You see another one of your blankets in a chewed-up mess.
And the nibbling culprit is no other than… your doggo!
You wonder why they’re suddenly acting this way.
And if it’s a habit you should be concerned about.
In this article you’ll find out:
- 7 surprising reasons your dog chews on blankets.
- What you can do to stop them from nibbling on blankets.
- And this is just the beginning…
Why does my dog chew on blankets?
Your dog chews on blankets because they’re teething or attempting to nurse. It may also be due to hunger, stress, breed, or boredom. In some cases, they could also do it because of a condition called pica.
7 reasons why your dog chews on blankets
#1: Your dog is teething
“Mom, it’s just a phase.”
You just bought your puppy a new chew toy. But you catch them chewing on their blanket instead.
Don’t fret! This only means your puppy is being their normal self by chewing everything in sight.
I say normal because puppies go through a phase called teething.
The same as humans, dogs are born with no teeth. And when it starts to grow, their gums become sore as well.
This can become uncomfortable for your little doggo.
So they may turn to chewing blankets to relieve the discomfort they feel.
This is also their way to explore the things around them. They use their mouths to feel and learn more about the world.
Chewing is the most obvious sign that they’re teething.
But there are also other signs that show they’re in this phase. This include:
- Missing teeth.
- Eating slowly.
- Red, swollen gums.
- Decreased appetite.
Check the table below to know more about the timeline of their teething phase:
|0 – 2 weeks
|3 – 4 weeks
|First teeth start to grow
|All baby teeth are complete
|4 – 5 months
|Baby teeth begin to fall out
|5 – 7 months
|Adult teeth start growing
|All 72 teeth are complete
Note that it’s still important to watch what they chew. And to make sure it’s not harmful or toxic.
That’s why it’s also best to provide them with proper teething toys.
You can also let them chew on cold carrots or frozen bananas to help relieve the discomfort they’re feeling.
“But what if my pup rather chews on blankets?”
In this case, it’s best to put the blankets away from their reach. Or you could also provide them with a wet towel.
The towel is a great alternative to a blanket since it has the same feel.
Keeping it wet will also help ease the soreness of their gums.
Fun fact: Chewing can actually help your pooch energize their mind and exercise their jaw.
You might also be interested in: 7 reasons why your dog nibbles your ears
#2: Fido is hungry
“This blankie smells like bacon!”
Did you recently put your pooch on a diet?
If you did, then they could be chewing on blankets because of hunger.
Not to worry though, this doesn’t mean you’re not feeding them enough.
It’s just when you change their diet, they would need time to adjust to it.
If they’re used to eating a large amount of food, then giving them less will make them feel hungry.
So what they do in the meantime is to look for things to munch on. And that includes blankets and beddings.
This could also be a sign that they’re lacking nutrients. VCA says that the 6 basic nutrients a dog needs are:
Note: Always check with your vet for a proper recommended diet for your dog.
Further reading: Why Does My Dog Get In My Face? 9 Reasons + 6 Tips
#3: Your dog is stressed
“Munching on blankie makes doggo calm.”
In some cases, your furry friend might be nibbling on blankets due to stress.
When dogs are stressed or feeling anxious, they’re likely to have compulsive behaviors.
And this includes chewing because doing it helps lessen their stress.
VCA mentions that the other signs of stress in dogs are:
To help your beloved pup, you should find out what’s making them feel stressed.
Maybe it’s because of a change in routine. Or from hearing sudden loud noises.
Sometimes, we can also be the ones contributing to their distress.
Researchers even found that our dogs mirror the stress we’re feeling. And this can affect them in the long term.
Once you know what triggers their stress, there are some things you can do to help them relax.
And these are the following:
- Giving them a time out.
- Being consistent in training.
- Providing them with plenty of exercises.
- Keeping them entertained with mental stimulations.
There are also cases when they only chew when they’re alone. If you notice this, then they may be suffering from separation anxiety.
When neglected, your dog’s chewing habit may turn into destructive behavior.
You can avoid destructive chewing when left alone by doing these 3 simple steps:
- Containing them to an area in your house where they can chew.
- Removing items that you don’t want them to destroy.
- Supplying them with toys or things that are safe to chew.
#4: Your dog is attempting to nurse
“This blankie feels like my mommy.”
Sometimes, dogs may look like they’re chewing on the blanket when they’re actually sucking on it.
They do this as part of their instinct to nurse. And this is usually outgrown by puppies.
But some may keep the habit and learn to do it on blankets or stuffed toys.
This is the same way human babies learn to suck on their thumbs once their mom stops breastfeeding them.
According to AKC, adult dogs who chew on blankets were not provided enough time to experience nursing on their mothers.
Let’s take this story as an example…
A pet parent noticed the interesting bedtime routine of her Sheltie.
Before the pup sleeps, they’ll take the blanket to their mouth and suck on it. The pup would then gently close their eyes and relax their paw.
The pet parent didn’t take any action to correct the behavior since she didn’t find it destructive.
She later found that the reason her dog does this is that they were separated very early from their mother dog.
When puppies nurse from their mothers, it’s not only about feeding them. It’s also about the comfort and safety they feel while doing it.
So if you’re wondering if this is a habit you should be concerned about… The answer is no.
It’s normal and harmless behavior. Plus, your beloved pooch could only be doing it to relax and seek comfort.
