The sight of your bed looks heavenly after a long and tiring day.
But as you lay down, you feel something wet on your back.
It’s your dog’s saliva.
Looks like your pooch licks your bed, my friend.
In this article, you’ll discover:
- Is licking soothing for your pooch?
- 11 reasons why your dog licks your bed.
- 7 tips on how you can stop your dog from doing this habit.
- And much more…
Table of contents
Why does my dog lick my bed?
Your dog licks your bed for reasons such as liking its smell, feeling hunger or stress, being territorial, having anxiety or other medical conditions, you’re changing their diet, it’s soothing for them, they’re looking for food crumbs, or investigating the bed’s scent.
11 reasons why your dog licks your bed
#1: They like how your bed smells
It can really get hot during summer nights. That’s why you wake up all sweaty and sticky.
And since you don’t wash your bed sheets every day, those sweats build up on your bed making it smelly.
Think about it.
Your dog likes smelly things such as used socks, garbage, and poop. (Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying that your bed smells exactly like these things.)
Also, sweats are salty with a hint of sourness.
With that smelly and salty combination, it isn’t surprising that they’d want to have a taste of your bed.
Aside from that, your body could also be producing pheromones because ahem, you’re sexually aroused. This makes your bed smell extra attractive.
A study shows that dogs get curious about human pheromones.
So they’ll lick on your bedsheets to know more about them.
Reading tip: Can Dogs Get Sexually Attracted To Humans? The Truth
#2: There are leftover crumbs on your bed
Who doesn’t like eating snacks while watching movies or having breakfast in bed?
Guilty as charged!
Because your dog always finds food crumbs in your bed, they’re always on the lookout if there’s anything left to munch on.
And so they lick all the spots in your bed, checking every little spot if they miss on anything.
#3: Lack of mental stimulation
Another possible cause for your dog’s licking habit is the lack of activities that stimulates their mind.
Therefore they often become bored and stressed out.
Dogs are known for being active and intelligent animals.
So if they don’t get enough exercise, they’re likely to spend their energy doing unusual behaviors.
Observe your dog. Are they showing any other signs of stress, such as the following?
- Yawning or drooling.
- Change in body posture.
- Change in bodily functions.
If they are, check out my tips below on what you can do to keep your pooch active. 🙂
And another thing to take note of:
The licking habit of your dog can lead to an obsessive-compulsive order if not corrected early.
Every night, you wake up to your dog licking your bed.
Although you try to stop them, they come back to doing it again after you get back to sleep.
And so you wake up to smelly and moist spots in the bed.
You’re worried because it seems that your dog is addicted to this habit.
Why is this happening?
This may be a case of OCD or obsessive-compulsive disorder. This condition causes your dog to have abnormal and repetitive behaviors.
#5: It’s a sign of a lack in nutrients
After eating their meal, your pooch goes straight up to your bed for dessert.
In their eyes, your bed’s like an ice cream. So they lick and lick.
Your dog behaves like this after eating because of two possible reasons.
One, you don’t feed them enough.
Two, they’re not getting enough nutrients from their food.
When dogs don’t receive the right amount of food and nutrients they need, they try to look for it elsewhere.
#6: Change in their diet
Your friend recommended their dog’s diet to you.
She said that her dog loves it, and so yours will definitely enjoy it too.
However, you’ve noticed that ever since you introduced the new food to your pooch, they started to develop a pretty unusual behavior.
They always lick your bed after they eat.
This newfound habit could be caused by gastrointestinal discomfort.
Your dog may have an intolerance to a certain ingredient or food you’re giving them. This makes them nauseous and salivating.
So to relieve themselves, they lick on carpets, upholstery, and beds.
#7: Other medical conditions
According to a study, there are other medical conditions why your pooch may feel nauseated that causes them to lick on things.
Here are some of them:
- Liver disease.
- Intestinal inflammation.
- Ingestion of toxic substances.
Warning: If you’re worried that your dog has any of the illnesses mentioned above, have them checked up with a vet immediately.
As you close the door when you leave the house, your dog directly goes to your room to start their licking habit.
No spot or area is spared, every inch of your bed is soaked with their saliva.
“Guess, it’s time to wash the beddings. Again.
Why’s my dog being like this?”
Your pooch only licks your bed when you’re away.
“Are they hiding this habit from me?”
The possible reason behind this is separation anxiety.
Every time you leave them alone, they feel anxious. And the way they cope with it is by looking for something that can remind them of your presence.
Since your scent is still on your bed, they lick on it for comfort.
#9: They’re investigating
What’s this new scent I detect? Who r you?
Why you here on my parent’s bed?”
Looks like you’ve got company.
Excuse me while I explain this real quick. 😉
Dogs are curious animals. If there’s something new they want to explore and investigate, they will sniff on it until they’re satisfied.
Now, if you have a new spouse or partner, your dog may lick on your bed to know further about them.
By wetting your bed with their saliva, the new person’s scent gets stronger.
Therefore your dog will be able to identify and get to know them better.
