cope with being alone. In other cases, medication may be necessary to help control their anxiety levels.

Another possibility is that your dog is anxious or stressed. Dogs often lick their paws when they’re feeling anxious, and some may start licking other objects, like pillows, as well. If your dog is licking their pillow excessively, it could be a sign that they’re feeling overwhelmed or stressed out. If this is the case, you should take them to the vet to see if there’s any underlying medical condition causing their anxiety.

Obsessive-compulsive disorder

In some rare cases, dogs may start licking objects excessively as a result of OCD. This is a condition where dogs perform repetitive behaviors, like licking or chewing, as a way to cope with anxiety or stress. If you think your dog may have OCD, you should take them to the vet for a diagnosis.

In some situations, behavior modification training can aid dogs in learning to cope with their anxiety. Medication may be required in other situations to assist manage their compulsions.

Compensating for a change in diet

If you switch your dog’s diet or snacks, it may begin licking things as a means of obtaining more taste. This is because many commercial dog foods are lacking in taste and smell. Dogs may also start licking objects if they’re not getting enough of certain nutrients in their diet.

Unintentionally encouraging your dog to lick the pillow

Unintentionally encouraging your dog to lick the pillow

Dogs are often rewarded for licking behavior without realizing it. For example, if you pet your dog while they’re licking their pillow, you’re inadvertently telling them that this is a behavior you approve of. As a result, they may continue to lick the pillow in order to get your attention and affection. If you want to stop your pet from licking pillows, you should ignore it when doing it. [2]

How To Stop Your Dog From Licking Your Pillow

Here are a few things:

  • Remove the pillow from your bed. This is the easiest way.
  • Train the dog with positive reinforcement.
  • Give your dog something else to lick.

When does your dog lick your pillow?

There are a few different scenarios in which your dog might start licking your pillow. Maybe they’ve always licked it and you never noticed until recently. Or, maybe they only lick it when you’re not home. Regardless of when it started, there’s usually a reason behind this kind of licking.

One possibility is that your dog is simply trying to get your attention. If you usually pet them or give them treats while you’re sitting on the couch, they may have learned that licking your pillow is a surefire way to get some of that loving attention.

Another possibility is that your dog likes the taste of your pillowcase. Some materials, like cotton or linen, can have a sweet taste that dogs enjoy. Additionally, if you use scented laundry detergent or fabric softener on your pillowcase, that could be another reason.

If your dog has started licking the pillow out of the blue, consult with a vet to rule out any possible medical causes. Occasionally, excessive licking can be a sign of an underlying health condition, such as anxiety or allergies.

Once you’ve ruled out any potential health problems, there are a few different ways you can stop this behavior. If they’re doing it for attention, simply ignore them when they start licking and only give them attention when they’re not engaging in the behavior.

When did your dog start licking your pillow?

It’s tough to say for sure when my dog started licking my pillow. She’s always been a bit of a licker, but it wasn’t until recently that she really got into it. I think it started around the time I switched to using down pillows. They’re so much softer and more comfortable than the synthetic ones I was using before, and I think she just enjoys the taste and texture.

There could be other reasons though. It could be that she’s trying to get your attention or that she’s bored and looking for something to do.

Steps To Stop Your Dog From Licking Your Pillow

There are a few things you can do.

Prevent your dog’s access to pillows

If you have more than one pillow on your bed, remove all but one. Store the other pillows in a closet or another room where your dog can’t get to them.

Steps To Stop Your Dog From Licking Your Pillow

If your dog is licking a particular spot on the pillow, try covering it with a piece of tape or aluminum foil. The taste and texture will deter most dogs from licking.

You can also try spraying the pillow with a bitter-tasting deterrent like citrus spray or hot sauce. Test the spray on a small area of the fabric first to ensure it doesn’t cause any damage.

Finally, keep the bedroom door closed to prevent your dog from entering the room and getting to the pillow.

If you’ve tried all of these things but there is no result, it’s time to consult a veterinarian. Your dog may be experiencing anxiety or may have a medical condition that’s causing them to lick. A vet can help you determine the cause and recommend a treatment plan.

Treat your dog’s separation anxiety

This may require behavior modification training, anti-anxiety medication, or a combination of both.

Your veterinarian can help you create a treatment plan. They may also refer you to a certified animal behaviorist who can provide additional guidance and support.

With patience and consistency, you can help your dog overcome its separation anxiety.

Separation anxiety

Offer your dog alternatives

If your dog is licking the pillow out of boredom, you can try to offer them alternatives to licking. This may include chew toys, food puzzles, or Kongs filled with treats.

You can also try increasing the number of exercises for your dog. A tired dog is less likely to engage in destructive behaviors like licking.