Did you know that there are dog breeds that are prone to suckling even when they reach adulthood?
These are the following:
- Border Collies.
Some breeds may even turn to suckle on themselves. Which is referred to as:
It’s a type of compulsive disorder that makes a dog nibble at their own flank skin.
This behavior is more likely seen in Doberman Pinschers.
It may look like a harmless habit at first. But can result in the following:
- Hair loss.
- Skin sores.
- Skin infections.
- Compulsive hiding.
- Decreased appetite.
- Obsessive licking on skin.
- Aggression when approached.
Note: The best way to stop flank sucking is to consult your vet for professional advice.
#5: Fido is bored
Do you know what’s the most noticeable sign that your pooch is bored?
Here’s a clue, it involves their mouth. Did you guess it?
The answer is… Chewing (surprise!)
So one of the reasons your dog could be chewing on blankets is that they’re simply bored.
Aside from chewing, other signs of doggy boredom include:
- Stealing food.
- Pawing at you.
- Barking nonstop.
- Over excitement.
When our furry friends have nothing to do, they’ll find ways to have fun. And it’s the kind of fun we won’t often enjoy.
You might end up going home to a sight of teared-up furniture or destroyed blankets.
This is why we should make sure that they get enough attention and entertainment.
AKC also recommends the following tips to help your dog prevent boredom:
- Giving them “jobs” according to their breed.
- Getting enough physical exercise and mixing it up.
- Providing them with activities for mental stimulation.
- Allowing them to socialize with other dogs and people.
- Spending time to train them or sign up for a dog training class.
- Considering outside help such as doggy daycare, pet sitter, or dog walker.
#6: It’s part of your dog’s breed
“I’m a part doggo and a part munching monster.”
Are you aware that some dog breeds enjoy chewing more than others?
You won’t only catch them gnawing at blankets but also at shoes, beddings, furniture.
Or anything they see around the house worth nibbling.
Before you get frustrated with your pup, remember that they’re not chewing to upset you.
There may be underlying reasons why they’re doing it. Or it’s simply part of their breed.
Just like the following dog breeds that are known as notorious chewers:
- Pit Bull.
- Shiba Inu.
- Siberian Husky.
- Golden Retriever.
- Jack Rusell Terrier.
- Labrador Retriever.
- German Shepherd.
- Shetland Sheepdog.
- Australian Shepherd.
These dogs need to be provided with plenty of chew toys and lots of exercises. Otherwise, their gnawing habits will turn into a problem.
#7: Your dog has a condition called Pica
In rare cases, your pooch could be munching on blankets because of a condition called Pica.
According to PetMD, this makes dogs eat objects that are not edible.
They may swallow non-food items such as stones, sticks, paper, or even blankets.
Warning: This condition needs to be addressed immediately as it may cause serious damages. Such as poisoning, choking, or blockage in the digestive tract.
So once you notice any signs of pica in your dog, bring them to the vet as soon as possible.
“But what causes pica in dogs?”
The cause of this condition is usually hard to determine. But it’s either caused by medical or behavioral reasons.
Let’s look at the chart below:
|Seeking for attention
|Lack of socialization
|Liver or pancreatic disease
|Fear of punishment
For cases with behavioral issues, the following can be done to prevent pica:
- Creating a low-stress environment.
- Providing them with proper nutrition.
- Teaching them the “leave it” command.
- Removing access to objects that they may eat.
- Keeping an eye on what they put in their mouth during walks.
The good news is, pica is a manageable condition.
With proper diagnosis and treatment, your pooch will be able to return to their normal eating habits.
Interesting fact: A study found that young dogs are more prone to pica than adult dogs.
How do I get my dog to stop chewing on blankets?
You can stop your dog from chewing blankets by giving them plenty of chew toys. You can also try spraying blankets with a safe chew deterrent. And if they still don’t stop, it would be best to keep any blankets aways from them.
Also, make sure that your furry friend is getting enough physical and mental exercise.
This will help a lot in preventing them from chewing. The more tired your dog is, the more they’ll ignore this habit.
It would also help to avoid any stressful situations. Or things that might trigger their anxiety.
The most important thing is to know which caused them to chew blankets in the first place.
Once you realize the cause, you would know which solution would be best to stop them from doing this habit.
For general tips on how to stop your dog’s chewing habits, watch the video below:
People also ask:
Why does my old dog chew on blankets?
Your old dog chews on blankets due to separation anxiety, boredom, or behavioral changes. They may also suddenly chew due to mouth pain or an underlying health issue.
Why does my dog chew on blankets at night?
Your dog chews on blankets at night because it became part of their routine and it gives them comfort. They may also do this because it helps them sleep. It can also be due to the anxiety of being left alone at night.
Why does my dog chew on blankets when I pet him?
Your dog chews on blankets when you pet him because you’ve encouraged them to do it. When they get used to being pet every time they chew on blankets then they will repeatedly do it. They’re now thinking that chewing is equal to getting your attention.
Why does my dog chew on blankets and pillows?
Your dog chews on blankets and pillows because of lack of attention or boredom. They do this to seek comfort and help relieve their boredom.
Why does my dog chew on blankets and clothes?
Your dog chews on blankets and clothes because it may have your scent on it. This helps them to feel calm especially when you’re not around.
Check out also: Why Does My Dog Take My Clothes When I Leave? 9 Reasons