Why Do Dogs Lick Their Beds? What Is It Telling?

We’ve all seen it – our dog lounging in their bed, happily licking away. But why do dogs lick their beds? Is it a bad habit, or is there a reason behind it?

It might seem like a strange habit, but there are a few reasons behind it. For instance, dogs lick their beds because they’re trying to groom themselves. By licking their bed, they’re able to cleanse their body of dirt and bacteria.

Licking also releases calming hormones, which can help your dog relax and fall asleep.

So next time you see your dog licking his bed, don’t be so quick to scold him – just know that he’s simply taking care of himself!

Many people are curious about this habit dogs have. You’re not alone.

Read on, as we explore the reasons dogs lick their beds and explain why it’s not necessarily a bad thing. We’ll also provide some tips to correct your dog’s bed licking behavior!

Top Reasons Why Dogs Lick

Cleaning Themselves

Dogs lick themselves to cleanse their body of dirt and bacteria. Licking also releases calming hormones, which can help your dog relax and fall asleep.

Anxiety

Dogs that lick and chew their beds and blankets may be exhibiting anxiety. If the behavior is accompanied by whining, barking, urinating, or defecating in the house, your dog may have separation anxiety.

Dogs who are new to the home will also do this because they are still getting used to their surroundings.

Soothing Themselves

If your dog is licking his bed while he’s resting or sleeping, he may be trying to soothe himself by releasing calming hormones through his saliva.

sleeping beagle dog

Boredom

Dogs that lick out of boredom may need more stimulation and exercise. Make sure your dog gets plenty of playtimes and outdoor exploration to keep him mentally and physically stimulated.

Some people are quick to correct this behavior with their dogs, but there is no harm in it!

A Sign Of Hunger

Dogs may also lick their beds while searching for food – it’s a sign of hunger.

This habit is sometimes attributed to the act of breastfeeding when the mother licks her pups. If your dog was nursed by a mother who licked, he may continue this behavior beyond infancy.

Hygiene Reasons

If dogs have puppies, they will lick the bed to keep them clean. A new mother, for example, will likely lick the bedding to keep the pups safe and clean.

Age

Older dogs may lick because they have a harder time getting around and cannot reach all parts of their body to clean themselves.

In the wild, licking is an important way for canines to communicate. Dogs will use their tongues to touch each other’s faces, indicating that they’re friendly. They will also lick each other’s mouths to test the food for edibility.

Licking can also be a sign of dominance, submission, or insecurity.

Here’s Why Dogs Lick Their Beds

1. It’s a Grooming Habit

Just like cats, dogs groom themselves to take care of their hygiene. By licking their bed, they’re able to cleanse their body of dirt and bacteria. Licking also releases calming hormones, which can help your dog relax and fall asleep.

2. It’s a Form of Communication

Some experts classify licking as a form of communication because it’s a way dogs share information. Dogs may lick their bed to show they’re comfortable and content in their surroundings.

3. It’s a Defense Mechanism

Some dogs lick their beds because they’re nervous or anxious. This is the dog’s way of dealing with their emotions. If you notice your dog licking his bed excessively, it may be a sign he’s feeling stressed out about something in his environment.

4. It’s a Way to Show Love

Some dogs lick their beds as a sign of affection and love. Just like humans, dogs may show their affections by showering those they care about.

5. They Like the Feel of It

Dogs don’t have hands to pet themselves with, so licking is one way they learn about their bodies and surroundings. Some experts believe that dogs lick their beds because they enjoy the way it feels.

6. It’s a Way to Get Attention

Dogs may also lick their beds as a way to get attention from their owners. If your dog is constantly licking his bed, try to give him more attention when he’s not doing so. Spend time playing with him, taking him on walks, and petting him to help reduce his anxiety.

7. It’s a Sign of Hunger

If your dog is licking his bed while he’s resting or sleeping, it could be a sign that he’s hungry. If your dog wakes up from a deep sleep only to jump down from the bed and begin licking, try giving him a treat when he’s done.

