Why Does My Dog Lick My Pillow?

Why Does My Dog Lick My Pillow

“Why does my dog lick my pillow” – if this question has been puzzling you, the answer might shock you.

It’s because dogs like the salty taste of the pillowcase. The reason why it’s salty is that the sweat that gets on the pillow is full of salt. And, of course, the pillow smell reminds your pup of you, so if you’re not around, he might decide to give it a lick.

So, Why Does Your Pillow Tastes So Good for Your Pup?

Sure, salt does have a nice taste, but it’s not that good to make you eat it on its own. So, why does your pup do it, why does he lick the salty pillowcase? You know the phrase ‘sweet tooth’; well, your pup has a ‘salty tooth’.

It’s in his nature, dogs just love salty stuff. Salt adds to the savory taste of every food, which is why your pillowcase reminds the dog of a tasty dish.

But, it’s not just about the salt left on the pillowcase via your sweat. It’s also about the oil your skin and hair secrete. In combination, the oil and salt create flavor dogs go crazy about.

Even if you’ve feed the pup properly, he might still decide to give the pillow a lick. Think of it from your perspective – don’t you sometimes feel like having a small snack after a big meal? That’s exactly how your four-legged friend feels about your pillow.

Other Reasons Why Dogs Love Licking Their Owners’ Pillows

Reasons Why Dogs Love Licking Their Owners’ PillowsNo matter how often you wash the pillowcase, the chance is that there’s always be at least some taste and aroma left on it. Actually, you just need to sleep on it for one night to make it a tasty choice for your pup.

But, it might not be about taste after all. Sometimes, dogs do this as it makes them feel the connection with their owner.

Your bed is the place where you’re spending a lot of time every day. A regular person sleeps between 7 and 9 hours a day, so it’s obvious why your dog is going to associate your sleeping pillow with you.

Remember that dogs have a much more sophisticated sense of smell than most other creatures on the planet. So, even if you don’t notice that your pillow smells of you, your pup will notice it.

And the reason why he’s licking it is that he’s showing his love and appreciation for you. The obvious question is why is he licking the pillow and not you?

It’s because he realizes that you’re not always in the mood for cuddling. But, he is. So, rather than trying to make you let him lick you all day, he’s going to do it with your pillow, which can’t get away from him as you would.

Could it be a case of OCD?

In some cases, the reason why a dog is licking his owner’s pillow is to cope with some kind of emotional issue. Whether it’s fear, anxiety, or some other problem, a way of finding comfort is for the dog to excessively lick the pillow of his owner.

Some dogs ferociously chew on furniture, some scratch themselves compulsively, while others use licking as a way of dealing with emotional problems.

The trouble is that such behavior can easily turn into OCD (obsessive-compulsive disorder), which is often very hard to deal with. Licking your pillow might become a thing he just can’t do without. And making him stop can be extremely difficult.

In fact, he might just change the way he’s expressing his OCD. If you make him stop licking your pillow, he might go on and start chewing stuff around the house or doing something else he wasn’t supposed to.

This is why your main focus should be on finding the reason why he’s behaving anxiously. And once you find the underlying problem, it’s time to deal with it.

The trouble is that solving emotional issues that dogs have is something that takes a lot of time and effort. Butt, you have no other option than to help your canine friend.

Creating a happy environment for your dog is of crucial importance. He needs to get enough attention from you and all the other members of your family.

By this, we mean that you need to spend time with him, cuddling and playing on a regular basis. You also need to take him on walks, as well as ensure he gets enough interactions with other dogs.

Buying some dog toys can also be a good way of treating the OCD. Rather than obsessing about your pillow, he might switch focus to the toy.

And you should also consider buying scented toys that smell of animal meat. Your pup surely loves the taste of your pillow, but you can be sure he loves the taste of meat even more.

Such a toy is guaranteed to keep his mind off his worries for a long time. Not only will he stay occupied chewing on the toy, he’ll also get tired from this kind of activity. And that means he’s going to get a good sleep. Speaking of which, the root of his OCD problem might be a lack of sleep.

Lack of sleep could be the cause

Dogs are crepuscular animals, meaning that they get most active just before dawn. The problem is that humans aren’t – that’s the time of the day when most of us are fast asleep.

Your pup feels sleepy the most when it’s sunlight. Unfortunately, that’s when humans are most active. Instead of sleeping during the day, your pup will force himself to stay awake in order to spend more time with you.

And the result of that is that he’ll not get enough sleep. An average dog needs to sleep between 12 and 14 hours a day. The bad news is that most pups do not get as much sleep.

Lack of sleep can lead to all sorts of problems in dogs. Some of those include mental and emotional issues, such as depression, anxiety, fear, and anger. All of those issues can manifest themselves in strange behavior like pillow licking.

And sometimes, lack of sleep can lead to physical problems as well.

Potential physical issues

In most cases, the reason why a dog might decide to start licking his owner’s pillow has something to do with his emotions. He might feel bored, depressed, or simply craving for your companion.

However, sometimes the reason for this behavior is that he’s physically hurting. The thing about dog licks is that they use them for many different purposes, including tasting and communication, but also as a method of calming themselves down.

Licking is what the mother dog does to calm her puppies down. What this means is that it’s in their nature to lick whenever they feel upset. And they can get upset for various reasons, including physical pain.

This is why it’s is important to look for other symptoms that your dog is sick. If he’s not eating as much as he used to or if he’s spending too much time just laying around, it’s time to call the vet.

How to Make Your Pooch Stop Licking the Pillow?

Make Your Pooch Stop Licking the PillowAs soon you notice that he’s licking your pillow, you need to tell him off. The key to dealing with this problem is reacting on time. Otherwise, the pillow licking can become a habit for him.

Sure, it might not work straight away, so you will have to repeat your orders many times. In fact, you need to tell him off whenever you notice that he’s about to do it. Eventually, he’ll figure out that what he’s doing is not an example of good behavior.

Washing the pillow using some kind of detergent with a scent that dogs don’t like could solve the problem. For instance, it’s common knowledge that dogs aren’t too crazy about the scent of citrus fruits such as lemon, orange, and grapefruit.

And the final alternative we have for you is to simply keep your pillow away from him. Don’t let the dog on the bed in which you sleep and put away your pillow (and the bedding) once you get up in the morning. Voila, problem solved!

So, Should You Make Him Stop Licking Your Pillow?

Absolutely! It’s all about the hygiene…

Even though it’s true that dog saliva does contain certain chemicals that kill some types of microbes, it also contains all sorts of other pathogens. And some of those pathogens are very dangerous for humans.

Letting a dog lick the pillow which you use for sleeping is a hazard to your health. Skin infections and problems with hair are just mild problems you can get from it. In the worst-case scenario, you can get a life-threatening disease.

This is why it’s crucial to make him stop. Even if it seems difficult, you have no other option but to deal with it before it turns into an even bigger problem.

About David Huner

David Huner is a dog lover. Dog training has become a passion for him. With many years of experience he is here to share his tips and ideas. His goal is to provide exact dog training solutions. His favorite quote is "Train your dogs, enjoy your life and be happy"

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