Why Do My Dog Lick My Pillow? (And How to Stop Doing It!)
We can’t expect our dogs to behave normally all the time, and while it may sound funny, many of our
canine companions are obsessed with our pillows. And while we enjoy making our pets happy, no
one wants to return home to a damp pillow.
You are concerned, “Why do my dog lick my pillow?” Why would your dog want to eat something as
tasteless as a pillow when they can access tasty treats and food?
Your dog probably thinks your pillow is delicious. If not, then it must be a psychological issue. Why
your dog might be licking your pillow and some possible solutions.
Reasons Why Do My Dog Lick My Pillow
Why is your dog so intent on licking your pillow? We’ll discuss some of the primary reasons why
your canine companion is so anxious to slobber on that soft pillow and some strategies for
preventing this behavior.
It has a Good Taste
When the salt from the skin absorbs into your pillow, it becomes tasty and attractive to your dog.
We typically sweat when we sleep and exfoliate our skin. Both of these instantly assemble on our
pillows and impart a salty flavor. Before going to bed, some of us also apply facial creams and
lotions, which end up on our pillows.
What about the nighttime face mask with the fruity fragrance? You can guarantee that if something
smells good to you, it also smells delicious to them.
Variations in Diet
A recent change in your dog’s diet may factor in their sudden interest in your pillow, mainly if their
new diet reduces their daily sodium intake.
Dogs typically seek a consistent and reliable routine. They might feel underwhelmed and resort to
your pillow to sate their need for salt if you slightly adjust their diet.
However, beyond a nutritional deficiency, this behavior may result from feeling off-balance due to
the diet change. Lack of satisfaction or pleasure may also play a role. Nonetheless, it is best to
obtain professional advice if diet and behavior changes have occurred recently.
Underlying Health Condition
Believe it or not, just like humans, pets can suffer from OCD (obsessive-compulsive disorder), which
can be a primary cause of this behavior.
Over time, their behavior can become destructive and detrimental, often necessitating medical
intervention. However, OCD is not the only underlying medical condition that could be causing your
dog to gravitate toward your pillow.
Many medical conditions, such as ear infections, dental disorders, and intestinal parasites, might
affect your dog’s behavior. If you observe a drastic shift in their behavior, you must take them to the
vet as soon as possible so they can help you figure out what’s wrong.
For additional analysis, blood screenings, an analysis of the urinary tract, or a fecal examination may be required.
Stress When Separated
Like other medical conditions, separation anxiety is another common problem many canines
experience. This behavior may be a result of the fact that licking the pillow brings them closer to you
when you’re not around.
Most of the time, it’s a way to calm down or even a cry for help, even if you don’t understand why
your dog licks. As a coping method, visiting the vet could provide helpful advice to reduce your pet’s
anxiety and stress.
Reinforcement of Behavior
We may not always notice how our reactions to our pet’s behavior can encourage the habit to be
repeated. Petting them may have the opposite effect of what you intend.
Rewarding their actions inadvertently can have a long-lasting effect and may do more harm than
good while trying to solve this situation. However, if your pet suddenly begins acting strangely, it’s
best to consult a vet just to be safe.
How To Stop Your Dog From Licking Your Pillow
There are some solutions to the problem of your dog licking the pillows in your home, but the most
effective one will come from learning why your dog is doing it in the first place. Here are a few of the
most effective suggestions for redirecting your companion.
Take Away the Temptation
Consider removing the comforters and storing them elsewhere during your absence. It’s essential
to bear in mind that this action may lead the licking behavior to shift to something else or for them
to act out aggressively, even if it sometimes solves the problem.
Make an Appointment With Your Vet
A quick trip to seek medical counsel is one of the surest methods to ensure they get the treatment
they need to have a happy, active life. Your vet is your finest resource for understanding your pet’s
physical and mental requirements. They have the most pertinent information to help you and your
dog move forward.
Divert Your Dog With Another Object
If their pillow obsession is merely the result of boredom, providing them with something enjoyable
and exciting to play with could greatly assist.
Keeping them occupied with puzzle toys can frequently entertain them for hours, diverting their
attention from your pillow. Remember that shifting the focus aside is crucial!
The less likely it is that they will be returning to your pillow, and the happier they will be, the more
busy you can keep their mind and the more you can stimulate and interest them.
Alter Their Diet
Changing their diet might help alleviate deficiencies or unfulfilled needs, but it’s essential to do so
under the supervision of a professional. To fix the problem, your vet may suggest modifying their
food or adding vitamins.
Overcoming this odd habit may require some hands-on instruction. You may do a lot of good and
save your pillowcases in the long run if you train your dog using positive reinforcement and only
treat it when it stops the behavior on demand.
Give Your Dog a Better Thing to Do Than Licking Your Pillow
If you do not wish to hide your pillows daily, you can attempt to distract them. If they desire salt, give
them a bone or something else they can gnaw and lick that is loaded with sodium.
Train Them to Stop Pillow-Licking
If all else fails or you cannot determine why your dog is licking your pillow, you can always use
positive reinforcement to train them to cease.
To accomplish this, bring your dog some pillows and a few rewards. When your dog begins to lick
the pillow, use a firm, clear voice to tell them to stop. Then, commend them and reward them with a
treat. If you do this daily, your dog will learn that it will receive praise when it doesn’t lick your pillow.