Have you returned home to find your beloved blanket a chewed-up mess? Or when you go to bed, does your dog chew on blankets and other household items as if at a tasting selection? Having your pup compulsively chew on blankets can be a nightmare. Trust us, we get it. So, why does your dog keep chewing on things? More importantly, how can you teach your dog to stop their destructive chewing? We cover all this, and more, in our article below.
Why Do Dogs Chew on Blankets?
There is a wide range of reasons why your dog chews on blankets instead of dog toys, but the most common reasons include:
If you notice your dog chewing all kinds of non-edible yet household items such as the newspaper, mud, or dirt, then your pooch may be suffering from Pica. Your first step should be to make an appointment with your vet. Bear in mind, if your dog is suffering from Pica, they will actually be eating these items, too, not just tearing and chewing on them. Most of these common household and outdoor items carry no nutritional value. In this case, there could be a nutritional deficiency that your dog is instinctively trying to balance through their food intake.
Puppies who are teething will often chew on everything in sight – not just an innocent blanket. This is purely to help with the pain in their gums as their new teeth grow through the skin. If you’ve noticed a couple of teeth around the house, it is a sure sign they are teething and are simply going through the chewing stage in their growth.
Destructive Chewing Due To Stress
Dogs who suffer from separation anxiety are prone to compulsive behavior, such as chewing on blankets, to help with their worrisome nature and keep themselves focused. Chewing dogs are often looking for ways to alleviate their anxiety, and your furniture and blankets are likely prime targets. They are easy to access and satisfying to chew.
If you come across your dog chewing on bedding when you’re around, it could be a sign of boredom. Dogs will chew on pretty much anything to provide some basic mental stimulation for themselves. This solution can sometimes turn into a behavioral issue. This is, however, completely normal behavior and doesn’t require a visit to the veterinarian. A great way of solving this behavior is to use some of our tips and tricks to stop your dog chewing holes in blankets.
Suckling Behavior and Instinct
If your dog is still fairly young, it’s likely that they are combating their natural suckling instinct. A good way to define this against their teething behavior is that your puppy is suckling on the blanket more than they are actively chewing it. That’s not to say that this won’t become a habit, and can even become bad for their health over time. With a little training and positive reinforcement, you can stop your dog suckling, or chewing, blanket-like fabric.
Specific breeds, such as Dobermans or Border Collies, are dogs that hold seemingly boundless energy. This energy can often show itself through anxious behaviors like chewing and acting destructive, granted they aren’t provided with enough mental and physical stimulation.
How Do I Get My Dog to Stop Chewing on Blankets?
While there are a number of core reasons as to why your puppy is enjoying their blanket snack, the good news is that there are plenty of ways to stop them from this destructive chewing behavior, too. Don’t worry, you don’t need to be a dog trainer to do it, either! To get your dog to quit chewing on bedding, simply try out some chew deterrent solutions and find what’s best for both you and your pup.
Visit Your Local Veterinarian If You’re Concerned
If you notice your dog eating a wide range of different non-nutritional items – like dirt in the yard, bedding, and furniture – it might be worth a trip to the vet. Getting advice from your vet will rule out any nutritional deficiencies that your dog might have. These deficiencies are often resolved through feeding your dog some simple food supplements or giving them a change in diet.
You may want to inform your vet if your dog has also had a sudden change in behavior, especially after chewing on bedding or any other household item. It could be that these items have caused a blockage in your dog’s digestive system. A lethargic or upset pet, who is vomiting or struggling to poop can be a sign that something is seriously wrong with their stomach. A simple visit to the vet will help your dog avoid any further damage.
Up The Exercise
If your dog is suffering from separation anxiety or chewing through boredom, it could mean that your dog needs more exercise. While they may be getting plenty of exercise based on their size and energy levels, increasing this can help to tire out your pup just that extra bit more. It can be as easy as giving your dog a walk in the morning, before you leave for work. This added exercise will encourage your pupper to sleep and relax through the day. You’d be surprised how quickly your dog can burn off that nervous energy! That way, your little fabric sucker will stop attacking your bedding while you’re away. With just an extra 20-minute walk a day, both your lives are made easier.
Dog Puzzles and Chew Toys
Investing in some high-quality, chew-proof puzzle toys can keep your dog entertained and happy while you’re out and about. This mental stimulation discourages them from nibbling on blanket-like materials throughout the day. The best toys even use up their energy, depending on the type.
Positive Reinforcement and Training
Crate training is a great option for many reasons, as it lowers your dog’s stress when you’re away from the house and provides them with a “safe space” for them to retreat, when needed. Combine this training with positive reinforcement to ensure your pupper ceases that nasty chewing habit. Once your canine companion stops chomping, your pup will find that no nibbling, suckling, or eating fabric means more treats for them!
Are Chew-Proof Dog Blankets a Solution?
Chew-proof blankets are a great way to discourage this unwanted talent! Bear in mind that anything designed for dogs needs to be high-quality, so there’s no risk of harm to your beloved pet. The best chew-proof blankets will be hardy enough to withstand those nasty nibbles and other suckling instincts, while still remaining comfortable enough to lay on.
While it can be frustrating to have a pet gnawing on your best bedspread, be patient with your growing pup, and make sure to follow our top tips. You’ll soon be free of the habit and help your pupper kick chewing right in the butt!