Finally, make sure you’re providing your dog with plenty of mental stimulation. Dogs need mental stimulation just as much as they need physical exercise. Try teaching your dog new tricks or playing games like fetch or tug-of-war.

By offering your dog alternatives to licking, you can help them break the habit and redirect their focus to more positive activities.

Fix your dog’s diet

You’ll need to work with a veterinarian to create a treatment plan. This may include changes to your dog’s diet.

Your vet may recommend switching your dog to high-quality, grain-free food. They may also recommend adding supplements to your dog’s diet or feeding them smaller meals more frequently throughout the day.

Making changes to your dog’s diet can be tricky and it’s important to work with a professional who can ensure that your dog is getting the nutrients they need. With the right diet, you can help your dog stop licking the pillow and improve their overall health.

Manually train them to stop licking pillows

To do this, you’ll need to catch your dog in the act of licking and immediately redirect their attention to something else. This may be a toy, a treat, or simply your attention. [3]

It’s important to be consistent with this training. Every time you catch your dog licking, redirect their attention away from it.


Should you stop your dog from licking your pillow?

The answer to this question is not as simple as a yes or no. If you’re concerned about your dog’s licking habits, consult with your vet. They will offer guidance on how to stop the behavior.

There are a few things you can do to try and stop your dog from licking your pillow:

  • Remove anything that has a scent from your pillow, such as perfume or lotion. Dogs are attracted to scents, so eliminating them may help discourage licking.
  • Give your dog a designated spot to lick. This could be a toy, bone, or Kong filled with peanut butter. Encourage your dog to lick this object instead of your pillow.
  • Try using a deterrent spray on your pillow. These sprays contain bitter flavors that dogs don’t like. Whenever your dog licks the treated area, they will associate the unpleasant taste with the action and eventually stop licking altogether. [4]

If you’re still having trouble getting your dog to stop licking your pillow, reach out to a professional trainer or behaviorist for help. With time and patience, you should be able to solve this mystery once and for all!

Why does my dog randomly lick my bed?

There could be a few reasons. It could be that they’re trying to get your attention, they’re feeling anxious, they’re bored, or they might just enjoy the taste or texture of your bedding. If you’re concerned about this issue, it’s best to consult with a vet.

One theory is that dogs lick because they enjoy the taste or texture of their owner’s skin. Dogs will often lick other objects that have their owner’s scent on them, such as clothing or shoes. Additionally, some research has shown that Dogs may also lick to show submissive behavior or as a sign of affection. [5]

Why does my dog lick my bed sheets so much?

It could be that they’re trying to get your attention, or they could simply enjoy the taste or texture of the fabric. If you notice your dog licking their bedding more frequently than usual, take a closer look at the causes of this behavior.

One possibility is that your pup is experiencing stress. If this is the case, you might notice other changes in its behavior, such as increased panting or pacing. If you think your dog may be stressed, talk to your veterinarian about possible solutions.

Another possibility is that your dog is seeking comfort from licking their bedding. This behavior is often seen in dogs who have other issues with loneliness. If you think your dog might be licking for comfort, there are a number of things you can do to help, including providing them with more attention and exercise.

Why do dogs lick themselves before going to sleep?

There are a few reasons. One theory is that they’re trying to get comfortable and relax before sleep. This makes sense, as licking can be a calming activity for dogs.

Another possibility is that your dog is trying to get the taste of your pillow out of its mouth! If you’ve been eating on your pillow or sleeping with dirty hair, your dog may be trying to clean it off.

Finally, some experts believe that dogs lick the pillows as a way of showing affection for their owners. After all, we often show our love by giving our dogs kisses on the head or nose. It’s possible that licking their owner’s pillow is your dog’s way of returning affection. [6]

Useful Video: *Why Do Dogs Lick – Interesting Facts*


So, why does your dog lick your pillow? Well, there could be a few reasons. Maybe they’re trying to tell you something, or they could just enjoy the taste of your pillowcase! Whatever the reason, it’s important to keep an eye on your dog’s licking habits and make sure they’re not doing it excessively. If you’re concerned about your dog’s licking behavior, talk to your vet. They’ll be able to help you figure out if there’s an underlying health condition causing the licking, or give you some tips on how to stop it. Thanks for reading!


  1. https://www.animalmedical.net/blog/2018/11/why-do-dogs-lick-everything/
  2. https://www.dogloversdigest.com/my-dog-licks-my-pillow/
  3. https://wigglywisdom.com/why-does-my-dog-lick-my-pillow/
  4. https://dogsandclogs.com/why-does-my-dog-lick-my-pillow/
  5. https://notabully.org/why-do-dogs-lick-sheets/
  6. https://www.trumannanimalclinic.com/2019/09/24/who-do-dogs-lick-themselves-before-sleeping/