why do dogs lick bed sheets

Why do Dogs Lick the Bed Sheets (19 Possible Reasons)

Last Updated on October 25, 2022 by Evan

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Dogs licking bed sheets is typical behavior that can be both endearing and frustrating. While some dogs lick bed sheets as part of their daily grooming routine, others do it out of sheer boredom or anxiety.

If your dog is licking your bed sheets, there are a few possible reasons. This blog post will explore some of the most common reasons this could happen and what you can do to stop them.

Why Does My Dog Lick My Bed Sheets?

According to experts, many factors can cause compulsive licking in dogs. These are some of the most common reasons dogs lick their bed sheets:

Your Sheets Smell Like You

bed sheet smells

Dogs love their owners just as much as their owners love them. And when their owners leave, they miss them just as much. Since you spend a lot of quality time in your bed, your dog is probably very interested in smelling you.

Because they can taste and smell your scent, they find comfort in doing so. But when you’re not there, your dog misses you. So they seek out the next closest thing, which is something with your scent on it.

That’s why your dog loves licking your bedsheets. Not only does it give them an excellent opportunity to sniff you, but it gives them the feeling of being near you. Remember, dogs have much more sensitive noses than we do.

According to estimates, dogs’ sense of smell ranges from 10,000 to 100,000 times more potent. Even if you don’t smell yourself on your bed, your dog can still detect your scent. And that scent can be very reassuring for them when you’re not around.

So, keep your bed clean and fresh, and let your dog enjoy the benefits of your scent.

Something On Your Bed Tastes Good

Dogs are very sensitive to smells, especially those that come from humans. Their sense of smell is ten times better than ours, meaning they can detect odors we wouldn’t even notice.

Because of this, they’ll try to find any scent from us. And because they can smell the saltiness of our sweat, they’ll continue to lick until they’ve gotten rid of it.

You may not realize that certain foods and drinks transfer onto your clothing and bedding, but your dog does. Some of the everyday items include:

  • Sweat – Sweaty hands and feet are a great source of bacteria, which can quickly transfer to your bedding.
  • Plants – Leaves, grass, dirt, and pollen can end up on your bedding.
  • Food – Food particles can fall off your plate and land on your sheets.
  • Drinks – Coffee, tea, soda, wine, beer, etc., can leave residue on your sheets.

So next time you sit down to watch TV, eat dinner, or drink a glass of water, wash your hands and change your sheets afterward.

Your Dog Is Licking Many Things

dog licking things

Dogs are known for being loyal companions, but sometimes they can be destructive little monsters. There are many reasons your dog may be licking everything in sight.

Some may be cleaning themselves after eating something off the ground. Still, others may be trying to keep warm during cold weather.

Start paying attention to your dog’s licking behavior. Do they only lick certain items or everything in sight? If your dog is doing this on everything it sees, it could be due to a medical or behavioral problem.

Rewarding Behaviors

Sometimes, we unintentionally reward certain behaviors in our pets without even knowing it. We may praise them for jumping onto the couch or give them treats for playing fetch. These types of rewards can lead to unwanted habits in our pets.

rewarding a dog

For instance, if you’ve ever given your dog a treat after he jumped on the couch, he’ll probably jump on the couch every time you come home. He thinks that jumping on the couch makes you happy, so he does it whenever you’re there.

You can avoid this problem by simply ignoring your dog’s behavior. Don’t react at all when he jumps on the couch. Instead, calmly walk away and ignore him. After a few times, he should figure out that jumping on the sofa isn’t making you happy, and he won’t do it anymore.

This method works well for most situations where your dog exhibits undesirable behaviors. However, sometimes, you may inadvertently reward behavior that you dislike. For example, if you give your dog treats after he jumps on the couch, you may notice that he starts jumping on the couch more frequently.

Instead of reacting to his behavior, try ignoring it instead. Talk to your dog in a calm, soothing voice and tell him that you don’t appreciate his jumping on the couch. Then, leave the room and ignore him until he stops jumping on the couch.

Your goal here is to teach your dog that jumping on the couch doesn’t make you happy so that he won’t do it again. Once he learns this lesson, he’ll stop jumping on the couch because he knows it doesn’t make you happy.


Dogs experiencing anxiety are prone to various weird, obsessive, repetitive, or compulsive behaviors.

dog anxiety

Fear-based anxiety is surprisingly common in dogs, affecting approximately 14% of all pets.