8. It Helps Relieve Stress

Licking is also the dog’s way of releasing calming hormones through his saliva, which can help relax him and reduce stress. If your dog licks his bed while you’re around, it could be because he enjoys your company.

9. He’s Tasting His Surroundings

Dogs use their sense of smell to learn more about their surroundings, including taste. If your dog is licking his bed while you’re around, it could be because he’s trying to get a better read on his environment by tasting it.

10. He’s Bored!

Dogs that lick to kill time may need more stimulation and exercise to keep them mentally stimulated. Make sure your dog gets plenty of playtime, exploration, and outdoor time.

Should Bed Licking Be A Cause For Concern?

No – there’s no harm in a dog licking his bed. It can provide some health benefits like promoting cleanliness and reducing stress.

puppy in bed with blanket

If your dog suddenly starts licking his bed, it could be a sign of an allergy or some other issue. If that’s the case, take him to the vet for evaluation.

Of course, you want to make sure your dog is getting enough exercise and attention. Without proper stimulation and love, dogs can get anxious and begin licking excessively.

However, if your dog is constantly licking his bed to the point where it becomes a problem, you may need to take steps to correct the behavior.

Consult with your veterinarian or an animal behaviorist if you’re concerned about excessive licking.

How To Correct Your Dog’s Bed Licking Behavior

  • Pet your dog while he’s not licking his bed to let him know attention is positive
  • If your dog gets anxious when you’re around, give him more space
  • Try feeding your dog before you leave the house so he won’t have an opportunity to lick his bed while you’re gone
  • Reward positive behavior with treats, petting, and verbal praise
  • If your dog is licking his bed because he’s bored, provide more stimulation through playtime, exercise, and exploration
  • Make sure your dog has adequate opportunities for outdoor time
  • Buy a new bed with a different fabric to help deter your dog from licking his bed

What To Do If These Options Don’t Work?

If none of these corrections work, you may need to seek professional help. A veterinarian or animal behaviorist can help you address the underlying cause of your dog’s bed licking behavior and provide advice on how to correct it.

They will also be able to rule out any medical issues that could be causing the licking.

People Also Ask

Why Is My Dog All Of A Sudden Licking Everything?

If your dog is suddenly licking everything in sight, it typically means he’s anxious.

He may be upset about a recent change in his routine or environment, or he could have been startled by something. Either way, it’s important to help your dog feel more secure and comfortable.

Why Does My Dog Lick The Bed At Night?

There are several reasons why your dog might lick the bed at night. He could be hungry, restless, or stressed. Alternatively, he may simply enjoy the taste and smell of his bed. There’s no harm in a dog licking his bed, but you may need to take steps to correct the behavior if it becomes excessive.

How To Stop My Dog From Licking Furniture?

If your dog is licking furniture, it’s likely because he’s bored or anxious. You can try to correct the behavior by providing more stimulation through playtime, exercise, and exploration. Reward positive behavior too.

If your dog is licking furniture because he’s anxious, give him more space. If he’s turned into a biter, consult with an animal behaviorist or veterinarian to address the problem.

Conclusion

If your dog suddenly begins licking his bed, it could be a sign of an underlying medical issue. Watch for other symptoms that may indicate your pet is sick and take him to the vet if he displays them.

But most often, your pooch’s bed-licking is just another quirk in what makes him unique!

As discussed, dogs lick for a variety of reasons. Dogs may lick their beds because they like the taste, smell, or because they’re anxious or bored. They may just be trying to clean themselves.

While there’s no harm in a dog licking his bed, it’s important to correct the behavior if it becomes excessive.

You can also use treats, playtime, exercise, and exploration to help combat your dog’s anxiety. This worked wonders for my lovable pup!

Does your dog lick its bed? Share your experience in the comments section below.

Thanks for reading!

Photo of author

Lovelia Horn

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