Why Does My Dog Nibble on Blankets?
Chewing is second nature to dogs, but sometimes this natural behavior can turn destructive and dangerous. Here we explore the variety of possibilities as to why your pup may be nibbling away on its bedding such as pain, boredom, or anxiety. There are many ways to assess and treat the reasons why your favorite furry friend is chewing on his blanket.
How Normal Is Nibbling On Blankets For A Puppy, Adult, Senior?
Chewing is normal behavior for dogs, especially for puppies. Puppies younger than six months of age are teething.
However, adult dogs may need to see a veterinarian quickly because some chew on their blankets and beddings due to pain, allergies, and hormonal imbalances.
If a senior dog is nibbling on its blankets, it could be a sign of separation anxiety. Hunger, or a diet too low in calories, may cause a dog of any age to nibble on its bedding.
Should I Stop My Dog From Nibbling?
Chewing and nibbling is not necessarily bad behavior for dogs. Dogs can have nibbling tendencies from being weaned too early and it may be comforting to your pooch as a way to relieve tension.
Sometimes dogs nibble and chew as a sign of affection and contentment.
However, if the behavior becomes chronic or obsessive then it may be time to intervene.
Therefore, identifying the reason your dog is nibbling as well as what they are chewing on is essential to treat the issue.
How Do I Get My Dog To Stop Nibbling On Blankets?
There are many ways to cease nibbling. Here are a few ideas:
- Begin by assessing your dog’s exercise and lifestyle routine. Are they getting enough exercise, excitement, and attention? Could there be new factors such as moving to stress them?
- Teaching your dog the ‘Leave It’ command to cease the chewing when it begins
- New and rotating chew toys such as Kong filled with peanut butter.
- Spraying bedding and any other nibbling off-limits items with a bitter apple-flavored Chew Deterrent spray.
- Rewarding with treats when your dog chews her toys instead of household items.
Is It Safe For Dogs To Nibble On Blankets (What Are The Dangers)?
Chewing and nibbling bedding can be harmful to dogs.
Experts agree it is not safe for dogs to obsessively chew on bedding. Strings and materials can block a dog’s digestive tract. This often leads to emergency veterinary visits, surgery and can even lead to death.
While chewing is natural and soothing to dogs, they must be given healthy alternatives.
Are There Nibble Proof Blankets (That Are Made Of Safe Material)?
Luckily there are chew-proof bedding options available. These durable blankets discourage licking and chewing.
Some of these blankets are made from extra-durable material and reinforced stitching. Others are thin and waterproof to deter your dog from gnawing.
Providing your pup with a chew-proof blanket is a safe way to let your furry friend sleep in comfort.
There are many options available through a quick internet search or at your local pet shop.
Other Alternatives To Blankets For Dogs To Nibble On?
Some healthy alternatives to chewing blankets include:
- Dog safe chew toys
- More exercise and playtime
- Frequent walking and attention
- Doggy daycare and playdates
- Traveling with your pup to minimize separation anxiety
- Frequent veterinary check-ups including dental exams
- Removing the blankets entirely as they are not necessary for a dogs health
Why Is My Dog Suddenly Nibbling On Blankets/Bed Sheets?
As we mentioned before, chewing is natural for younger puppies. But what if your dog begins to start shredding his blankets suddenly?
A dog that suddenly begins chewing apart bedding should see a veterinarian immediately.
This new behavior could be a sign that your dog is in pain. He may have allergies or a hormonal imbalance. Your dog may even have parasites.
Another cause for the behavior change could be that your dog is anxious from a newly stressful situation such as moving, a new baby, or another pet brought into the home.
A visit to your veterinarian will troubleshoot the new behavior and rule out any potential illness.
Older Dog Has Started Nibbling On Blanket?
Separation anxiety also causes some dogs to begin nibbling apart their bedding. Separation anxiety in dogs is severe upset when a dog is separated from its owner or left alone.
This activates a feeling of panic in your dog as they are pack animals. They experience feelings of abandonment, fear, and worry.
This results in troublesome behavior such as inappropriate messes in the home, excessive barking, and chewing.
Another cause of an older dog that has started chewing is …. Boredom!
