Dogs lick blankets for a variety of reasons. While some people may believe that this behavior is simply out of boredom, there are actually a number of different explanations as to why dogs lick blankets. In this comprehensive guide, we will explore the most common reasons why dogs lick their bedding and provide some useful tips on how to address this behavior.
Reasons Why Dogs May Lick Blankets
Some of the most common reasons include:
If your dog has never been a licker and suddenly starts, it’s important to bring them to the vet. Allergies, skin infections, and even anxiety can cause a dog to lick excessively.
One of the most common reasons for a dog to lick its blanket is because of an underlying gastrointestinal issue. If your dog is licking the blanket more frequently, it might be a sign that they’re experiencing some sort of stomach upset. If your dog is also exhibiting other symptoms like vomiting or diarrhea, then it’s definitely time to take them to the vet.
Gastrointestinal issues are often the result of something that your dog has eaten that doesn’t agree with them. If you’ve recently changed your dog’s food or they’ve gotten into something they shouldn’t have, this could be the cause of their upset stomach. If you suspect that this is the case, try switching back to their old food or keeping a closer eye on them to see what they’re getting into.
In some cases, gastrointestinal issues can be the result of more serious conditions like pancreatitis or intestinal parasites. If your dog is licking their blanket and seems to be in pain, this could be a sign of a more serious issue and you should take them to the vet right away.
Adrenal (Kidney) Diseases
Another possible reason is adrenal disease. Adrenal diseases are typically seen in older dogs and can cause a variety of symptoms, including excessive licking. If your dog is licking their blanket more than usual and also seems to be drinking more water than normal, this could be a sign of adrenal disease and you should take them to the vet for testing.
Adrenal diseases are often the result of tumors on the adrenal glands. These tumors can be benign or malignant, but either way, they can cause a variety of problems for your dog. If your dog is diagnosed with an adrenal tumor, your vet will likely recommend surgery to remove it. In some cases, radiation therapy may also be recommended.
If your dog is diagnosed with adrenal disease, it will likely need to be on medication for the rest of its life. This medication can help to control the symptoms and allow your dog to live a relatively normal life.
Another reason that your dog might be licking their blanket is because of dental problems. If your dog’s teeth are not being properly cared for, they can develop a variety of problems, including tartar buildup, gum disease, and tooth decay. These problems can be painful for your dog and can cause them to lick their blanket in an effort to soothe the pain.
Sometimes a dog may lick its blanket as a result of behavioral issues. If your dog is anxious or stressed, it may lick its blanket as a way to self-soothe. This behavior is often seen in dogs that are rescue dogs or have had traumatic experiences in the past.
No matter what the reason for your dog’s excessive licking is, it’s important to talk to your vet about it. Excessive licking can be a sign of a serious underlying health condition and should not be ignored. If you’re concerned about your dog’s licking behavior, make an appointment with your vet as soon as possible. They will be able to assess your dog and determine the cause of the licking and recommend the best course of treatment.
While we may never know why our dogs do some of the things they do, we can take solace in the fact that excessive licking is usually not a sign of a serious health condition. In most cases, it’s simply a dog’s way of self-soothing or coping with anxiety. However, if you’re concerned about your dog’s licking behavior, make sure to talk to your vet so they can rule out any underlying health issues.
A dog may lick blankets as a result of compulsive behavior. This is often seen in dogs that are anxious or stressed. If you think this might be the case with your dog, it’s important to talk to your vet about ways to help them cope with their anxiety.
As mentioned before, anxiety is often the cause of a dog licking its blanket. If your dog is anxious or stressed, it may lick its blanket as a way to self-soothe. This behavior is often seen in dogs that are rescue dogs or have had traumatic experiences in the past.
There are a variety of products on the market that can help to calm an anxious dog, including thunder shirts, calming collars, and anti-anxiety medication. If your dog is licking their blanket due to anxiety, your vet will likely recommend one or more of these products to help them cope with its anxiety.
Another reason is due to sensory reasons. Dogs have a strong sense of smell and they often use their noses to explore their environment. When a dog smells something interesting on their blanket, it may lick it as a way to investigate the scent further. This behavior is perfectly normal and is nothing to be concerned about.
