As puppies, dogs tend to nibble, chew, or bite many different things. These things can include furniture, clothes, blankets, or really anything in their reach. As puppies under six months old this is normal behavior because they are still teething. After about six months old this behavior should die down. If the behavior continues it could be for many different reasons. A dog might nibble or chew on an item such as a blanket as a form of comfort. Some dogs have separation anxiety that can make them very anxious when you leave, leading to them finding a way to feel safe and secure. Dogs teeth are made to chew on things, which can bring them a lot of relief to stress and distract them if they are having physical pain. A dog may also nibble out of boredom. If a dog is not getting enough exercise or mental stimulation they may resort to chewing on things such as blankets or clothing to sooth their boredom. Though rare, they also might nibble on things because they are hungry. When a dog nibbles on something because it is hungry it is usually more of a bite, almost like the blanket or item they are biting is prey that they were hunting.
Your dog might be chewing for a few different medical reasons. These reasons include allergies, physical pain, hormonal imbalances or even parasites. All of these things can cause impulsive nibbling in your furry friend. Nibbling on things can calm and distract a dog from physical pain, itching from allergies or dry skin, and any weird feelings they could be having from a parasite or a hormonal imbalance. If the corrective measures you are taking to get your dog to stop nibbling are not working, it might be time to take them to the vet.
Sometimes dogs will nibble on items to show affection. Their favorite blanket, favorite chew toy, the clothes you may be wearing are all things that a dog might chew on to show that they love you. Since dogs can not talk to us to show their affection they do so in other ways which for some dogs may include nibbling. If your dog picks up a blanket and starts nibbling on it when they see you it could be their way of trying to tell you that they love you. A good way to correct the behavior if it is a way of trying to show affection would be to take the blanket or item from them and pet them. This way they can see that you got their message of affection and that you are affectionate about them too.
Dogs tend to use their mouths to try and communicate. From making strange noises, licking things, and nibbling they use their mouths to tell us what they need, want, and care about. Dogs also use their mouths to explore things, especially when they are still puppies. Nibbling, chewing, and biting all are behaviors that are normal for dogs, but it is still important to train them when it is appropriate to do so, and when it is appropriate to do so with.
There are many different things you can do to encourage your dog to stop nibbling and chewing on things. You can help them get more exercise to make sure that they are not just chewing out of boredom. If you do not have time to help your dog exercise more you could look into a pet sitter to walk and play with your dog. Along with buying them chew toys that might be more appealing than your blankets. Though you might have to do some positive reinforcement to teach them to go to the toys instead of your blankets and bedding. A good way to encourage them to go to chew toys instead of bedding is to make sure that you bring their attention away from the blanket they are chewing when you catch them nibbling and quickly replace it with a chew toy you would prefer they chew on. Once they accept the chew toy give them lots of praise for taking the toy you’d rather them be chewing on.