Dogs are such mysterious and delightful creatures. Most of their behaviors are so strange that the owners start thinking if there is any paranormal activity going on in their house. However, it is not something to get worried all the time because many dog owners face this problem.
Out of all the peculiar behavior shown by dogs, licking bed sheets is on the top. Owners really get frustrated when they see dogs licking the bed sheets and other clothes. This behavior is very common among dogs.
But why do dogs lick bed sheets? What should I do to stop this behavior? Let’s find out.
Reasons for dogs licking bed sheets
· It likes the taste:
Dogs have a very keen perception of smell and taste. When you sleep and sweat, the dead skin cells accumulate in your bed sheet. They taste salty, and maybe that’s why your dog licks the bed sheet. It simply just likes the salty taste.
This behavior is more likely to occur when you sweat more while sleeping. However, it can also happen if you don’t sweat much.
If you wonder why your dog likes the salty taste, check its diet. Maybe there is something wrong with its diet that changed its taste.
· Pica Problems:
Pica disorder is very common in pets and involves ingesting non-food items like dirt, rocks, bed sheets, toys etc. If you suspect your dog has pica, immediately get it checked from a vet.
The urge to eat non-food items is very dangerous, and it can even prove fatal for the dog. The fibers in bed sheets can cause intestinal blockage and make your dog sick.
· It is suffering from separation anxiety:
Dogs are very loyal creatures and want to get the attention of their owners. If your dog licks bed sheets when you are away or shows signs of sadness when you’re leaving, it means that the dog is suffering from separation anxiety. This behavior is more common in dogs of smaller breeds.
Your dog will not only lick the bed sheet, but it can also lick your clothes or get into your laundry basket. It gives it a feeling as you are with your dog, which makes it feel safe and protected.
· Compulsive behavior and dog OCD:
We usually don’t feel that licking bed sheets is harmful to the dog. However, if your dog is licking bed sheets in a way that does not stop, or dangerous or destructive to your dog, then it might be OCD.
OCD (Obsessive Compulsive Disorder) drive dogs and other mammals to go through repetitive motions. If your dog continues to lick the bed sheet for hours without stopping, or you feel the dog will become furious if your try to stop it, it’s time to take it to the vet.
· You reward it for the behavior:
If you inadvertently reward your dog when it’s licking the bed sheets, it won’t stop the dog. Instead, the dog will keep licking the behavior to get more rewards. It is better to reward it with toys when the dog is behaving well and avoid rewarding when it licks the bed sheet.
How to find out the reason?
If you want to find out the exact reason for licking bed sheets, try to remember the time when it first started doing this. It is more likely that an event might have triggered this behavior.
If this behavior started suddenly, it may be because you rewarded it for this. Sometimes, it may happen that the dog is smelling food or drinks that spilled on the bed sheet a month ago. Dogs are great sniffers, and this behavior indicates a change in its diet.
Another way to figure out the reason is to notice the time of the behavior. If the dog licks bed sheets when you are away from home, it means the dog is suffering from separation anxiety.
How do I stop my dog from licking the bed sheets?
· Give it a toy to chew:
Sometimes, dogs have a sudden urge to lick things. Dogs like to lick and chew soft and fluffy things. So, it is a good idea to distract the dog when it is licking the bed sheet. Give it something else to chew, such as a toy, to fulfill its desire.
· Ensure the right food:
Make sure that your dog’s diet is right. It should get the right amount of nutrients in its food. If you are not sure about the food you should give your dog, try consulting it from a vet.
· Reduce its access:
A simple way to stop your dog from licking the bed sheets is to reduce its access to the bedroom. Simply lock the door of the room or limit its access to the bed, so the dog has no way of licking the bed sheet.
Dogs licking bed sheets is a common behavior. However, it should not be neglected as the fibers in bed sheets can cause health problems for your dog. Excessive licking can be due to compulsive behavior, so finding out the exact reason and treating it is important.