Food Left Behind
Make sure to wash their blanket regularly so they don’t ingest any old food that could make them sick.
It likes the taste
Some dogs are simply more inclined to lick things than others. If your dog is licking the blanket because they enjoy the taste, there’s no need to worry. This behavior is normal and is not harmful to your dog.
If your dog is licking the blanket due to the taste, there’s no need to worry. This behavior is perfectly normal and is not harmful to your dog. They may simply be a ‘licker’ by nature and there’s nothing you can do about it. Just make sure their blanket is clean so they’re not ingesting any dirt or bacteria that could make them sick.
You have been inadvertently rewarding it
If you have been inadvertently rewarding your dog for licking the blanket, it may continue to do so in order to get your attention. Dogs are very smart and they quickly learn that certain behaviors result in positive outcomes. Stop this behavior as soon as possible.
There are a few things you can do to stop this behavior. First, make sure you never give your dog any attention when they are licking their blanket. This includes eye contact, petting, or even talking to them. Second, redirect their attention away from the blanket by offering them a toy or treat instead. Finally, be consistent with your commands and rewards so that your dog knows what is expected of them. 
Licking blankets is perfectly normal behavior for dogs but it can become a problem if it’s excessive or if you’re inadvertently rewarding the behavior. If you think your dog may be licking their blanket excessively, please consult with a vet or animal behaviorist for help.
Other Potential Reasons
Boredom: If your dog is bored, it may lick the blanket as a way to entertain itself.
Anxiety: Some dogs lick their blankets when they’re feeling anxious or stressed.
Pain: If your dog is in pain, it may start licking its blanket as a way to self-soothe.
How Do You Stop A Dog from Licking A Blanket?
The answer is simple: you can’t. Dogs will lick blankets for many reasons, including boredom, anxiety, and even affection. Figure out why your dog is doing it in the first place and address that underlying issue.
There are several things you can do to help your dog feel less anxious or bored, such as providing them with more toys and attention or taking them on more walks. If you think your dog is licking the blanket out of boredom, try adding some new toys to their toy box or teaching them some new tricks. If you think your dog might be feeling anxious, talk to your vet about possible solutions, such as dog anxiety medication.
Licking is a natural behavior for dogs, so there’s no need to be concerned if your dog licks their blanket occasionally. However, if you notice that your dog is licking their blanket more frequently or excessively, it might be time to talk to your veterinarian about possible underlying issues. Excessive licking can sometimes be a sign of an underlying medical condition, so it’s important to rule out any potential health problems before addressing the behavior itself.
Avoid encouraging the behavior
While you can’t stop your dog from licking its blanket altogether, there are some things you can do to avoid encouraging the behavior. For example, if you usually give your dog attention when they lick their blanket, they may learn that this is a way to get your attention and continue doing it even more. Instead, try to ignore the licking behavior altogether or redirect your dog’s attention to something else when they start licking.
If you think your dog is licking their blanket out of boredom or anxiety, there are several things you can do to help address the underlying issue. However, if you’re not sure why your dog is licking their blanket or if the behavior is excessive, talk to the vet for help.
Check Their Diet
One potential reason your dog might be licking their blanket excessively is an underlying medical condition. If you think this may be the case, see your veterinarian for assistance.
In some cases, excessive licking can be caused by dietary allergies or sensitivities. If you think this might be the case, talk to your vet about switching your dog to a hypoallergenic diet. This type of diet is designed to minimize the risk of allergic reactions and can often help reduce excessive licking behavior.
One potential solution is to reduce its access to the blanket. This might mean keeping the blanket out of reach when you’re not using it or only giving them access to it when you’re able to supervise them.
If you think your dog is licking their blanket out of boredom, try adding some new toys to their toy box or teaching them some new tricks. If you think your dog might be feeling anxious, talk to your veterinarian about possible solutions, such as dog anxiety medication.
Give Them Toys
Give your dog something else to lick. This might include giving them a Kong toy filled with peanut butter or providing them with a special blanket that’s okay for them to lick.
