Why Do Dogs Lick Blankets?

Dogs are known for their licking behavior.

They lick their paws, their fur, and even people.

But why do dogs lick blankets?

Common Reasons for Dog Licking Blankets

1. Sensory Stimulation

Dogs rely heavily on their sense of taste and smell. Licking blankets provides sensory stimulation, allowing them to explore different scents and textures.

2. Comfort and Security

Blankets offer a sense of comfort and security to dogs. Much like a security blanket for a child, dogs may lick blankets as a self-soothing mechanism.

3. Nutritional Deficiencies

Sometimes, blanket licking may indicate nutritional deficiencies. Dogs instinctively seek out minerals and nutrients they lack.

4. Anxiety and Stress

Dogs, like humans, can experience anxiety and stress. Blanket licking may serve as a coping mechanism during such times.

5. Habit Formation

What starts as an occasional exploration can evolve into a habit. Dogs are creatures of habit, and repetitive actions, like blanket licking, can become ingrained behavior.

6. Medical Concerns

In some cases, blanket licking may indicate an underlying medical issue. Oral discomfort, gastrointestinal problems, or skin conditions could prompt dogs to seek relief through licking.

Is Blanket Licking Harmful to Pets?

While blanket licking might seem harmless at first, it’s essential to be aware of potential health risks associated with this behavior.

1. Ingestion of Fibers:

One notable risk is the ingestion of fibers from blankets. This can lead to various digestive issues, including blockages or irritation in the digestive tract.

2. Allergies to Materials:

Another concern is the development of allergies to certain materials commonly found in blankets. Prolonged and frequent exposure through licking may trigger allergic reactions, manifesting as skin irritations, itching, or other allergic symptoms.

3. Skin Irritations:

Prolonged exposure to specific materials through blanket licking may trigger allergic reactions, manifesting as itching, redness, or respiratory issues.

How to Address Blanket Licking

Taking a proactive approach can significantly reduce or eliminate blanket licking in pets.

1. Creating a Comfortable Environment

Ensure your pet has a cozy and stress-free space. Provide comfortable bedding and consider using pheromone diffusers to create a calming atmosphere.

2. Providing Adequate Mental Stimulation

Engage your pet with toys, puzzles, and interactive play. Mental stimulation can redirect their focus and alleviate stress-related behaviors.

3. Dietary Modifications

Consult with your vet to address any nutritional deficiencies. Sometimes, a change in diet can positively impact your pet’s behavior.

4. Professional Training Assistance

If blanket licking persists, seek professional help from a certified animal behaviorist. They can provide personalized training plans to modify undesirable behaviors.

Conclusion

In conclusion, blanket licking can be a harmless quirk or a potential cause for concern, depending on various factors.

As responsible pet owners, it’s crucial to observe our pets’ behaviors, provide a stimulating environment, and seek professional advice when needed.


Is it Harmful if the Blanket is Clean?

Even with a clean blanket, excessive licking can pose health risks.

Are there preventive measures for blanket licking?

Yes, maintaining a stimulating environment, a balanced diet and regular vet check-ups can prevent blanket licking.

When Is Blanket Licking a Cause for Concern?

Learn to differentiate between normal, occasional licking and behaviors that warrant veterinary attention.

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