Separation anxiety is a possible reason for obsessive sheet licking in dogs, and it can manifest itself in several ways.

So, if your dog‘s licking seems to be restricted when you‘re away from home, it could very well be due to separation anxiety, and it‘s worth checking out.

Also, look for triggers that might be causing fear-based anxiety. These include new people around the house, strange noises, and stressful situations, like trips to the vet.

Obsessive-Compulsiveness Licking

Canine Compulsive Disorder(CCD)is a compulsive behavior that affects many dogs. It’s characterized by excessive licking, leading to skin irritation and infections.

Some dogs develop this compulsion after exposure to certain chemicals or substances, and others may develop it spontaneously without any known cause.

Some dogs display this compulsive behavior because they feel anxious and stressed; others don’t realize that they are doing it. Regardless of the reason, if your dog exhibits this behavior, it needs to stop.

There are several treatments available for canine-compulsive disorder. You should consult your vet to find out what options are available to treat your dog.


Dogs with pica will chew any item that carries their human scent. Because of this, they may end up eating or licking sheets, blankets, pillows, towels, clothes, furniture, carpets, shoes, walls, floors, etc.

This can be very dangerous for your dog if they start chewing on something that isn’t food. You’ll want to keep an eye on your pet to ensure they don’t accidentally ingest harmful substances.

You might think you’ve found the source of your dog’s problem, but there could be another explanation. A vet visit is needed to determine what’s causing your dog’s unusual behavior. Once you figure out the issue, you can work on preventing future occurrences.

Hopefully, your vet can rule it out until you can determine the reason behind your dog’s behavior. They should also help you pick a course of action to stop the behavior from occurring.

Natural Canine Curiosity

Your dog may be curious about certain things, but he doesn’t necessarily mean anything wrong by doing them. He might be exploring his environment, trying to determine if there’s food nearby or whether he should eat something else.

That said, if your dog is constantly lapping at your bedsheets, it could signify that he needs to play outside more. You’ll probably notice him sniffing and pawing at your furniture and walls, so maybe he wants to explore those instead.

You can encourage natural canine curiosity by giving your dog plenty of opportunities to explore his surroundings. Just remember not to let him destroy any property or cause damage.


Dogs are naturally curious animals. As long as they have enough stimulation, they won’t feel bored. However, they’ll start acting out if they don’t receive any physical or mental stimulation.

This is especially true for puppies and young dogs. Puppies and young dogs require lots of exercise and interaction to keep them busy and entertained. If you notice your dog licking bedsheets, there may be a reason behind it, and you might wonder whether your dog needs to be more physically and mentally stimulated.

You can try playing fetch with your dog, giving him treats, or ensuring he gets plenty of playtimes. These activities will give your dog the stimulation he needs to stay busy and avoid boredom.

Social Grooming and Hygienic Behavior

Dogs use social grooming to bond with their pack mates. Social grooming is a standard behavior among dogs. You may notice your dog licking his paws after he walks through the house, and he does this to remove any dirt or debris that may have gotten stuck to his feet during walking.

Your dog may also use social grooming to clean himself. Dogs groom themselves using their tongues and teeth. Some dogs use their tongue to wipe off excess saliva, while others use their teeth to scrape away dead skin cells.

You may notice your dog licking the bedsheets if he feels dirty or needs to clean himself. Remember that your dog isn’t trying to hurt you; he’s simply doing what comes naturally.

Hunger or Thirst

Dogs sometimes lick at things such as bedding or furniture when hungry or thirsty. Sometimes, they’ll even eat items that they find on the floor.

thirsty dog

Make sure that your dog has access to clean drinking water. Please always ensure that your dog has access to fresh water, and if he starts licking your bed, give him some food and water. He might not realize that he’s getting dehydrated.

As a Plea for Attentions

Dogs are naturally drawn to human beings, especially if they feel neglected. Dogs often try to get our attention by doing cute tricks or begging us to pet them.

If your dog feels lonely and needs attention, it might lick your bedsheet. While this behavior isn’t necessarily bad, it does mean that your dog wants some affection and attention. You should still provide plenty of love and attention to your dog, but if they feel needy for extra attention, you might consider giving them a little bit of your focus instead.

Your Dog Sleep On Your Bedding

Dogs are tactile animals and enjoy feeling soft and warm against their skin. If you have a habit of letting your dog sleep along with you on the same bed, he may lick your bed sheets. He enjoys the comfort of those soft and warm sheets, licking them to get that soothing feel.

