Do you have a dog that likes to nibble on your blankets? If so, you’re not alone and it’s a very common habit among dogs of all ages and breeds. Many dogs enjoy nibbling on fabric and any other soft materials they can get their teeth on. But why do they do it? There are several reasons why dogs choose to nibble on your precious blankets.
In this article, we will explore the top 8 reasons why dogs might nibble on blankets and what you can do to help stop this pesky habit!
Why dogs nibble on blankets
There are a couple of reasons why your dog decides to nibble on your blankets, we have listed these below.
They are very bored
One of the common reasons why dogs nibble on blankets is because they are bored. Unfortunately, dogs don’t have the luxury like us humans to be able to watch and enjoy TV or use a computer – so when they are bored, they tend to lean towards destructive behaviour and habits.
If your dog is not getting enough mental and physical stimulation, they may turn to chewing things, including your belongings, furniture and your blankets. They may even start to destroy their own belongings, like their bed as a form of entertainment (1).
To help stop your dog from nibbling on blankets when they’re bored, try giving them more toys to play with and stimulating their minds with interactive games. You could also take them for more walks or runs to help tire them out.
They are teething and this makes them want to bite things
All puppies go through the teething process, especially in the first 6 months, and this causes them to nibble on things, including blankets. During this time, their gums can feel sore and tender and chewing on things provides relief for them.
They feel anxious or stressed
Chewing can be a soothing activity for dogs who are anxious or stressed, so if there are any reasons they are frightened, you may notice that they chew things more frequently.
A reason for this could be because you have friends around and your dog is not used to having people over, so they feel the need to protect their territory by chewing on things.
If you notice this behaviour, you should give them more attention and make them feel welcomed and included. This will help calm their behaviour – but don’t force them into an uncomfortable social setting. You could take them upstairs to have some one-on-one time, and maybe they will sleep on or under the bed to help them feel calmer.
They are hungry
It’s not uncommon for dogs to be so hungry that they attempt to eat things around the house – and this includes your blankets! If you think your dog may be nibbling on your blankets because they’re hungry, then make sure they are getting enough food each day. If you think that they may be hungry, you should give them plenty of food straight away to ease any symptoms of starvation.
If you’re unsure how much to feed them, speak to your vet who will be able to advise you on the best amount for their age, weight and breed.
They are uncomfortable or in pain
Just like us humans, when we are in pain we tend to do silly things as we aren’t thinking straight. The same applies to dogs. If they are in any discomfort, you may find that they start to chew on things more frequently as a way to soothe themselves.
If your dog is exhibiting this behaviour and you think they may be in pain, it’s important to take them to the vet straight away for a check-up. It could be something serious and if left untreated, it could turn into a bigger problem.
They could be trying to get your attention
Stubborn dogs will sometimes do things they know they shouldn’t do, in the hope to get your attention. So if you think your dog is nibbling on your blankets to get a reaction from you, the best thing to do is ignore them.
Of course, this isn’t always easy – especially when they are destroying your favourite blanket! But if you give them attention when they are misbehaving, they will continue to do it as they know it gets a reaction from you.
The best thing to do is to give them plenty of attention when they are being good, so they know that this is the behaviour you want to see from them. But when they misbehave, give them less attention and eventually they will learn that this is not the behaviour you want to see.
They have learned bad habits from other dogs
Sometimes, dogs can learn bad habits from other dogs – just like humans! If they have ever seen another dog chewing on a blanket and then your dog starts doing it, it’s likely because they think it’s okay to do so as they’ve seen another dog do it (2, 3).
The best thing to do in this situation is to break the habit as soon as possible, so they don’t continue doing it and think it’s acceptable behaviour. To break the habit, you need to be consistent with your training and make sure they know that chewing on blankets is not allowed.
The blanket smells like you
if the blanket smells like you and you aren’t giving them enough attention – this could be because you have friends around, as an example. They may turn to nibble the blanket as a way to get your attention and feel closer to you.
Not that you will ever know if this is the case – but if you feel it is, spend some quality time with them and make them feel included.
How can you train a dog to not nibble on blankets?
Below are a couple of ways in which you can help reduce the likelihood of a dog nibbling your blankets:
Hide your blankets away when you aren’t using them
This should be a place where your dog can’t access them, like in a cupboard or on a high shelf. If your dog can’t find your blankets, then they can’t nibble them!
Make sure your dog is getting enough attention
If they feel like they are being ignored, they may turn to nibble on things as a way to get your attention. Spend some quality time with them each day and make sure they feel included in family life.
Give them plenty of toys to chew
If they have something else to chew, they are less likely to turn to your blankets. Make sure the toys are durable and can’t be easily destroyed, so they don’t end up swallowing any pieces.
Take them on regular walks
The most important and straightforward solution is to walk them more often, so they are tired and less likely to want to nibble on things. If they don’t have the energy, they won’t feel the need to want to nibble on your blankets.
Get your dog an interactive game to play, like a puzzle
Interactive games help stimulate a dog’s mind and can tire them out just as much as a walk – if not more! If you are busy and can’t take them on a long walk, this is a great alternative.
Interactive dog games include :
- Snuffle mats
- Puzzle toys, like twisters, dog bricks and boxes
- Nose work games
- Flip boards
- Automatic ball launchers!
You can buy one of these on Amazon or your local pet shop!
Conclusion: Reasons why your dog keeps nibbling your blankets
These are just a few of the reasons why your dog may nibble on your blankets – and what you can do about it. If you are struggling to stop them from nibbling, it’s best to seek professional help so they can advise you on the best course of action to take.
Remember, every dog is different and will respond differently to training – so what works for one dog may not work for another. Be patient, consistent and firm with your training, and you’ll soon see results! Good luck!