It’s not unusual for dogs to nibble on blankets and clothes. In fact, you might even have your own dog who does this! It may seem strange why they do it but there are actually some good reasons why. For most puppies, the act of chewing is a natural instinct that helps them learn how to bite down with their sharp teeth. As they grow up, most will eventually drop this typical behavior as they mature.
But for those who still chew excessively on things like blankets or clothes, these items can provide relief from boredom or stress in ways that make them feel better. So why does my dog nibble on blankets and clothes? You might be wondering why they do this, so we will give you some insight!
Why Does My Dog Nibble on Blankets and Clothes?
It’s not unusual for dogs to nibble on blankets and clothes. In fact, you might even have your own dog who does this! It may seem strange why they do it but there are actually some good reasons why.
This is because dogs are naturally curious. They like to investigate things with their mouths, even if they’re not food! Dogs may chew on blankets and clothes to work out what they are made of. Dogs can also chew things for comfort if it reminds them of their mothers when they were puppies.
Boredom and excitement
Dogs sometimes chew on blankets and clothes if they are bored, especially when they have nothing else to do. Just like how some people bite their nails in boredom!
Other dogs may do this out of excitement during playtime. It’s also a good idea not to leave your dog alone with something that is easily chewed for too long as this could lead to the destruction of your favourite blanket
Your dog is teething
If your dog is teething, they may be chewing on blankets and clothes because it helps their teeth come through. As the teeth are coming through, there can be some discomfort for them which results in them chewing to try to relieve it. Its usually a natural behavior in case of teething puppies.
If a dog is chewing on your clothes or blankets, it’s worth considering if this could be an expression of separation anxiety or a behavioural problem. This could be the case if your dog is chewing on its own blanket or things they shouldn’t have access to such as shoes or sandals.
It’s also worth considering if the instinctive behavior is due to a lack of mental stimulation and exercise, so consider your dogs daily routine and make sure they get their daily walk without having any stressful situations during the day.
Dogs who chew on blankets and clothes should not be punished as this can make the problem worse by increasing stress and anxiety.
To get attention or to show dominance
Some dogs chew on blankets and clothes because they want attention. If you’re giving more focus to your dog when it’s chewing, this typical might encourage them to keep doing it.
If you’re trying totrain your dog not to chew, try ignoring them when they do and only give them attention when they’re not chewing. It’s also a good idea to always leave your dog with something that is appropriate for them to chew on such as a chew toy.
Pain or illness
Unfortunately, there are also some medical reasons why dogs may chew on blankets and clothes. This could be due to pain, hormonal imbalances or because they have an upset stomach due to illness. If your dog is chewing on their blanket or clothes, it’s best to take them along with you to the vets for a check up.
These are some common reasons why dogs chew blankets and clothes! So remember that if your dog decides they want to nibble on something, there might be an explanation behind it which may not seem that clear or obvious.
The blanket may have an unpleasant smell
Another reason why dogs might chew on blankets or clothes is that they find an unpleasant smell coming from them. There may be something smelly hidden in the blanket, such as a stain or a bitter taste wet food spill that the dog finds unpleasant. If this is the case, consider washing it and see if that makes a difference.
This is because they have smelt another dog on it. This may be the case if you share your blanket with other dogs or it has been taken outside and used on walks.
This can be solved by washing the blanket, but it’s also worth considering if your other dogs are okay with sharing it. If not, you might need to buy another blanket for them and let your dog know that the one they like doesn’t belong to other dogs.
The blanket may have another dog’s smell on it
It’s also possible that your dog finds an unpleasant, or different smell on the blanket. This is because they have smelt another dog on it. This may be the case if you share your blanket with other dogs or it has been taken outside and used on walks.
This can be solved by washing the blanket, but it’s also worth considering if your other dogs are okay with sharing.
The blanket may be too small
If your dog is chewing or nibbles on blankets, it may be because they find it too small and restricting. This can make dogs uncomfortable which could lead to them chewing on it in order to try and enlarge or loosen the material so that they feel more comfortable.
If you think this might be why your dog is nibbling their blankets, consider buying a bigger blanket or a dog bed that they can lay on instead.
The blanket maybe the wrong material
Dogs may also chew on blankets and clothes because of their materials. If your dog is chewing on them, it might be worth considering if this is down to what they are made from. It’s possible that there are chemicals in them that make your dog want to chew on them and this can lead to you replacing the items.
If you think your dog is chewing on blankets and clothes for no apparent reason, it may be because they’re lacking a certain mineral in their diet. There are some dog breeds, such as Alaskan Malamutes or Border Collies that require more fat in their daily diet.
If you think your dog may be lacking in certain vitamins or minerals, you might want to talk to your vet about whether they are getting the correct balance in their diet.
How To Stop My Dogs Nibbling on Blankets and Clothes?
There are different ways to stop your dogs from nibbling on blankets and clothes. Some of these include:
Provide your dog with a toy to chew on instead of clothing
The first thing you should do is to provide your dog with a toy they can chew on instead of their blanket. This will encourage them not to keep nibbling on their blanket and will encourage them to play with the toy instead. This method works often with success in changing behavior for puppies.
Introduce tougher toys
If you’re worried that your dog might not like the toy or they can’t seem to be able to play with it, you can introduce tougher toys such as chews and bones. These will take longer for your dog to chew on but they are still appropriate for them to play with.
