Our dogs do a lot of weird things.
Chewing on random objects is one of them.
And this time, they chewed on your blankets.
While your pooch is turning your cushion into a Wrigley’s Bubble Gum, you keep wondering:
“Why do they do this?”
Maybe red blankets look like strawberries to them?
Or does chewing have something to do with your dog’s mental state?
Here you’ll discover:
- 3 tips to stop your pooch from doing this behavior.
- 13 weird reasons why your dog chews on blankets.
- What possible health reasons might cause them to chew on your blankets.
- And this is just the beginning…
Table of contents
- Why does my dog chew on blankets?
- 13 reasons why your dog chews on blankets
- #1: They feel comforted
- #2: It reminds them of their mother
- #3: They have been prematurely weaned
- #4: They feel scared
- #5: They have separation anxiety
- #6: They are teething
- #7: They are asking for playtime
- #8: They like your smell on the blanket
- #9: They like it when you chase them
- #10: You have encouraged them to chew on blankets
- #11: They feel stressed
- #12: They feel hungry
- #13: They are looking for your attention
- How do I get my dog to stop chewing on blankets? 3 tips
- People also ask:
Why does my dog chew on blankets?
Your dog chews on blankets because it comforts them and it makes them feel safe. Warm and fuzzy blankets remind them of their mothers and it can induce feelings of happiness in them. They may also be stressed, anxious, or fearful. Or, they’re attracted to the blanket’s smell.
13 reasons why your dog chews on blankets
#1: They feel comforted
Chewing on blankets is normal behavior for a pooch going through something upsetting.
When they feel emotionally negative behavior, they might try to do things that comfort them.
One of these might be chewing on blankets.
Just like how babies suck on their thumbs or pacifiers to relieve bad emotions.
It might just be that the closest thing for canines to chew on is a blanket.
Other ways dogs alleviate the feeling of being upset include the following:
- Cuddling with you.
- Asking you to play with them.
- Isolating themselves for a while to get away from the cause of upset.
When your dog feels upset, help them out.
For example, walking around the house or in your neighborhood can release negative emotions.
You can also do routine vocal cue training to give your dog a feeling of normalcy.
When your pooch hears:
- “Roll over”.
It can comfort them knowing that they’re doing something that is routine, according to VCA.
#2: It reminds them of their mother
Do you have soft, warm, and fuzzy blankets at home?
When your pooch feels the texture of blankets, it might remind them of their mothers.
They might be looking for the comfort and warmth their fur parents gave them. And the blanket is a good alternative to this.
It might even make them feel like they’re back in their mother’s teat and suckling.
Interactions like these can increase oxytocin in your pooch’s brain.
And due to this, they become more inclined to bonding with other dogs with whom they do these behaviors.
Warmth is another thing that your dog’s parents provide them.
And they might resort to cuddling up with a blanket and chewing on it to feel that same heat again.
This could be more prevalent in dogs who aren’t made to withstand cold weather conditions such as:
- Shih Tzu.
- Great Danes.
If you have these dog breeds, it would be good to consider buying them heating pads to keep them warm and cozy.
This way, they won’t have to long for their mother’s warmth during colder days.
#3: They have been prematurely weaned
This is closely related to #3.
If your fur baby was taken away from their mothers while they were young, they might miss them.
Their warmth, care, and love.
The VCA states that weaning should begin when a dog is already 3 to 4 weeks of age.
Proper weaning steps should also be followed to provide your pooch a safe and smooth transition from their mom’s milk to other types of food.
Here are a few steps you can take:
- Start by feeding them puppy milk substitutions mixed with water. The ratio should be 50:50.
- Use your finger to try and wet your pup’s noses and mouths. This will help slowly introduce them to the new formula.
- After a few days, introduce canned puppy food to their milk meal. Then slowly decrease the amount of the puppy milk and water mix.
- Slowly remove more of the milk and water mixture until such time that they are able to eat solid food without it.
According to a paper, this period is very important to the development of your pooch.
It matches the days that are extremely important for the most sensitive periods for learning in dogs.
This is why your fur baby shouldn’t be abruptly weaned. For the sake of their health and future development.
And if this does happen, they might still be wanting to go back and suckle on their mothers.
Which then can cause cases of your fur baby chewing and sucking on blankets.
#4: They feel scared
If your pooch gets scared, they might chew on blankets as a way to calm their fears down.
This feeling can come from almost anywhere.
I mean, the world can be a huge and scary place for your pooch, after all.
Here are a few reasons why your fur baby might be fearful:
- Screaming noises.
- Vacuum and grasscutter.
- Your fur baby is threatened by an aggressive dog.
- They heard loud noises e.g. steel pots accidentally falling.
- They see a stranger inside their house. This could be a friend or a family member of yours that you haven’t introduced yet.
You’ll notice your pooch is scared when they do these behaviors:
- Pacing around.
- Excessive panting.
- Shaking or trembling.
- They can’t settle down.
- They become aggressive.
- The body is kept low to the ground.
- They try to hide from the cause of fear.
