It is not uncommon to catch your dog happily licking away at one of your blankets. While it may seem strange or even a bit gross to us, there are several reasons why dogs engage in this behavior. In this article, we will explore these reasons and shed some light on the topic of why dogs lick blankets.
1. Comfort and Security
One possible reason why dogs lick blankets is to seek comfort and security. Just like how humans have certain habits that provide a sense of relaxation and ease, dogs also engage in comforting behaviors. Licking the blankets may help them feel more secure or relieve anxiety, especially when their favorite humans are not around.
2. Mimicking Maternal Behavior
Another reason why dogs lick blankets is rooted in their instincts. Puppies, when still with their mother, would be licked by her to keep them clean and stimulate their bodily functions. This maternal behavior often carries over to adulthood, and dogs may develop a habit of licking blankets as a way to mimic their mother’s affectionate gestures.
3. Taste and Smell
Dogs have an incredibly keen sense of smell, and blankets, being porous, can trap scents and flavors that may intrigue them. If your dog has picked up an interesting scent or residue on the blankets, they may lick it to further investigate or enjoy the taste. This behavior is similar to how dogs may lick other objects or even the floor in search of something enticing.
4. Attention-Seeking Behavior
Sometimes, dogs lick blankets as a means to grab attention. If they notice that their licking behavior elicits a reaction from their owners, such as being petted or spoken to, they may continue doing it to gain attention. While this behavior might seem harmless at first, it can become a nuisance if your dog starts demanding constant attention with their licking.
5. Compulsive Behavior
In some cases, dogs may lick blankets due to compulsive behavior. Just as humans can develop habits or compulsions, dogs can also exhibit similar tendencies. Compulsive licking of blankets might be a sign of an underlying issue, such as anxiety or stress, and it is important to consult a veterinarian if this behavior becomes excessive or interferes with your dog’s daily life.
In summary, there can be various reasons why dogs lick blankets, ranging from seeking comfort to stimulating their senses. Understanding the underlying motives behind this behavior can help you better understand and address your furry friend’s needs. However, if you notice any concerning or excessive licking patterns, it’s always best to consult with a professional to ensure your dog’s well-being.