dog laying under bed sheet

Estimated reading time: 6 minutes

Ever found your dog mysteriously licking your sheets and wondered why?

Dogs, much like us, have their own unique language and ways of engaging with the world around them. Licking – be it their owners, themselves, or seemingly random objects in the house – is one such intriguing behavior.

But what’s behind this peculiar habit of sheet-licking?

Stay with us as we delve into the fascinating world of canine behavior and uncover the reasons behind your dog’s love for licking things, especially your sheets.

Why Does My Dog Lick My Bed Sheets?

Communication

Dogs often lick to communicate with others. It’s a way for them to express their feelings and emotions. When your dog licks you, it might be their way of saying hello and showing affection. 

Licking can also serve as a calming signal. Dogs use this behavior to pacify themselves, other dogs, or even their human companions. If your dog is feeling anxious or stressed, they might start licking more frequently.

Comfort

Your dog might be licking your bed sheets because they find it comforting. The warmth and familiar scent of the sheets can provide a sense of security and comfort.

Licking can serve as a form of self-soothing for dogs. If they’re feeling anxious or stressed, they might start licking themselves, their owners, or objects around them.

This behavior can help them calm down and feel more at ease.

Releasing Scent

Dogs have scent glands in their paws and mouths. By licking your bed sheets, they might be trying to mark their territory and make the space feel more like their own.

They may also be attracted to the scent of their owner or other dogs who have slept on the sheets before.

Exploring

Dogs use their tongues to explore their surroundings. By licking various objects, they can gather information about their environment. This behavior is especially common in puppies who are still learning about the world around them.

Dogs have an incredible sense of smell. They can detect scents that are completely undetectable to humans. By licking, they can get a better sense of the smells around them.

Pain Relief

If your dog is in pain, they might start licking the affected area. This behavior can provide some relief and help them cope with the discomfort.

Behavioral

If your dog is feeling anxious or stressed, they might start licking your bed sheets. This behavior can serve as a form of self-soothing and help them calm down.

Sometimes, dogs develop a habit of licking certain objects. If your dog has been licking your bed sheets for a while, it might have become a habitual behavior.

Medical

If your dog has allergies, they might start licking more frequently. The allergens can cause their skin to itch, and licking can provide some relief.

Skin irritations can also cause your dog to lick your bed sheets. If they’re feeling uncomfortable, they might start licking the sheets to soothe their skin.

dog laying on the bed

How To Stop Your Dog From Licking Bed Sheets?

Behavioral Training

If your dog’s licking behavior is becoming a problem, you might need to consider behavioral training. This can help them learn to control their licking and use other ways to express their feelings and emotions.

Distractions

Providing your dog with distractions can also help curb their licking behavior. This could be in the form of toys, puzzles, or interactive games.

Medical Treatment

If your dog’s licking behavior is due to a medical condition, you might need to seek veterinary treatment. This could involve medication, dietary changes, or other treatments depending on the underlying condition.

When To Seek Veterinary Advice?

Prolonged Excessive Licking

If your dog is licking excessively and it’s causing them distress, this could be a sign of an underlying health issue that needs to be addressed.

Excessive licking can also lead to further irritation or infection, so it is important to identify the cause of your dog’s pain and seek proper treatment.

In some cases, pain medications or other veterinary interventions may be necessary to fully relieve their discomfort. Keep an eye on their behavior and consult with a veterinarian if you notice any concerning symptoms or changes in their condition. 

Signs of Discomfort

If your dog is showing signs of discomfort such as scratching, biting, or rubbing the area they’re licking, it’s time to consult a vet. These could be signs of a skin condition or other health issue.

Persistent Scratching

Persistent scratching along with licking could be a sign of a skin condition or allergy. If your dog is constantly scratching and licking, it’s best to seek veterinary advice.

Conclusion

Dogs lick for a variety of reasons. It can be a way for them to communicate, explore their environment, or soothe themselves. Understanding why your dog licks can help you better cater to their needs and ensure their well-being.

While licking is a normal behavior for dogs, excessive licking can be a sign of an underlying issue. It’s important to address this behavior and seek veterinary advice if necessary.

As a dog owner, it’s important to understand your dog’s behavior and provide them with the care and attention they need. Remember, every dog is unique and what works for one might not work for another. Always consult with a vet if you’re unsure about your dog’s behavior or health.

Frequently Asked Questions

Why does my dog always lick my bed sheets?

Dogs may lick bed sheets for a variety of reasons, including comfort, stress relief, or even due to a medical condition. It’s important to monitor this behavior and consult a vet if it becomes excessive.

Why does my dog keep licking his bed and blanket?

This could be a sign of anxiety or stress. Dogs often lick objects as a form of self-soothing. If this behavior becomes excessive, it might be worth consulting with a vet.

Why does my dog lick my pillows and sheets?

Dogs might lick pillows and sheets because they find the scent and texture comforting. It could also be a way for them to mark their territory.

Why does my dog lick everything at night?

Nighttime licking could be a sign of anxiety or stress. It could also be a way for your dog to soothe themselves before going to sleep.

What can I do to stop my dog from licking the bed sheets?

There are several strategies you can try, including behavioral training, providing distractions, and seeking medical treatment if necessary.

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Written by Tom Cashman

I have grown up with pets for almost fifty years. My family has strong ties to the animal shelter community in Chicago. Currently I have two cats: an orange tabby named Zelda, and a gray mixed named Zander. Like all of my pets, they were adopted from a local animal shelter. Pet Zone represents my passion for sharing with the pet community.

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