- They are too distracted to listen to you.
- Showing the white of their eyes (whale eye).
#5: They have separation anxiety
Just like #4, anxiety can make your pooch uncomfortable.
And when this happens, they show repetitive behaviors.
And excessive chewing on blankets is one of those.
There are several reasons why your pooch gets anxious.
One of these is separation from their fur parents.
When your pooch isn’t used to being away from you for long periods of time, they can feel separation anxiety.
According to the AKC, this phenomenon can be seen in 14% of dogs.
Separation anxiety may even lead to your pooch doing undesirable behaviors.
Examples of these would be:
- Pooping in your home.
- Urinating around the house.
- Too much barking and loudness.
- Destroying things (including chewing on blankets).
Research shows that these can help your pooch in their anxiety:
- Systematic desensitization.
- Medication in the early stages.
I’ll discuss more about this later in the article.
#6: They are teething
Teething is a painful process for dogs. It makes canines uncomfortable.
As a result, your pooch will resort to chewing on things. Whether on chew toys or blankets to relieve the pain.
The VCA states that this is normal canine behavior.
Behavior like this will also be more prominent when your pooch belongs to a “mouthy” dog breed.
This includes the following:
- Berger Picard.
- Boykin Spaniel.
- Irish Wolfhound.
- Golden Retriever.
- Labrador Retriever.
- Pyrenean Shepherd.
- Flat-Coated Retriever.
Just make sure that your pooch stays away from dangerous items.
This way you’ll prevent accidents such as choking hazards.
Also, bear in mind that…
Heavy objects might fall due to your dog’s chewing and pulling behavior. This can injure your dog.
#7: They are asking for playtime
Dogs are very active beings.
And their want for playtime can cause them to do things that will make us play with them.
One of them would be chewing on blankets.
They might even do this while you’re sleeping soundly in your bed.
Your pooch just needs to release all their energy.
Which can probably provide electricity for an entire village.
They might even be better than nuclear energy… or, “doglear energy”.
Kidding aside, we fur parents know the activity requirements of our pooches.
Keep in mind that regular exercise can help prevent your dogs from having health issues in the future.
Examples of these are:
- Joint injury.
Not only will they stay away from these diseases, but their mental health would also improve.
Providing them with a healthy amount of bonding moments with you can also increase the quality of your relationship with your pooch.
However, we also have experienced how they can get when they are bored, right?
They sometimes become unruly and a little bit destructive.
Kinda like a mini tornado.
Wanna see how dogs can be destructive?
Just watch these pooches who look so guilty:
#8: They like your smell on the blanket
Your scent is immaculate to your dog.
They like smelling you and having your scent around them.
Your pooch will also recognize you through your smell and will be able to track you from a huge distance.
If you have a blanket with your scent lying around, chances are, your dog will play with it.
This might also be the reason why your dogs take your clothes when you leave.
According to research, dogs react positively when exposed to the scent of a person they know.
In the study, 12 dogs underwent fMRI and were not restrained.
Slowly, the following scents were introduced to them:
- A familiar dog.
- Their own smell.
- A human they know.
- A dog they don’t recognize.
- A human they’re not familiar with.
It has been found out that the response part of their brain reacted to people they recognize more than other dogs.
No wonder your pooch would chew on your blankets.
They just go crazy over your smell.
#9: They like it when you chase them
Maybe they’re teasing you, maybe it’s playtime for them.
Whatever the reason is, if you chase your pooch, they like it.
It can be fun for them to run around and have you on their back.
This activity can also be treated by your pooch as part of their daily exercise.
So not only are they channeling their energy into this behavior, but they also get to bond with you when you’re running after them.
Just make sure that they truly are in a playful mood.
If they’re not, they might see your chasing as a threat.
Here are a few signs to watch out for when trying to figure out if your fur baby wants to get playfully chased by you:
- They do the play bow (head down, butt up).
- Lying down and exposing their tummies to you.
- Your pooch is jumping around and being all silly.
- Tapping their front legs on the floor repeatedly in excitement.
#10: You have encouraged them to chew on blankets
One of the reasons why dogs do certain behaviors is because their fur parents are training them to do it.
“Huh? Uhm… but I didn’t train him to chew on blankets.”
And I believe you.
However, there are some actions we unwittingly do that can mean that you want your dog to continue doing the behavior.
Giving rewards during or after your pooch chews on blankets will help reinforce this action.
They will then repeat it…
Chew after chew after chew.
As long as the rewards keep coming, the blankets will keep getting treated like treats.
“How, then, am I encouraging my dog to do this?”
Simple positive actions like:
- Rubbing their ears.
- Giving your attention.
- Telling them they’re a good boy/girl.
All these can help reinforce chewing in your pooch.
#11: They feel stressed
Being in stressful situations can also make your dog chew on blankets.
This can happen when they feel threatened.
But wait. There’s more…
They might even feel stressed because you feel that way.
Coming home from a long day at work can cause you to bring negative emotions to your home.
And guess what?
