Dogs love to nip on arms, legs, clothes, and even hair when excited, baffling their owners as to why they behave in such a way.
They don’t just nibble on their blankets; any blanket lying around is a target! While there are many explanations for this behavior, one of them is excitement.
So, why do dogs nibble on blankets when excited? Keep reading to learn in detail about this type of behavior and if there’s anything you can do to discourage it.
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Reasons Why Dogs Nibble On Blankets When Excited
Whether we like it or not, dogs use their mouths to explore their surroundings. It is natural for them to chew on things they find around them.
Although it is more common for guarding and hunting dogs to exhibit this nature, the other breeds are no exception
It is perfectly normal for your dog to nibble on blankets when excited. They might also do it to relieve anxiety, hunger, or even frustration.
You might have noticed your dog nibbling on its blanket when excited. But here are some more reasons that might explain the behavior better:
Many canine experts agree that the number one reason behind dogs nibbling or chewing on their bedding in blankets is premature weaning.
Most of the dogs that exhibited this behavior were weaned prematurely. Since they were quickly deprived of their biologically instinctive suckling behavior, the habit of suckling and chewing on other things became a habit.
Blankets are an obvious choice because of their soft texture and cuddliness. Puppies should stay with their mothers for a minimum of eight weeks. However, that isn’t always the case for several reasons. Premature weaning isn’t always the breeder’s fault; sometimes, it can be because of uncontrollable circumstances.
Premature weaning gives rise to behavioral problems that are harmless to your pup but certainly require some extra work on your part. If your dog is nibbling on its blanket, it’s because the blanket is the next softest thing that resembles mom.
Another reason that can drive your dog to nibble on blankets might be that it is teething. These furry babies lose their milk teeth and gain permanent ones like humans. It can be a painful and uncomfortable process.
Chewing on the blanket can relieve their pain and give them a sense of comfort.
Humans aren’t the only creatures that feel stress and anxiety. In older dogs, the blanket nibbling habit typically indicates separation anxiety. Leaving your dogs home alone every day can stress them.
If you notice howling, whining, restlessness, decreased appetite, and pacing accompanying the chewing habit, you can confirm that stress is the cause.
Loud noises and unfamiliar surroundings can also cause stress in dogs. Note that some dogs are more sensitive to anxiety and stress than others.
Dogs might relieve their stress by nibbling on blankets. It works as a comfort object for them.
It is essential to show patience when you know why your dog behaves in such a manner. Give it chew toys and other appropriate things to chew on.
Your dog might stop the behavior with time if you provide solutions to its problems. Consult your vet or a trainer if your pup ails from separation anxiety. They will be able to help it gradually get used to spending some time alone.
Lack of nutrients and enough calories in the diet can cause dogs to chew and nibble on inedible things.
Even when we think our dogs are eating well, we shouldn’t rule out the possibility that their food might not be meeting all of their dietary requirements.
Hair loss, change in the appearance of feces, and dropped energy levels are other symptoms that accompany nibbling behavior when your dog has a nutritional deficiency.
Ensure that your pup gets its caloric requirements every day to prevent unwanted behaviors. Carefully pick its food to see that it is nutrient-rich, and check whether your pup likes it, too. You can also increase the number of times you give them snacks.
Dogs are social animals. They love to be around us and play with us. Keeping your dog bored for a long time can lead to destructive behaviors, ranging from excessive barking and howling to chewing on everything within their reach.
It isn’t possible for every one of us to stay with our dogs as long as we want, but regular walks and adequate playtime at home can help with their boredom.
Burn your dog’s energy at least once every day to keep it from becoming overly active and destructive around the house.
Your dog will surely love your consistency. But they also enjoy exploring and experiencing new things. Mix up the routine occasionally to kill your pup’s boredom.
You can go to a different park, walk a new route, or try a new activity, like swimming.
Sometimes It’s Simply For Entertainment!
It is very natural for dogs to nip, nibble, and bite. You can simply look at a litter of puppies to see that they bite and nibble each other as a way of playing.
Some puppies bite a little too hard, making the others yelp in pain. But that’s how they learn to stop biting, which is an important skill.
Many dogs outgrow this chewing behavior when they are young, but some don’t. Spaniels, dachshunds, pointers, and other hunting dogs nibble on blankets and other items throughout their lives because of their natural instincts.
The point is that sometimes there is no serious reason for behaving this way. Dogs nibble on blankets for fun! As a dog owner, you might know that some dogs are more mischievous than others. You can expect more of this behavior from them.
Small dogs nibble too, but we don’t notice them as much as we do the large breeds because their actions and damages are more visible.
Nibbling on blankets might start as something fun and entertaining, but it has the potential to turn into a habit because your dog enjoys it.
How To Stop Your Dog From Nibbling On Blankets?
The first thing you can do is determine why your dog is nibbling on blankets, especially if this is a new behavior you’ve just noticed.
You will be able to easily curb it if you provide your dog with a solution for its pain, allergy, boredom, or stress.
If you think it’s just some bad habit it picked up for entertainment, the best solution is to redirect it to an item that is more appropriate for chewing. Give it several toys to chew on.
If your dog loves to nibble on your blanket and doesn’t look like it’ll stop the habit any soon, give it its own blanket. Put yours away in a place it cannot reach when you’re not using it.
Although it takes more time, dedication, and patience from your part, training your dog and teaching commands will be very helpful.
Teach it words like “STOP,” “NO,” “STAY,” and more that will get it to instantly stop chewing. Use the command when your dog is chewing on your blanket and offer it a chew toy and a treat for obedience.
Remember, negative reinforcement is never the solution to training or teaching dogs. Even humans don’t respond well to negativity, so you cannot expect a healthy training session with your dog with negative power.
Does Blanket Nibbling Harm Your Dog?
Of course, not! Blanket nibbling doesn’t harm your dog in any way. Why would it enjoy it, then?
Your dog nibbles on the blanket because it enjoys it. It also might be giving it warmth, comfort, and relief from different ailments.
If the behavior bothers you, the best idea is to redirect it to another blanket that you don’t need. Or even better, get your dog its own.
There are many reasons why dogs nibble on blankets. You would know why your pup behaves by giving it some attention and studying the cause.
Most dogs nibble on blankets to pass the time, relieve stress or pain, or satisfy their urge to chew. You can learn why your dog does it and offer it a solution- try with a chew toy or its own personal blanket that’s okay to chew on.
If the action persists even after all your efforts, you might want to take your pup to the vet. You might not see it from the outside, but it’s always wise to rule out all possibilities by giving it a proper check-up.