When a dog sucks on blankets, it can be puzzling for pet parents.
You may ask yourself, “why does my dog suck on blankets, and is the sucking behavior dangerous?”.
There can be any number of reasons, some more common than others.
This article will explore the most common reasons dogs suck on blankets and what you can do about it.
Why Does My Dog Suck On Blankets? – The Reasons
There are a variety of reasons why a dog sucks on blankets.
Let’s have a deeper look into each reason for the sucking behavior.
Missing Their Mom
One reason could be that they are missing their mom, that they have separation anxiety.
Puppies typically nurse from the mother dog until around 8 weeks old, and after being weaned, they can look for comfort from other objects.
When puppies are taken away from their mother too early, they may turn to suck on blankets as a way to soothe themselves.
They Are In Anxiety
Another reason dogs might suck on blankets is that they are anxious (for example due to separation anxiety when you leave the house without them or due to loud noises).
Dogs who are anxious or fearful may find comfort in sucking on something soft.
That can help them calm down and feel safer.
Because Of Teething Discomfort
Teething is also a common reason why dogs suck on blankets.
Puppies start teething at around 3-4 months and can continue teething until they are 12 months old.
During this time, they may relieve the pain and discomfort of teething by sucking on blankets or other objects.
Love The Scent
Many dogs love the smell of their blanket and may suck on it to bring comfort.
Blankets can become associated with positive experiences, like being cuddled or sleeping in your bed, so it can be comforting for dogs to smell the scent of their blanket.
It’s A Comfort Item
Blankets can also serve as a comfort item for many dogs.
Much like we may carry around our favorite stuffed animal when feeling anxious, some dogs find solace in sucking on blankets or other things that provide them security.
Helps To Fall Asleep
In addition, sucking on blankets helps some dogs fall asleep more quickly.
That is because the pressure from sucking helps to release calming hormones in their body that make them feel sleepy and relaxed.
Canine Compulsive Disorder
Canine Compulsive Disorder (CCD) is another reason some dogs suck on blankets.
CCD is an anxiety disorder that causes dogs to engage in repetitive behaviors such as blanket sucking or pacing.
If your dog appears to be excessively sucking on a blanket, it’s essential to speak with a veterinarian about the possibility of CCD and possible treatment options.
It Became A Habit
Finally, some dogs develop sucking behavior over time.
Dogs learn quickly, so if they have been rewarded for the sucking behavior in the past with treats or attention, they are likely to continue the behavior in the future.
It’s best to talk with your vet if you think this might be the case.
Understanding why your dog sucks on blankets can help you to provide the right kind of support and help them break the habit if desired.
If your dog is engaging in blanket sucking, it’s essential to speak with a veterinarian to ensure no underlying medical or behavioral issues can be addressed.
When it comes to why dogs have the sucking behavior, there can be many possible explanations.
Knowing what might be causing the behavior can be beneficial for providing your pup with the best care possible.
How To Stop Your Dog From Sucking On Blankets
Distract Your Dog
One way to stop your dog sucking on blankets is to distract them with something else.
Try playing with them or giving them a toy to chew on.
You can also put some treats in a Kong toy or somewhere else they have to work for to get to the food.
That will keep them occupied and hopefully stop them from sucking on blankets.
Recognize The Triggers
If you want to stop your dog from sucking on blankets, you need to recognize the triggers that cause them to do so.
Common triggers include being bored or anxious and when they see someone else sucking on a blanket.
If you can identify what sets your dog off, you can work to prevent them from engaging in the behavior.
You may also need to help them deal with whatever is causing them to be anxious or bored.
Once you have recognized the triggers that cause your dog to suck on blankets, you can provide them with alternative comfort items.
There are a variety of toys and things that your pet can choose from, including chew toys, stuffed animals, and even special blankets designed for dogs.
These can be used as an alternative to sucking on regular blankets and may help encourage your dog to stop the behavior.
Train The Dog With “Leave It”
One way to train to stop the dog behavior is to use the command “leave it.”
That tells your dog to stop what they are doing and focus on you.
When you give this command, ensure consistency and provide positive reinforcement when your dog follows through.
Stop Encouraging It
It may have been accidentally trained to suck on blankets by you, which would explain why it does.
That would be more likely the cause if you frequently offer the animal the attention, snacks, or toys it craves in exchange for sucking your blankets.
Instead, it would be beneficial to praise your dog when it doesn’t do it and try to divert its attention when it seems like it could start.
Provide Chewing Toys
Chewing toys can help stop a dog from sucking on blankets.