This means they will have something else to do when they are in the mood for chewing and it’ll take longer before you have to replace the blanket.
Ignore your dog when they are chewing
If you want to train your dog not to nibble their blankets and clothes, you should also ignore them while they are chewing on something inappropriate. This will teach your dog that if they chew on their blanket or clothing, no one is going to pay any attention. Eventually, your dog will learn that chewing on something else means they’ll get a better reaction from you.
Offer a blanket-less bed for sleeping
It’s also possible that your dog is chewing on the blanket because it makes them uncomfortable. This might be why they are nibbling at their blanket and you can solve this by buying a bed for them to sleep on instead. This will mean they have a comfortable place to rest, so there will be no reason for them to chew on their blanket.
Make sure there is plenty of fresh water available at all times
It’s also important to make sure your dog has plenty of fresh water available at all times. This is because chewing on blankets and clothes may be due to thirst. If your dog is thirsty, they may start chewing on their blanket so that they can have something new and fresh to drink from.
This means that as well as buying a bed for your dog to sleep on, you should also make sure they have fresh water available at all times. If your pup is around 4 months of age or above you can also consider dog food for 8 month old puppies to provide them with extra water. Ensure you only get the food labels from a reputed brand.
Give your pup an extra walk or play session each day
It’s also important to make sure you are giving your dog the right amount of exercise each day. If they get bored or restless, they may start chewing on their blanket or other items so they can have something new to play with.
This is because giving your dog the right amount of exercise can help to give them something else to do when they get bored. It can also stop your dog from becoming restless and wanting to chew on things which they shouldn’t.
Don’t punish your dog after the fact
It’s also important to make sure you don’t punish your dog for chewing or compulsive nibbling on items that they shouldn’t.
If you do, your dog won’t understand why they are being punished and may only become confused or distressed. Instead, make sure you try to prevent them from chewing on their blanket in the first place so it doesn’t happen again.
You can also try confining your dog to one room when you are out so they won’t be able to chew on their blanket. This will allow them the chance to rest and it’ll stop them from getting bored but still give them plenty of space if they need some alone time while you’re gone. You can also put a baby gate up so that your adult dogs can see what’s happening outside the door but not get out.
Keep Them Busy
If you want to stop your dog from chewing on their blanket, another option is keeping them busy when they are in the house. This can be done by putting chew toys down for them or giving them a stuffed Kong filled with treats and peanut butter. You could also try filling a cardboard box with small items like cereal so that your pup has something new to play with.
Teach your dog a command to stop them from chewing on objects.
A command like “leave it” can help your dog learn that they shouldn’t chew on things which aren’t theirs. You should then be able to use this command when you catch them chewing on an object and they will know not to do it again in the future.
Reward your dog for not nipping at blankets and clothes
Your dog may start chewing on their blanket or clothes because they are teething. This is why it’s best to avoid giving them anything to chew on as it can make the teething process worse. Instead, you should teach them that they shouldn’t bite at items and then reward them when they don’t.
You can do this by giving them a treat or belly rub for not nipping at their blanket and clothes. This will act as a sign of affection for them and will encourage normal behavior in your pet. Moreover, it will also help curb his bad behavior towards things in help in improvement of his social skills.
You should also make sure that you are giving your dog plenty of attention when they aren’t chewing on their blanket. This affectionate gesture can help them to feel loved and wanted as well as giving them a way to interact with you. This can also help your pups common behavior so learn that they don’t need their blanket or clothes in order to get attention from you.
Keep your home clean
If your dog is chewing on their blanket or clothes, it might also be because they don’t like the smell of where they are sleeping. This could be because there are other scents around the house which they find unpleasant. You can solve this destructive chewing behavior by keeping your home clean and making sure that your dog’s bedding is washed regularly.
Be consistent with your training
This can help to stop them from chewing on their blanket as it can show them that you are in charge. You should also make sure that the rest of your family uses the same commands and doesn’t give into your pup’s demands.
This is because if they see that other people are giving in, it will only encourage them to try and get what they want all of the time. This is why it’s best to be consistent with your training so they don’t get confused by what you want them to do.
Dogs have a keen sense of smell and may find the scent from your clothes or blanket enticing. The items you sleep on often carry body odors that dogs can detect with their powerful noses, which may trigger them to want to taste what they’re smelling for themselves.
In some cases, these canine behaviors are associated with anxiety in dogs who feel anxious when left alone by their owners at home or while traveling. If you believe this is happening, speak to your veterinarian about possible solutions for calming your dog before bedtime and during travel periods.
It is important to train your dog how to act when they are chewing on their blanket, otherwise, you may need to learn some new tricks yourself! If none of these tips work for you and your pup, consider talking to a professional dog trainer about how to stop your dog from chewing on their blanket.
I hope this article has given you insight into why your dog nips at blankets and clothes. If you have any questions, feel free to reach out and I will do my best to answer them.
Mark is an animal lover and a researcher. He has always been interested in understanding how animals think and behave. This passion led him to pursue a career in research, where he now studies the cognitive abilities of various species.
Mark’s work has taken him all over the world, and he has had the opportunity to study some of the most fascinating creatures on Earth. He is constantly amazed by the intelligence and ingenuity of animals, and he firmly believes that they are capable of so much more than we give them credit for.