To prevent your dog from damaging your bedding, you should either let him sleep on his bed or teach him not to damage your bedding. You can also buy special bed linens explicitly made for dogs. These bed linens come in various sizes and styles, so you can find one that fits your needs perfectly.

Your Dog Drools A lot

Dogs sometimes drool excessively. Sometimes, it’s because of health issues like liver disease, kidney problems, or salivary gland dysfunction. Other times, it’s because they enjoy licking themselves. Either way, it’s not pretty!

dog drooling

Excessive drooling can cause damage to furniture and clothing, so it’s essential to keep your dog away from those items. However, if your dog licks his saliva, there isn’t anything you can do about it, and he may just be trying to clean himself off.

You can take your dog to a vet to find out whether he has any underlying medical condition causing him to drool excessively. If he does, they’ll be able to treat it; otherwise, you’ll have to live with it.

Allergies Lead To Overwhelming Licking Behavior

Dogs sometimes struggle with allergies. Allergies cause itching and scratching, making them lick themselves to get rid of the irritation. Sometimes, they’ll end up licking their bedsheets, which can lead to skin infections and other problems.

Visit your vet if your dog starts showing symptoms of allergies. You may discover that your dog has caught something at a park or eaten something strange.

It would be best if you never forced your dog to stop licking. Instead, you should provide him with a safe place to scratch his itch without getting hurt. A crate works well for this.

Dogs with Destructive Behavior

Dogs can become destructive if they are not appropriately trained. Some dogs bite and lick home furniture, including beds. This makes them aggressive and sometimes out of control, so they start biting and licking the table.

You may notice your dog showing destructive behavior, such as licking and biting the bedsheet.

You can prevent your dog from doing this by training them correctly. Start by teaching them to sit still and stay calm. Then teach them to walk calmly on a leash. Once your dog knows how to behave, you can begin working on housebreaking. Teach them to leave the bathroom on command and never chew anything.

Once your dog learns proper behavior, you won’t have to worry about them destroying your home furniture.

Change in Dog’s Diet

Dogs tend to eat whatever they find tasty; sometimes, they’ll eat food that isn’t part of their regular diet. One of the most common reasons dogs licks bed sheets is that they’ve found a new taste they haven’t had before.

You may think your dog is eating out of boredom, but there’s another possibility. He might be trying to figure out what the new taste is.

To avoid this problem, you should stop giving your dog any treats after meals. Instead, let him play with a toy that keeps him occupied until dinner.

Marking Their Territory

Dogs naturally mark their territory in various ways. Some dogs mark their territory by urinating or defecating on things, others by scratching walls, and others by licking things. You may notice that your dog does any of these behaviors when he sleeps next to you on your bed.

dog marking territory

This instinctive behavior isn’t limited to dogs. Cats will also mark their territory by licking things. And if you’ve ever noticed that your cat scratches at the wall near where she sleeps, it’s probably because she wants to tell her owners that this is her territory.

So when your dog licks his paws or surrounding items, it’s like he’s telling you that this is his territory. He’s letting you know that this is his space, and no one else should come here without permission.

Gathering Information

Dogs use their tongues and lips to gather information about their environment. As they grow older, they’ll start exploring their surroundings through other methods, but they still rely on their senses of smell and taste to collect information.

They’ll use their paws instead of their tongue and lips as they age. But for now, they still use their noses to sniff out information.

For puppies, licking your bedsheets is a way to explore and gather information.

And since they’re learning about you, they may also try to figure out what kind of person you are.

Either way, it’s probably a sign that he’s trying to figure out what kind of person you are. He’s curious about you. And that’s okay!

How To Stop Your Dog From Licking Your Bedsheets

Hopefully, you now better understand why your dog licks his sheets. Depending on how your dog enjoys them, some can be harmless. It might be in your best interests to stop the behavior, even if it is harmless. It’s not very pleasant to crawl into dog-slobber-covered, soaked sheets. The following tips might help you put an end to wet sheets:

Adjust Your Dog’s Diet

You can find out if your dog needs additional vitamins by asking him to eat food that doesn’t usually agree with him. He probably does not need extra vitamins if he eats them without vomiting. However, he most likely needs additional vitamins if he vomits after eating it.

Once you’ve identified the nutrient deficiency, you’ll need to adjust your dog’s diet accordingly. You can buy commercial dog foods with specific nutrients or supplement your dog’s regular diet.