Leave It Command
Teach your dog the “leave it” command. This can be a helpful tool for redirecting their attention when they start licking their blanket.
To teach your dog the “leave it” command, start by showing them a treat in your hand. When they try to take the treat, say “leave it” and close your fist around the treat. Once they stop trying to get the treat, give them a different treat from your other hand as a reward. Repeat this process until they understand that trying to take the treat will not result in them getting it.
Once your dog understands the “leave it” command, you can use it when they start licking their blanket. For example, if they start licking their blanket, say “leave it” and offer them a different toy to play with instead. With patience and practice, your dog should learn to stop licking its blanket and focus on the new toy instead.
One potential cause of excessive licking behavior is anxiety or boredom. If your dog is anxious, it may lick its blanket as a way to self-soothe. If they’re bored, they may lick their blanket out of sheer boredom.
One way to help reduce anxiety and boredom-related licking is to socialize your dog more. This might include taking them on walks, to the dog park, or to doggy daycare. The more time they spend around other people and dogs, the less anxious and bored they should be.
Get help from a vet
If you’re concerned about your dog’s licking behavior, or if you can’t seem to stop it no matter what you try, talk to your veterinarian for help. They will be able to help you figure out the root cause of the problem and come up with a plan to address it. 
Your veterinarian may also recommend some lifestyle changes, such as increasing exercise or socialization, or they may prescribe medication to help reduce anxiety.
What does it mean when a dog licks their bedding?
There are a few different reasons. One possibility is that they’re trying to clean it. Dogs have a natural instinct to keep their sleeping area clean, and licking is one way they can do that.
Another possibility is that your dog is simply trying to comfort itself. Some dogs may lick their bedding when they’re feeling anxious or stressed. This behavior can be calming for them, similar to how humans might use things like blankets or stuffed animals for comfort. 
If your dog only licks their bedding occasionally, there’s probably no cause for concern. However, if they’re doing it excessively or seem to be in distress while doing it, you should talk to your veterinarian about possible causes and treatment options.
Why do dogs constantly lick fabric?
Dogs have a lot of nerve endings in their mouths and lips which makes licking pleasurable. They might also lick because they like the taste or smell of something on the fabric. If you’ve recently applied lotion or perfume to your skin, your dog may be trying to get a taste of it.
Licking can also be comforting for dogs. Some dogs lick their owner’s face as a sign of affection. Others might start licking when they’re feeling anxious or stressed out. Licking can be a way for dogs to self-soothe in times of duress. 
If your dog is constantly licking fabric, it’s to keep an eye on their behavior. Excessive licking can lead to irritation and sores on your dog’s skin. They could also be ingesting harmful chemicals from laundry detergent, fabric softener, or other substances on the fabric. If you’re concerned about your dog’s licking behavior, talk to your veterinarian.
Why does my dog lick the bed comforter?
It could be that they enjoy the taste or smell of the fabric, or they might be trying to get your attention. If your dog only licks the comforter when you’re not around, it’s likely they’re doing it for attention. Dogs are social animals and love nothing more than being with their pack (that’s you!). If you think this is why your dog is licking the comforter, spend more time with them and see if the behavior stops.
Another possibility is that your dog is anxious or stressed. Dogs will sometimes lick things as a way to self-soothe when they’re feeling uneasy. If you think this might be the case, try to create a calm environment for your dog and see if the licking decreases. You might also want to consult with a veterinarian or behaviorist to get some additional help. 
Your dog simply may enjoy the taste or smell of the comforter. If this is the case, there’s not much you can do to stop them from licking it. You might want to try covering the comforter with a sheet or blanket so they can’t access it as easily. Or, you could provide them with their own blanket or bed that they can lick to their heart’s content!
Useful Video: Why Does My Dog Suck On Blankets (10 Reasons Explained)
There could be a few reasons for your dog to lick the blanket. It could be that they’re trying to get your attention, they’re bored, or they might even think the blanket tastes good! If your dog is licking their blanket excessively, it’s best to consult with a vet to rule out any underlying health issues. Other than that, just keep an eye on them and make sure they’re not ingesting too much of the fabric.
Thanks for reading! We hope this guide was helpful. Happy tails!