#10: Marking territory
Not only does your dog lick your bed to investigate, but they also do this to mark their territory.
Same as their peeing on walls, licking on your bed enables them to put their scent on their ‘territory’ or a.k.a your personal space.
Now, while you and your lover may not detect the faint scent of their saliva, your other dogs do.
They do this licking habit to let the other dogs in your home know they’ve already claimed a spot in your bed.
#11: Mouth pain
Teething can be really uncomfortable for puppies.
So they chew their dog parent’s remote, shoes, and furniture.
Aside from that, they may also lick on things. By doing this they relieve themselves of pain.
But what if your dog’s already an adult pooch?
There’s no way they’re still teething, right?
Actually, there are certain mouth problems such as gum injuries or a chipped tooth can also cause your dog to lick excessively.
Bonus: It’s soothing for your dog
You listen to soft music before you sleep for relaxation. While your dog licks your bed.
I repeat, your pooch licks your bed to relax. Come and watch them as their eyes slowly droop to sleep.
*Cue in lullaby music*
The reason why your dog does this licking habit is because it has a soothing effect on them.
By doing it in a rhythmic way, their body releases something called the “feel-good” hormones known as endorphins.
This makes them relaxed and sleepy.
7 tips on what to do if your dog licks your bed
#1: Reduce their access
Okay, it’s time to put this habit to an end before your pooch starts licking you too.
By removing them from the room and reducing their access to the thing they’re obsessed with, you can help limit this behavior.
So go and carry your dog away from the bed.
Or lead them to their own dog bed with a cookie.
Lastly, lock your door, please. 😉
#2: Distract them
So you’ve successfully kept them away from your room and bed.
Because you want your pooch to put their attention elsewhere, you need to distract them using the good stuff.
Not just by walking them around the block once.
Or playing with them for an hour.
They need something long-lasting, or else they’ll relapse from their licking habit again.
Engage them in activities that both of you can enjoy.
Exhaust their energy.
For example, you can go biking, while your dog trails on you. Or you can also jog with your pooch.
If you’re not around, you can hire a dog sitter or walker so your pooch can still have fun without you.
#3: Teach them the ‘Leave it’ command
If it’s not possible to reduce your dog’s exposure to your bed because you love sleeping beside them every night, here’s what you can do.
Teach them the ‘Leave it’ command.
With this, you can stop your pooch from licking your bed even before they start doing it.
According to RSPCA, here are the steps on how to train your pooch the ‘Leave it’ command.
Step 1: With a treat enclosed in your hand, encourage your dog to sniff on it. They’ll try to lick on your hand to get the treat out, but don’t respond to this.
Step 2: When they stop and move a bit away from your hand, even for just a moment, open your hand and give them the treat.
Step 3: Repeat the first and second steps until your dog is conditioned that they’ll only get the treat once they back away.
Step 4: Now, cue in the command ‘Leave it’ every time they’re backing away. Only give them the treat when they’re already backed off.
Step 5: Repeat these steps until your dog fully recognizes the ‘Leave it’ command.
#4: Check their food
Is your dog licking your bed because of hunger or lack in nutrition?
Dogs require a certain amount of food depending on their size.
And they also need certain nutrients to sustain their lifestyle.
For example, larger dogs need more food compared to smaller ones.
While active and working dogs need more nutrients such as protein and minerals in their diet.
Here’s a formula to give you an idea of how many calories your pooch needs every day.
30 x weight in kg (or pounds divided by 2.2) + 70 = daily caloric needs
#5: Give them chewing toys
Have you seen ‘Kong’?
This special dog toy is the perfect example of the saying ‘Looks can be deceiving.’
Appearance-wise, it doesn’t look like much.
But when you discover the things it can do, you’d be blown away.
A Kong toy can keep your dog busy for hours and hours.
This can also help puppies who are still teething. And it’ll keep your dog’s licking habit at bay.
“But Petya, how does this toy work?”
Well, you put in treats inside it and your pooch will try to get it out through a small hole.
This stubborn toy is wobbly, so your pooch will have a hard time getting the treats out. Look at this video that shows how it works.
#6: Ask for a professional’s help
Visiting the vet is the best thing you can do if you’re worried that your dog’s habit is because of a medical condition.
But if this licking problem is caused by being territorial and other behavioral disorders, you can ask for help from dog behaviorists.
#7: Let them socialize
To keep your dog from licking your bed because of separation anxiety, you need to build their confidence.
Introduce them to your friends and to the other dogs in your neighborhood.
Improve their socialization skills.
By meeting other people other than you, their energies will always be high and their minds are active.
This also lessens their chances of getting bored.
Bonus: Check your bed
Dogs are natural lickers.
They lick things because they just want to. They do it to explore and discover things.
If the reason why they lick your bed is that it calms them down and relieves their pain, then there’s no harm in that.
What’s harmful is when they accidentally eat sheet fabrics, pieces of food wrappers, or small objects from your bed.
So thoroughly check your bedsheet, pillows, and blankets for any objects your pooch might ingest.