Your dogs can read and mimic it.
“How do they do it?”
Through your hormones.
Our pooch has the ability to know our cortisol levels.
Our brains produce this hormone during any fight or flight situation.
Basically, if you want to survive a threatening situation or maybe even just a tiring day from work, your cortisol might increase.
And based on research, dogs can copy the level of this hormone we have in our bodies.
#12: They feel hungry
Your dog feels hungry. That frustrates them. And they start chewing on your blankets. Instead of munching on treats.
“But I just fed them.”
Feeding your pooch doesn’t only solely rely on whether or not we’ve fed them for the day.
The proper amount of dog food should also be followed to keep them full – but not excessively.
“How much should I feed my dogs?”
Most dog food packaging will already come with instructions on the amount of food you should give your dog.
These are the common factors that might influence your pooch’s eating habits:
- Activity levels.
According to the AKC, dogs should be fed twice a day as a rule of thumb.
However, even if you’ve followed all the feeding amount rules down to the last point, they might still feel lacking.
This can be caused by an imbalance in the nutrients in their meals.
The best thing to do is consult your vet regarding dog food that can provide your pooch’s needed vitamins and minerals.
#13: They are looking for your attention
I mean, if you don’t want holes in your blankets, then having your dog chew on them will definitely catch your attention.
And they know this.
Every time you give your pooch any sort of attention when they do this behavior, they will try to do it again.
There could also be times that they are trying to catch your focus because they are bored.
Not having anything to do around the house will sometimes make your dogs chew on blankets.
Or any nearby objects, for that matter.
You might even notice them nudge you with their noses at times when they want your attention.
Try focusing on your pooch first.
They might try to lead you to something and ask for your help.
Maybe their toy got stuck?
They could even lead you to another dog who needs assistance.
How do I get my dog to stop chewing on blankets? 3 tips
#1: Stop encouraging them
Refrain yourself from giving pets and other rewards when you see them chew on your blankets.
Since these positive interactions with your pooch can encourage the behavior.
What you should do is try to remove them from the location of the blanket.
Or distract them with verbal cues.
Give them commands such as:
- “Roll over.”
This way, you’ll be training them to follow these commands.
It’s also an effective way to remove their attention from the blanket.
#2: Give them toys to chew on instead
Chew toys are another good way to make your dog forget the blanket.
It’s also a safe way to aid with your fur baby’s teething.
There are several options of high-quality chew toys for aggressive chewers on Amazon.
It would also be good if you provide them with playthings that give out rewards.
#3: Alleviate their anxiety
As mentioned earlier, I’ll talk about how you can use counterconditioning and systematic desensitization.
This will be helpful in assisting your dog with separation anxiety.
In simple terms, this means training your dog to have a different reaction to what usually makes them anxious.
The best way to do this is by giving them rewards that usually make them show better behavior.
For example, if your dog gets anxious when you leave, you can give them a dog food puzzle that will keep them busy for a period of time.
According to the ASPCA, this is a good method in helping your pooch associate your absence with good things.
This will do the following to your fur baby:
- Makes them calm and happy because of the toy.
- And rewards them for the better behavior shown.
- Distract them from the situation that causes separation anxiety.
Basically, systematic desensitization will help your pooch slowly overcome their anxiety.
This is done by slowly introducing them to the reason why they feel this way.
“How can I apply this in my case?”
You can start by “preparing” to leave your house.
You take your coat, your keys, and other items that your dog associates with you leaving.
But you don’t leave.
This will make your pooch think that just because you’re taking your keys and coats doesn’t mean you’ll leave them.
Over time, they’ll no longer feel anxiety when you’re about to leave.
Pairing this with counterconditioning techniques could yield better results.
People also ask:
Why does my old dog chew on blankets?
Your old dog chews on blankets because they either feel bored, scared, or anxious.
All these emotions can trigger a reaction.
Such as excessively chewing on objects e.g. blankets.
You can leave your dog with an old T-Shirt that smells like you. This will ease their anxiety.
Why does my dog chew on blankets at night?
Your dog chews blankets at night because they might feel cold and chewing on blankets reminds them of their mothers.
When they were younger, they received warmth and comfort from their parents.
Chewing on a blanket reminds them of that time. When they would cuddle with their parents.
That’s because they are warm and can keep your pooch sleep comfortably at night.
Why does my dog chew on blankets when I pet him?
Your dog chews on blankets when you pet him because he likes the attention he’s getting.
He thinks that if he continues gnawing on it, he’d also get an unlimited supply of rubs from you.
Why does my dog chew on blankets and pillows?
Your dog chews on blankets and pillows because they feel comforted by this action.
They relieve negative emotions such as fear, separation anxiety, and stress.
Doing repetitive behaviors like this can be likened to a human fiddling with their fingers when anxious.
Why does my dog chew on blankets and clothes?
Your dog chews on blankets and clothes because they like the smell.
Dogs are happy when they smell people that are familiar to them.
And when they also find that scent on blankets and clothes, they associate the feeling with having the actual human around them.