Why Does My Dog Suck on Blankets

Why Does My Dog Suck on Blankets? 4 Possible Causes!

If you’re a dog owner, you may ask why does my dog suck on blankets, pillows, or other soft materials. It might seem strange, but this behavior is not uncommon among dogs.

Dogs may suck on blankets for various reasons, including seeking comfort and security, self-soothing, anxiety, boredom, or hunger. In some cases, it could also be due to underlying medical issues.

In this article, we will explore the possible reasons behind this common dog behavior and offer some tips on how to address it.

Understanding the Behavior

Why Does My Dog Drag His Blanket Around

To better understand why your dog may be sucking on blankets, it’s important to know about the following factors:

Puppyhood Nursing

The first possible explanation for this behavior dates back to your dog’s early life as a puppy.

Puppies suckle on their mother’s teats for nourishment, which not only provides them with essential nutrients but also creates a strong bond with their mother.

As they grow older, some dogs may continue this behavior as a way to seek comfort or security, even if they no longer rely on their mother for sustenance.

Comfort and Security

Another reason your dog may be sucking on blankets is that it provides them with a sense of comfort and security.

The texture of a soft blanket might remind them of their mother’s fur, and the act of sucking can create a calming sensation.

This is similar to how some children develop an attachment to a particular stuffed animal or blanket as a source of comfort.

Self-Soothing

Dogs, just like humans, need to self-soothe in times of stress or anxiety.

Sucking on a blanket may serve as a coping mechanism that helps your dog feel more relaxed and at ease.

This self-soothing behavior can be beneficial in small doses, but it may become problematic if it turns into an obsessive habit.

Possible Causes for the Blanket Sucking Behavior

There are several possible reasons why your dog might be sucking on blankets:

Anxiety

Dogs who are prone to anxiety or stress may resort to sucking on blankets as a way to cope with their emotions.

This is particularly true for dogs who have experienced trauma or have been separated from their mothers at a young age.

Boredom

Boredom is another potential cause of this behavior. Dogs need mental and physical stimulation to stay happy and healthy.

When they don’t receive enough of it, they may turn to suck on blankets as a way to occupy their time and alleviate boredom.

Hunger

Hunger could also be a factor in this behavior.

If your dog is not receiving enough food, they may suck on blankets as a way to mimic the act of nursing and satisfy their hunger.

Medical Issues

In some cases, medical issues can be the underlying cause of this behavior.

Dental problems, gastrointestinal issues, or nutritional deficiencies can lead to an increase in blanket sucking.

It’s crucial to consult with a veterinarian to rule out any medical concerns.

How to Address the Behavior

If your dog’s blanket sucking is causing concern, there are several steps you can take to address this behavior:

Offer Alternative Items

One way to redirect your dog’s blanket-sucking behavior is by providing them with alternative items to chew or suck on, such as chew toys or puzzle toys.

These items can help satisfy your dog’s oral fixation while also providing mental and physical stimulation.

Provide Mental and Physical Stimulation

Ensuring your dog receives enough mental and physical stimulation can help alleviate boredom and reduce the likelihood of blanket sucking.

Regular exercise, playtime, and mentally challenging activities like puzzle toys or training sessions can keep your dog engaged and satisfied.

Rule Out Medical Concerns

As mentioned earlier, medical issues can be an underlying cause of blanket sucking.

Consult with a veterinarian to rule out any potential health concerns that may be contributing to this behavior.

Consult a Professional

If your dog’s blanket-sucking behavior persists despite your efforts, it may be time to consult with a professional dog trainer or behaviorist.

They can help you identify the root cause of the behavior and develop a tailored plan to address it effectively.

Key Takeaways on Why Does My Dog Suck on Blankets

Why Does My Dog Suck on Blankets

There are various reasons why your dog might be sucking on blankets, ranging from comfort-seeking and self-soothing to underlying medical issues.

By understanding the possible causes and taking the appropriate steps to address the behavior, you can help ensure your dog’s well-being and maintain a healthy relationship with your furry friend.

FAQs

  1. Is it normal for dogs to suck on blankets? Yes, it is relatively common for dogs to suck on blankets, but it is important to address the behavior if it becomes excessive or is causing harm.
  2. Can sucking on blankets be harmful to my dog? If the behavior is occasional and your dog is not ingesting any material, it is generally harmless. However, if your dog is damaging the blankets or ingesting pieces, it can be dangerous and should be addressed immediately.
  3. Should I punish my dog for sucking on blankets? Punishment is not an effective way to address this behavior. Instead, try to understand the underlying cause and offer alternative items, stimulation, or professional help.
  4. Is there a specific breed that is more prone to blanket sucking? While any dog can develop this behavior, some breeds, such as Labrador Retrievers and Doberman Pinschers, may be more prone to blanket sucking.
  5. Can I train my dog to stop sucking on blankets? With patience, consistency, and the help of a professional dog trainer or behaviorist, you can work on addressing your dog’s blanket-sucking behavior through training and redirection

Some of My Favorite Products For Dog Owners

I hope this article has helped you just a bit in everyday life as a dog owner. Being a dog owner for more than 25 years, I’ve tried many different products with varying success, but these products below are some that I can highly recommend to every dog and their owner without hesitation!

These links are affiliate links, so if you do end up using the links, I will earn a commission. But it’s products that I use daily myself, and I have the utmost praise for.

Dog Food: Every dog needs to eat correctly, and finding the best food for your dog can be challenging, as the market is absolutely flooded with products. But since 2015 when the company was founded, I’ve been using Ollie Petfood. With their product being tailor-made to suit every dog’s specific needs, and as my dogs love the product, I’m pretty sure I’ve found a product I will continue to use for many years more. If you use my link you can get 50% off your first order.

Dog Training: If you’ve ever owned a puppy, you know that it requires a lot of training to grow into a well-behaved adult. Brain Training for Dogs has helped me immensely with the mental training part of raising a dog, and it’s something I strongly recommend you consider.

Grooming: If you have a dog in your home, you’re going to need a brush, and for this, I recommend a Hertzko Self-Cleaning Slicker Brush. For that price, you simply can’t beat this brush for everyday grooming.

If you’re looking for the most up-to-date recommendations, check out my recommended products section that I’ve created to help every dog owner!