Dogs may suck on blankets for various reasons, such as boredom, anxiety, or stress relief.
If your dog is sucking on blankets, try providing him with a few chew toys to keep him occupied.
That will help stop him from sucking on blankets and save his teeth healthily.
Create A Routine And Keep It Consistent
Creating a routine for your pet is another way to help stop blanket sucking.
Make sure they have plenty of physical activity during the day and give them something positive to focus on in their free time (like playtime or snuggles).
Keeping this routine consistent and rewarding can help your pet find comfort in activities other than blanket sucking.
Finally, it is essential to be patient while trying to stop your dog from sucking on blankets.
It may take some time for them to learn that the behavior is unacceptable, so don’t give up too soon.
With consistent reminders, rewards for good behavior, and a little patience, you should eventually be able to get your dog to stop the blanket-sucking habit.
Contact Your Vet
Most of the time, sucking activity is innocuous until it develops into a habit.
Consult your veterinarian if your dog is sucking excessively on their blanket or other items or if your dog starts sucking without any reason.
Compulsive sucking in dogs is one of the signs of CCD, which is uncommon.
You must consult your veterinarian to receive the appropriate diagnosis and treatment.
When sucking turns into an obsession, your dog might ingest dangerous objects.
It becomes obsessive when your dog engages in behavior for extended periods without ceasing.
Always watch for indications of obsessive tendencies in your dog’s behavior.
Is Sucking On Blankets Normal For Dogs?
Yes, it is normal for dogs to suck on blankets.
Dogs may suck on mantles for a variety of reasons, such as boredom, anxiety, or because they are seeking comfort.
If you notice your dog sucking on blankets excessively or causing problems like damage to the blanket or teeth to wear, you may want to consult with your veterinarian.
Is It A Breed Issue To Suck On A Blanket?
There is no breed-specific answer to this question, as it seems to be a behavior seen in several different dog breeds.
Dogs may suck on blankets or other objects as a way to self soothe or because they find the sensation pleasurable.
If your dog is sucking on blankets or other things excessively, it might be helpful to consult with a behaviorist to help address the underlying cause.
Is Blanket Sucking Dangerous?
Some people believe that blanket sucking is dangerous because it can cause a dog to choke.
However, this is usually not the case, as dogs typically do not suck hard enough to cause any real danger. Some people believe that blanket sucking can be beneficial for dogs, as it helps them relieve stress and anxiety.
However, ensuring that this activity doesn’t hurt your dog is crucial. You should take a few straightforward safety measures to prevent your pet from suffering harm from sucking habits.
Clean Up The Blanket
Doggie blankets are pretty prone to attracting dirt and germs. If your dog continues to suck on a filthy blanket, it could cause diseases.
Wash your dog’s blankets frequently to keep them clean. In some cases, you can even discover that a clean dog blanket might assist in discouraging the tendency.
Watch Out For Choking Risks
Sucking is an activity that is not exclusive to blankets.
Any soft object, including stuffed animals, will entice certain dogs to suck.
That may put your dog at risk of choking.
Things like buttons, beads, and other items can hurt your dog by choking them.
Make sure your dog’s blanket is free of buttons and other pieces of loose fabric that they could ingest.
That also applies to plush animals.
When sucking on something, a dog can easily swallow something hazardous.
Puppies who absorb non-food things risk getting intestinal obstructions or ingesting poison.
If your dog is sucking on blankets, should you stop it?
Many dog owners believe they’re failing as canine caregivers when they notice their canines sucking on blankets.
In actuality, though, blanket sucking is both familiar and safe.
Owners who attempt to help them stop the behavior frequently fail.
Dogs who are denied their preferred “cuddle” will often seek out another object if they can.
There was probably nothing you could have done to stop the behavior other than to allow a puppy to remain with its mother for a little bit longer.
Because it makes them feel secure and at ease, your dog does it.
They aren’t endangering themselves or worsening their condition if they aren’t attempting to ingest the blanket.
There is nothing wrong with doing this if their only goal is improving their mood.
Most behaviorists agree that there is no reason to stop a dog from sucking on a blanket if doing so will help them feel safe at all times.
Although you should wash the blankets frequently to prevent bacterial growth, there is no need for concern.
Before You Go…
Now you know the answer to the question, “Why does my dog suck on blankets?”.
If you want to learn more, read the following articles too!
Jessica has been a dog content freelance writer for the past few years. She grew up with different kinds of pets, like dogs, cats and birds. Her passion for writing about pets started in her twenties after she graduated.