7 Possible Reasons
- They’ve retained this behavior from puppyhood
- They lost their mother and littermates too soon
- They’re feeling stressed or anxious
- They have separation anxiety
- They’re bored and looking for stimulation
- They have OCD
- They’re teething or suffering from dental problems
- Food sensitivities
How Puppyhood Affects Suckling in Adulthood
“Why does my dog suck on blankets?” you wonder. At first, it may seem like a weird quirk, but it’s actually a behavior that can be traced back to their puppyhood.
When puppies are born, they are completely helpless. They can’t see, they can’t hear, and they can’t even control their own body temperature. For the first few weeks of their lives, they rely on their mother and her milk for sustenance.
During this time, puppies will often root around their mother’s teats with their mouths in order to find a nipple to latch onto. This rooting and suckling instinct is hardwired into them and helps ensure their survival.
While most puppies will eventually outgrow this behavior, some may continue to suck on blankets or other objects into adulthood. For these dogs, sucking on objects provides them with a sense of comfort and security.
Why Does My Dog Suck on Blankets as an Adult?
Your dog may not have been weaned properly, or taken away from their mother too soon. If they’ve were orphaned or separated from their littermates at an early age, they may turn to sucking on blankets as a way to cope with the loss. Because they were deprived of the comfort of their mother, they may turn to blankets as a way to fill that void.
It’s also possible that your adult dog sucks on blankets because they’re stressed. It’s a way for them to self-soothe, similarly to how humans may eat comfort food.
Another possibility is that your dog is comfort suckling because they have separation anxiety. If your dog only does this when you’re not around, it’s likely that they’re feeling anxious when you’re away. You can help your dog overcome their anxiety through specialized dog training.
Bored Dogs Are Prone to Sucking Behavior
The answer to the question “why does my dog suck on blankets?” can be related to boredom. It’s not a secret that dogs need to be active, both physically and mentally. If your dog is bored or lacks stimulation, they may turn to sucking on blankets as a way to occupy themselves.
You may also notice destructive behaviors, like chewing on furniture or digging holes in the yard. Try providing your pet with more toys and opportunities for exercise if they’re exhibiting these dog behaviors. This way, they’ll have a healthy outlet for their energy.
Chewing and Sucking in Obsessive Compulsive Disorder
Some dogs develop compulsive behaviors, like chewing and licking objects. If your pup is sucking on their favorite blanket all the time, consult your vet – this could be a sign of obsessive-compulsive disorder, or OCD. A vet or dog behaviorist can help you find the best treatment for your pup.
Editor’s Note ✏️Many people don’t realize that our beloved canines can suffer from more than just physical ailments. Research has shown that dogs are susceptible to some mental health issues experienced by humans, such as depression, anxiety, OCD, and PTSD. On the other hand, they can’t have bipolar disorder or schizophrenia, though they may display psychotic behaviors associated with the latter.
Relieving Pain From Teething
Another possible explanation to “why does my dog suck on blankets?” is because they’re teething. When puppies are getting their adult teeth, they often feel pain and discomfort in their gums. Sucking on something soft can help relieve that pain. So, if your dog is going through a teething phase, they may start to suck on their blanket. Encourage them to use chew toys instead.
How Can I Stop My Dog From Sucking on Blankets?
If your dog only sucks on blankets (or engages in flank sucking) occasionally for comfort and safety, there’s no need to worry. But if they do it to the point of damaging the blankets, you may wonder how to make your dog stop.
The first step is to figure out the cause. If it’s due to anxiety or stress caused by loud noises or changes in their environment, you’ll need to address those issues. This may involve working with a certified dog trainer or animal behaviorist.
If your dog is bored, you’ll need to give them more toys, playtime, and opportunities for exercise. Use positive reinforcement and reward your dog when they stop sucking on the blanket and start doing something else.
In some cases, it may be helpful to give your dog a blanket of their own to suck on. This can help them feel safe and protect your blankets from dirt and damage. You may also need to put your good blankets away and keep them out of reach.
When to Seek Professional Help
If your dog is sucking on blankets compulsively and you don’t know why, consult with a veterinarian or animal behaviorist. They’ll be able to help you determine the root cause of the problem and come up with a treatment plan. You may also want to consider using a canine pheromone diffuser, which can help to calm your dog’s nerves.
In many cases, however, this behavior is relatively harmless and doesn’t require any treatment. There are a few dog breeds that are more prone to it, including Spaniels, Border Collies, and Dobermans.
FAQs About Dogs and Blankets
Why Does My Dog Put Blankets in Her Mouth?
It could be an attempt to comfort herself, much like how a baby sucks their thumb. She might also feel like it’s creating an inviting and warm den. Or it could signal something more serious such as dental pain or allergies that should immediately be checked out by your vet. No matter the cause, you can help ensure good health for Bella!
What Is Dog Nooking?
Nooking is when a dog kneads and sucks on their bedding or soft toys, much like a cat would. It’s often seen in Weimaraners and English Cocker Spaniels, and it’s usually a sign that your pup is content and comfortable in their environment.
Why Do Dogs Push Blankets With Their Nose?
Dogs revel in the cozy comfort of blankets, pushing them around with their noses to create an inviting environment. This act not only gives these four-legged friends a sense of security but also provides pleasurable pressure on their skin. Who knew that when Fido starts rummaging through your linen closet, it’s just his way of saying “I feel at home”?
Why Does My Dog Keep Sniffing and Licking My Blanket?
Your blanket is a source of comfort for your pup, with the unmistakable scent of their favorite person! Your pooch knows that the warm and cozy fabric contains comforting reminders from you – thanks to those incredible canine sniffers. It’s like having an extra hug when they need it most!
Why Won’t My Dog Stop Licking My Blanket?
Are you concerned about your pup’s blanket licking habit? It may be a sign of stress or just something they find soothing. To better understand what could be causing it, check in with a vet to get the peace of mind that comes from knowing all is well!
Elizabeth Randolph is a freelance writer and pet enthusiast who has been writing about pets and their care since 2003. She has authored articles on a variety of topics related to pet care, including nutrition, training, health, and behavior. Elizabeth lives in Northern California with her husband and three cats. When she’s not writing, she enjoys hiking and spending time with her family and friends.