Your dog may need more stimulation or an increase in playtime. When dogs get the adequate exercise their body secretes serotonin, a hormone responsible for feelings of well-being and contentment. Here are some indoor activity ideas:
- Tug of War
- Hide and Seek
- Dog videos on YouTube
- Speak to your dog during the day with a Pet Camera that feeds treats
- Doggy Playdates
Why Has My Dog Progressed From “Nibbling” On Blankets To Our Clothes?
Some dogs don’t limit their chewing to bedding. Some dogs begin to chew and ingest their owner’s clothing.
Clothing holds our human scent and anxious dogs that have separation anxiety may chew your clothes to soothe themselves.
However, chewing clothing is also dangerous to your pet.
If your dog is chewing on your clothes it may be time to puppy-proof your bedroom and make sure all clothing items are out of reach.
Another alternative is to teach your dog the ‘Leave It’ command and to practice training your pet to know clothing is off-limits.
Why Does My Dog Nibble On The Blanket Before Bed?
A dog that chews its blanket before bedtime is most likely mimicking the act of nursing.
Some dogs were weaned too early and they suckle before bed to get into a relaxed state. If the blanket is designated and the act is not obsessive it can be a harmless behavior.
However, if your pup is chewing apart and ingesting the blanket then it may be time to try other bedtime rituals.
Some relaxing alternatives before bedtime for your dog include:
- Snuggle Time
- Puppy massage
- Rescue Remedy for Pets
- More exercise
- Soft lighting and quiet time
- A protein-rich snack to stimulate serotonin production
Why Does My Dog Nibble On Toys?
Chewing is a very natural behavior for canines.
Even wild dogs chew for hours on bones and sticks. This keeps their teeth clean and their jaws healthy. Dogs will chew for entertainment, and they also chew to relieve anxiety.
Therefore puppies and adult dogs should have a variety of stimulating and colorful toys.
A dog will take and chew on children’s toys if they do not have a healthy alternative for themselves.
Dogs can turn their natural healthy instinct to chew into destructive patterns.
That is why it is so important for your pooch to be taught what is acceptable to nibble on consistently and humanely through training and patience.
Good pet care and attention will keep your furry friend happy and healthy!
Dog Compulsive Nibbling [How To Treat]?
Compulsive destructive nibbling can become a problem for some dogs.
Here are some ways to prevent and treat :
- Dog Proof your Home
- Kennel Train your dog
- Chew toys and chew bones that are changed frequently
- Teaching commands like ‘Leave It’
- Clicker training and positive reinforcement through high-quality treats
- Chew deterrent spray such as bitter apple
- Lots of physical exercise
- Affection and Attention
- Spend quality time together and travel
- Minimizing Stress
- Regular visits to the Veterinarian
There are many ways to address chewing and nibbling. After ruling out any type of physical condition if you are still unsure of why your dog is compulsively chewing there are Certified Applied Animal Behaviorist (CAAB) that can see your pet for further assessment.
Why Does My Dog Nibble Me?
At times a dog will nibble on their family members with their front incisors, and this is also known as cobbing because it resembles munching on a cob of corn!
Typically dogs nibble on their people to show affection and that they trust you.
Dogs will also nibble while they are puppies to explore their surroundings, taste, and play with you.
Your dog may also be nibbling on you to groom you. Again this is a sign of affection and that you are part of their pack.
At times a dog will nibble on its owner during times of stress or gain attention. If the nibbling turns into a painful chew do not allow the puppy to continue. Humanely and consistently say “No!’ and redirect with an appropriate toy.
Why Does My Dog Bite The Covers?
Your dog may progress to biting the covers and pillows of your bedding. This can happen when they do not have adequate chewing alternatives such as toys or inedible bones.
Another reason a dog may chew its or your bedding is due to hunger.
Calorie needs vary based on the level of exercise your dog is getting. As your puppy grows so does their appetite. Feeding your pet high-quality food free from fillers and by-products will give your dog the nutrients it needs and be free from illness.
The covers of your bedding also smell like you and may even have sweat residue on them. If your dog is chewing your covers action must be taken immediately as digesting the fabric and thread can be lethal to your pet.