Do you ever wonder why your dog likes to suck on blankets? It’s actually a relatively common behavior, and there are a few different reasons why dogs do it.
In this post, we’ll take a closer look at what might be motivating your dog to suck on blankets, and we’ll also provide some tips for how to help put an end to this behavior.
So read on to learn more about why dogs suck on blankets!
Why Do Dogs Love Sucking on Blankets?
Many dog owners have noticed this weird behavior in their furry friends and are often left wondering why they do it. So let’s take a closer look at the root cause of this behavior and see if we can’t get to the bottom of it.
Missing Their Mom
Your pup might be sucking on blankets because they miss their mom. It’s a natural response to being separated from mom too quickly. When puppies are born, they spend the first few weeks of their lives with their mother.
During this time, they learn important life skills like potty training and socializing with other dogs. They also form a strong bond with their mother, who provides them with food, shelter, and love.
When puppies are taken away from their mother before they’re ready, they may start to suck on blankets as a way to comfort themselves. This behavior can also be seen in adult dogs who have been separated from their mothers at an early age.
Sucking for Comfort
For many dogs, sucking on blankets is a way to seek comfort and security. Much like sucking your thumb as a child, sucking on a blanket can provide a sense of calm for your dog. It’s also possible that older dogs simply enjoy the feeling of the blanket against their mouths.
A Sign of Anxiety/Stress
It turns out that sucking on blankets is a common way for dogs to cope with stress or anxiety. Just like humans, dogs can feel overwhelmed by life’s challenges. And just like humans, they often turn to comfort foods or activities to help them relax.
For some dogs, sucking on a soft blanket helps to soothe their nerves and ease their anxiety. The rhythmic movement of licking and sucking can be calming, and the warmth and softness of the blanket can be reassuring.
Canine Compulsive Disorder
Canine Compulsive Disorder is a condition that can cause dogs to perform repetitive behaviors such as sucking on blankets, chewing on toys, pacing, and excessive licking. These behaviors can be soothing for dogs and may help them to cope with stress or anxiety. However, they can also become obsessive and interfere with a dog’s normal daily activities.
There are many potential causes of CCD, including genetic factors, changes in the environment, and trauma. For example, dogs who suffer from separation anxiety or who are lacking in socialization or stimulation are more likely to develop CCD.
Is Blanket-Sucking Harmful?
Now that we know why dogs suck on blankets let’s address the question of whether or not it’s harmful for them to do so. For the most part, it isn’t harmful for dogs to suck on blankets. However, there are a few things you need to watch out for.
- First of all, make sure your dog is only sucking on clean blankets. If their blanket is full of dirt, dust, or other allergens, it could trigger allergies or respiratory problems.
- Additionally, suppose your dog regularly ingests pieces of their blanket while sucking on it. In that case, they could end up with an intestinal blockage—which could be life-threatening if not treated promptly by a veterinarian.
- Finally, if your dog sucks so hard that they damage the fabric of their blanket (or bed), you’ll need to replace it so they don’t ingest any small pieces of fabric that could cause an obstruction.
Other than those three things, though, there’s no reason to worry about your dog sucking on their blanket.
What Should You Do?
If your dog has developed a habit of sucking on blankets, you may be wondering what you should do about it. After all, it’s not exactly the most elegant behavior. So here are a few things to keep in mind if your dog is sucking on blankets.
Keep the Blanket Clean
The first thing you should do if your dog is sucking on blankets is to make sure the blanket is clean. Dogs have a strong sense of smell and can tell when something is dirty. If the blanket is covered in dirt and grime, your dog is likely to continue sucking on it regardless of anything else you do. So make sure to keep the blanket clean if you want your dog to stop sucking on it.
Beware of Choking Hazards
If your dog is small, there is a risk of them choking on the blanket if they continue sucking on it. Be sure to keep an eye on your dog while they are sucking on the blanket to make sure they don’t start choking. If you see them start to choke, remove the blanket immediately and take them to the vet as soon as possible.
Identify the Triggers
There may be certain triggers that cause your dog to start sucking on the blanket. For example, some dogs may start sucking on the blanket when feeling anxious or stressed during a thunderstorm. If you can identify the triggers that cause your dog to start sucking on the blanket, you can try to avoid those triggers or provide your dog with an alternative outlet for their anxiety or stress (such as a toy).
Consult Your Vet
If you’re concerned about your dog’s behavior, it’s always a good idea to consult with your vet. They will be able to give you specific advice based on your dog’s individual situation. Additionally, they may be able to identify any underlying medical conditions that could be causing or contributing to the problem.
How Do I Get My Dog To Stop Chewing on Blankets?
If you’re looking for ways to get your dog to stop chewing on blankets, here are a few ideas that may help.
Discourage the Behavior
The first thing you’ll want to do is try to discourage the behavior. This can be done in several ways, but one of the simplest is to just remove the blankets from your dog’s reach. They can’t chew on them if they can’t get to the blankets.
Of course, this won’t work if you’re trying to protect a favorite blanket that you also use yourself. In that case, you may try spraying the blanket with a bitter-tasting spray designed specifically to deter dogs from chewing. Fabric protector sprays can also work well for this purpose.
Distract Your Dog
Another method you can try is to distract your dog whenever they start chewing on a blanket. Have some toys nearby that they really love, and as soon as they start chewing on the blanket, offer them one of these toys instead. With any luck, they’ll take the bait and start playing with their toy instead of your blanket.
You can also try giving them a treat anytime they leave the blanket alone. This positive reinforcement may help teach them that it’s more rewarding to leave the blanket alone than it is to chew on it.
So, why do dogs suck on blankets so much? The answer is complicated and has to do with a variety of factors like missing their mom, needing comfort, being anxious or stressed, or suffering from canine-compulsive disorder.
Blanket-sucking can be harmful if your dog ingests too much fabric, so it’s important to keep the blanket clean and free of choking hazards. If you’re noticing that your dog only sucks on blankets and not other objects, try identifying potential triggers and consulting your vet. You can also discourage the behavior by distracting your pup with toys or treats whenever they start to suck on a blanket.
Leave us a comment about whether this is a concerning behavior for your pet!