Dogs are another family member of our house, and they behave just like spoiled toddlers. Their love language is different, as dogs can not talk; they try to show their emotions differently than humans. One such method is through their instinctual behavior, like nibbling.
If you ever notice a hole-type structure on your bedsheet or blanket, it might be because your dog has been nibbling on it. Nibbling is a gentler form of chewing, and it’s their way of conveying a message or emotion to you.
If your dog also nibbles and you cannot understand why they are behaving or doing like that, this article is for you.
In this article, you will learn why your dogs nibble on blankets, how to stop them from doing it, and whether it is harmful.
Without further ado, let us dive into the mystery.
6 Reasons Your Dog Nibbles on His Blanket
If your dog is nibbling on a blanket, it is important for you to figure out the reason, as sometimes it can be a serious issue and impact your dog’s mental health. Let us know some of the most common reasons for dogs nibbling on blankets.
1. It is a Source of Fun
Biting comes naturally to dogs. When they are young, they play with their pup friends by biting each other. Biting on a blanket may also bring joy to your pooch, similar to how a kid is happy to hold onto a toy or cloth just to play.
Many owners having enthusiastic dog breeds initiate this chewing habit in them. Breeds like Border Collies or German Shepherds are high-energy breeds, and to calm them down and keep them engaged, many owners initiate this habit.
But the important thing here is to train your dog on what is acceptable to chew and what is not; otherwise, one day, you will find your dog chewing your hand off just for fun.
2. They are Feeling Hungry
Nibbling on blankets is also a sign that your dog is hungry and chewing on anything he finds to satisfy his stomach. Another reason causing this nibbling habit might be that your dog does not get enough nutrients in their diet.
You might think that the diet you are providing is sufficient and completes every nutritional need, but sometimes it lacks calories and proteins, making a dog hungry. Evaluating the diet and the ingredients according to their metabolism and physical needs will make them calm and may prevent nibbling.
3. They are Bored
Your dog may nibble on blankets because they have nothing to do, and boredom is hitting them hard. Few breeds get bored easily, such as dogs with excessive exercise needs, and chewing on objects is just one way how they try to tackle boredom.
Boredom can cause a lot of havoc in the house; not only nibbling but loud barking and other tantrums can also be seen.
It is important to provide them with a scheduled exercise that compensates their needs. Otherwise, they will have a hard time. Walking, jogging, or playing can suffice their daily exercise. Some good healthy toys are also available in the market, which can help the dog with some chewing and boredom.
Some mental games for dogs can be played that will help in training and their obedience.
If they are left home alone, they can chew on things, but it is your job to let them know what they can chew on and what is not acceptable.
4. Something is Stressing them out
When a dog is stressed and feels the need to release the tension, they nibble on blankets because it keeps their mind engaged. Stress and tension in dogs are very similar to humans, and dogs can be stressed for many reasons.
They can get stressed when they hear some noise, are home alone, or are in a new house or a place.
They may act strange and will show signs of howling, licking, and even going into a dark corner of the house alone. If you think the nibbling by your dog is because of stress, you should try to calm down their nerve and make them feel safe.
5. They are in Pain
Another reason why a dog is nibbling can be because he is in pain. This is usually seen in pups; when they get teeth, it causes pain similar to a human infant.
When a human infant gets teeth, they cry and need something to get their teeth scratched. Similarly, when a pup gets teeth, they nibble to get their gums numb. Nibbling at this time can be solved by giving them toys specially for chewing.
They may nibble because of pain from an injury or allergies to a substance. It is your job to figure out the reason for pain or allergy and solve the problem to prevent nibbling.
6. Weaning too Early
When a puppy is addicted to their mother for the feedings, and suddenly it is stopped, they find the next best thing to their mother in the form of a soft blanket.
They suck up as a habit while chewing and biting at the blanket. This is often due to the pet owner because, ideally, a puppy should be allowed to stay with their mother for up to 8 months to get all the necessary nutrients and care.
Premature weaning causes irritation in dogs and leads to nibbling the blanket.
How to Stop Your Dog from Blanket Chewing?
The best way to stop your dog from chewing on blankets is to train them to understand what is acceptable to chew and what is not.
The things which should not be on the dog’s biting list, take them away immediately. Never keep them lying down exposed to your pet. Substituting the blanket with an appropriate chewing object is also a way to stop them from chewing on carpets, blankets, shoes, and other precious items.
Providing him with his own blanket or a healthy chewable toy is very efficient in stopping them from nibbling. Feeding your dog well with a good balanced diet is extremely important. It allows them to be healthy and prevents the nibbling of blankets out of hunger.
Training is very important. Use the dog’s energy in training him about different techniques and commands, including ‘NO’ or ‘STOP.’ If they chew on something, you should command them to stop and train them accordingly.
Praise and treat them when they follow the command and use positive training techniques to encourage good behavior. Check for any signs of disturbance, stress, or anxiety to treat them early and prevent any major health issues.
If none of this works, try sprinkling something which smells bad to them, like apple cider or vinegar water. Try something which does not stain and you personally do not have a problem with. Dogs will leave the blanket immediately if there is a foul smell. People can go extreme and will cover their hands with such smells to prevent dogs from biting.
Dog Nibble on Blankets: Is it Harmful?
No, not generally, if they are just chewing on blankets to entertain themselves or for a specific reason. If this continues, you will have to determine the reason and provide a solution to them.
If the nibbling continues, check out for some concerns which may harm them. Do keep an eye out for the blanket they are chewing on; if they bite off a large amount of blanket, it may choke them and cause blockage.
Do not let them chew on small toys or any small cloth balls or such. It may choke them and cause air tact to block. Take note of any allergies your dog may have, especially from the smell of washing powder, detergent, or laundry rinse.
If they are biting and chewing the blankets, make sure no small shreds of the blanket are ingested, as it causes a blockage in the gastrointestinal tract of dogs.
There can be several reasons why your dog is chewing your hair. It may be because the dog likes the taste of your hair, the way it smells, or just wants some pampering and attention.
Maybe, your dog is in pain and wants something soothing, and nibbling helps. When they are teething or suffering from an injury, dogs like to nibble, which provides them relief.
To prevent your dog from nibbling, give them a chewable toy as a substitute for the blanket. You can also train them on which items can be chewed on, and wat should be avoided.
Dogs like to chew and bite on things, and sometimes this habit stays with them their whole life. When they nibble on blankets, there is something they are communicating, and figuring this out is very important.
This article is a guide on why dogs nibble on blankets, how to stop them from it, and whether it is harmful to dogs or not. This article will help you determine the cause as to why your dog nibbles on blankets, and you can provide a solution to the issue which can prevent your dog from any major health issue in the near future.
Dr. Lillian is a D.V.M. passionate about promoting awareness of dogs. She shares her expertise through her blogs on canineweekly.com and provides animal care services, including internal medicine, dermatology, and emergency care. Dr. Lillian is committed to contributing to animal welfare.