If you increase your dog’s diet, ensure that you only give him small amounts at once. Too much supplementation can cause diarrhea, which is very dangerous for dogs.

After you’ve adjusted your dog’s diet, you’ll need to monitor him closely to ensure he isn’t still licking anything. If he continues to lick non-nutritious substances, you’ll need to consult your vet again, and he can prescribe medications to treat the problem.

Pay Attention to Timing & Triggers

Dogs licking due to stress or anxiety may not realize that they are doing it, and they won’t feel any better if they continue to lick. However, once you notice that your dog is licking excessively, it’s time to address the issue.

You’ll want to pay close attention to the timing of the licking and the triggers that cause it. If your dog is licking due to anxiety, he may be anxious about something else that is happening at the same time. You’ll want to figure out what those triggers are and work to eliminate them.

On the other hand, if you find that your dog is only licking during certain times, such as when there are loud noises or when you watch movies with the volume turned up, then it could be related to fear-based anxiety.

Do you think your dog’s excessive licking is due to anxiety? If so, you must talk to your veterinarian, who can help you develop a treatment plan that includes medication, training, and prevention strategies.

Ensure You’ve Not Accidentally Praised Them

Dogs sometimes find it irresistible to lick certain surfaces. Unfortunately, if you don’t notice this behavior, you might inadvertently give your dog positive reinforcement.

You’ll need to pay close attention to your dog’s behavior and ensure you’re not unintentionally rewarding him for lapping the bedsheet.

Please make sure you’re aware of any habits your dog exhibits and try to avoid giving him positive reinforcement for those actions.

For instance, if he likes to chew his nails, you should keep a bowl of nail clippers handy and encourage him to use them instead. If he enjoys chewing on blankets, you should provide him with a safe place to do so without getting hurt.

Paying attention to your dog’s behaviors can reduce the chances of accidentally praising him for unwanted activities.

Prevent Access to Your Room

Dogs are naturally curious animals. They’ll try to explore every nook and cranny of their environment, including your bedroom. Unfortunately, sometimes they get stuck somewhere they shouldn’t be.

Your dog may not realize that he can’t access certain parts of your house until he starts trying to get out of there. Once he realizes he can’t escape through the front door, he’ll probably begin exploring other options.

You can prevent your dog from accessing your bedroom by closing off the entrance to your room. It would help if you kept the door to your room shut whenever your dog isn’t inside, and this will prevent him from accidentally walking into your room and getting himself stuck somewhere he doesn’t belong.

Keep an eye out for signs that your dog is starting to lick other areas of your house. If he begins doing this, you’ll want to find out why. Maybe he’s bored and wants to play. Or perhaps he’s trying to figure out where he belongs.

Train Your Dog Not to Lick Your Sheets

Dogs are known to be brilliant animals. They are capable of learning almost anything. However, there are certain behaviors that they cannot unlearn. One of those behaviors is the habit of licking your sheets.

Anytime your dog tries to lick your sheets, stop him. Firmly command him to stop and reward him for not licking the sheets by providing a better alternative. Keep repeating this process until he learns it’s more beneficial not to lick your sheets.

Remember, training your dog takes lots of repetition and consistency, but any dog can be trained. Don’t expect to do this once, and put an end to the problem forever. You’ll need to keep doing this for several days at the minimum to ingrain the behavior change in your dog.

Once you’ve successfully trained your dog not to lick your sheets, you’ll need to keep this up every day for several days to erase the old behavior.

Visit the Veterinarian

Dogs sometimes lick their beds because they feel safe and secure there. However, it might mean that they are feeling stressed out or anxious. You may not notice any signs until your dog licks their bedsheets.

A visit to the vet is the best place to start when trying to figure out the root cause. They will be able to identify the underlying issue and give you suggestions on how to fix it.

You may find your dog bored at night and wants to play with their favorite toys. Or maybe they are experiencing separation anxiety and need reassurance that you are nearby. Whatever the reason, visiting the vet will help you solve the problem quickly and effectively.

Dogs Lick Bed Sheets – Summary

If your dog starts licking your bed sheets, there are a few things you can do to stop them. You can try training your dog with positive reinforcement techniques, such as treats, playing with them outside, and providing them with chew toys or bones to gnaw on.

Additionally, ensuring they have plenty of exercises daily will help keep them happy and healthy. If these measures don’t work, talk to a veterinarian about possible treatments for anxiety or OCD in dogs. These treatments may include medication or therapy sessions with a behaviorist.

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