Why Does My Dog Lick Blankets? Unraveling This Quirky Behavior

Many dog owners have observed their furry friends engaging in the curious behavior of licking blankets. While it may leave you puzzled, there are several reasons why dogs indulge in this behavior. Dogs have unique instincts and behaviors, and understanding why they lick blankets can help you better comprehend and address their needs.

1. Comfort and Security

Blankets provide a sense of comfort and security for dogs, much like they do for humans. Licking blankets can be soothing and offer a form of self-soothing for dogs, especially when they are feeling anxious or stressed. The repetitive motion and the feel of the soft fabric against their tongue can offer a calming effect, akin to how a baby may suck their thumb.

2. Grooming and Scent Marking

Dogs view their human family members as part of their pack, and by licking blankets, they may be attempting to groom you. Licking is a common grooming behavior among dogs, and blankets can carry your scent. Your dog may be instinctively trying to groom you by licking the scent off the blanket, which is their way of showing affection and belonging.

Dogs also have scent glands in their mouth, and by licking your blankets, they leave their scent on them. This scent marking behavior can serve as a way of claiming the blankets or marking them as part of their territory, reinforcing their bond with you.

3. Boredom or Anxiety

Dogs can sometimes lick blankets out of boredom or anxiety. If they are not getting enough mental or physical stimulation, they may resort to this behavior to pass the time or alleviate their anxiety. It is crucial to provide your pup with enough exercise, playtime, and mental stimulation to prevent them from resorting to blanket licking as a coping mechanism.

4. Sensory Stimulation

Blankets with interesting textures can provide dogs with sensory stimulation. Dogs have a keen sense of touch, and certain textures can be fascinating to them. The act of licking the blanket allows them to explore and experience different sensations, enhancing their sensory world. If your dog is licking blankets frequently, try providing them with toys or other objects that offer similar sensory experiences.

5. Health or Nutritional Issues

Occasionally, excessive licking of blankets can be a sign of an underlying health or nutritional issue. Dogs may lick due to dry skin, allergies, dental problems, or digestive issues. If your dog’s blanket licking becomes obsessive or excessive, it is advisable to consult a veterinarian who can rule out any underlying medical conditions and provide appropriate treatment.

In conclusion, dogs lick blankets for various reasons, ranging from seeking comfort and security to instinctual grooming behaviors. It can also be a sign of boredom, sensory stimulation, or even health concerns. Understanding the motivation behind this behavior can help you address your dog’s needs and ensure their well-being. By providing alternative outlets for comfort, attention, and stimulation, you can support your furry friend and minimize excessive blanket licking.