How JustAnswer Works:

  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site.
    Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.

Ask Gen B. Your Own Question

Gen B.
Gen B., Retired Veterinary Technician
Category: Dog
Satisfied Customers: 2227
Experience:  Lhasa,Shih Tzu Breeder/ B.A.Neurophysiology & Animal Behavior/I use plain English!
1298761
Type Your Dog Question Here...
Gen B. is online now
A new question is answered every 9 seconds

Why do my 2 chihauhaus lick the bed sheets for hours after

Customer Question

Why do my 2 chihauhaus lick the bed sheets for hours after I change them?
Submitted: 4 years ago.
Category: Dog
Expert:  Gen B. replied 4 years ago.
Hello and thanks for researching your question!

Dogs can develop obsessive-compulsive behaviors that are off-shoots of "normal" types of things that dogs do.

Many breeds, for instance, like to "face-mark" new bedding and furniture to set their scent down fresh.

Licking deposits salivary proteins on the sheets that smell and taste like "Us".

When these kinds of natural behaviors become unnatural obsessions, it is time to try some distractions...fixations are just as bad for our pets as they are for ourselves.

Make sure that you do NOT directly punish or shame them for doing this behavior--any kind of attention to give it has the strong potential of making it worse.

Distractions like playing a game with toys, taking a brisk walk or giving them baths can help to break the pattern and give their minds something else to work on. Set up a daily routine that includes them in a variety of activities. Orally-fixated pets often need more chew toys around the home than average dogs...try placing some toys on the bed after it has been changed to see if they will displace their licking onto some appropriate objects.

It is best to work with some distraction activities now so that this fixated behavior does not generalize to other parts of their lives...dogs with generalized behavior problems are very hard to work with, and are often placed on strong medications that can have side effects.

If you need additional support at this time, please click "Reply".

Customer: replied 4 years ago.

I have plenty of toys for them to play with. I feel that your answer lacks the reasoning for their behavior in this situation. Could the problem be a lack of something in thier diet?

 

Ron Morse

Expert:  Gen B. replied 4 years ago.
It is good that you are concerned for their health.

If they were licking Dirty sheets, there might be a slim chance that they were craving some kind of mineral, but since New sheets are setting off these cycles, it more certainly started out as a desire to set down scent on the sheets that have been washed clean of their body odors. But just to be sure, check their teeth and gums to make sure there are not dirty spots or loose teeth that might also leave a strong bacterial taste behind.

Licking obsessions are very common in pet dogs. Some dogs lick their People, some lick a favorite Pillow or Cushion, the Rug, the Bed, etc.. Psychological anxiety (usually brought on by boredom) can worsen an oral fixation. Two dogs with the same interest in fabric can get trapped in a feedback loop with each other.

This type of behavior starts out innocently enough...a dog lies comfortably on the bed and begins to groom its feet and toes. The tongue slips off and brushes the sheet. This is a New and Interesting sensation (depending on how sensitive the tongue is and how bored the dog might be at the time). Salivary proteins bind to the fabric and keep a dog's attention and licking going for some period of time. Once it has reached the "hours" level, we can safely assume that an Obsession and/or Compulsion has been established in the brain.

This is an article about all the reasons dogs might do this:
Read Article Here.

Let me know if you have other questions about this by clicking "Reply".

Customer: replied 4 years ago.
I DON,T WANT ANY MORE HELP PLEASE RFUND MY MONEY.
Expert:  Gen B. replied 4 years ago.
I will let Site Administration know about your request.



JustAnswer in the News:

 
 
 
Ask-a-doc Web sites: If you've got a quick question, you can try to get an answer from sites that say they have various specialists on hand to give quick answers... Justanswer.com.
JustAnswer.com...has seen a spike since October in legal questions from readers about layoffs, unemployment and severance.
Web sites like justanswer.com/legal
...leave nothing to chance.
Traffic on JustAnswer rose 14 percent...and had nearly 400,000 page views in 30 days...inquiries related to stress, high blood pressure, drinking and heart pain jumped 33 percent.
Tory Johnson, GMA Workplace Contributor, discusses work-from-home jobs, such as JustAnswer in which verified Experts answer people’s questions.
I will tell you that...the things you have to go through to be an Expert are quite rigorous.
 
 
 

What Customers are Saying:

 
 
 
  • You are a light at the end of scary tunnel when $ are tight, but people need professional help to turn to for help with their dear pets! Linh Charleston, WV
< Last | Next >
  • You are a light at the end of scary tunnel when $ are tight, but people need professional help to turn to for help with their dear pets! Linh Charleston, WV
  • $1,000 spent at his vet, and I finally get the correct diagnosis from Nancy Holmes for $15 Carol Cedar Hill, MO
  • I think this is the greatest web site in the world. Thanks to all! Judy New Haven, CT
  • I have referred several friends to your web site. I'm impressed with how easy it is to use your site, the Experts available and the quickness of answers. Nina USA
  • I am completely pleased with the quick response that I received in our time of need for our dog, Jasmine. I couldn't believe how quick the response was and I thank you. It's good to know you're there!! Jasmine's Mom USA
  • Please let everyone involved with your site know that your Expert, Dr. Lucy, has saved my dog's life. I will recommend your site to all my pet loving friends. Thank you again for simply being there! Sonya G Easley, SC
  • Last night my Expert spent close to 3 hours working with me on my dog's illness. Thank you so much for this opportunity to share in her care and knowledge! Cathie M Pompano Beach, FL
 
 
 

Meet The Experts:

 
 
 
  • Dr. Gary

    Dog Veterinarian

    Satisfied Customers:

    2534
    DVM, Emergency Veterinarian; BS (Physiology) Michigan State Univ
< Last | Next >
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/RY/rydergar/2012-6-6_192240_IMG0328.64x64.JPG Dr. Gary's Avatar

    Dr. Gary

    Dog Veterinarian

    Satisfied Customers:

    2534
    DVM, Emergency Veterinarian; BS (Physiology) Michigan State Univ
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/JA/Jav917/2012-2-20_54059_201221802254JoananddavidArchuleta3.64x64.jpg Joan's Avatar

    Joan

    Vet Tech

    Satisfied Customers:

    4544
    Vet Tech for over 30+ years working w/Dogs/Rescues
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/JA/jadedangel57/2011-11-8_193134_janenewsm.64x64.jpg Jane Lefler's Avatar

    Jane Lefler

    Breeder,Behaviorist, formerVet Asst

    Satisfied Customers:

    13847
    Former vol Vet Assistant.Breeder 16+ years Dog trainer / behaviorist
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/ER/ERPetNurse/2011-11-7_1293_b.64x64.jpg Candy's Avatar

    Candy

    Veterinary Technician

    Satisfied Customers:

    7108
    Practicing Veterinary Technician for 26 years.Former Veterinary Practice Owner, Technician Trainer
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/BA/babybloo/2011-3-10_62613_DavidandI.64x64.jpg Theresa's Avatar

    Theresa

    A Voice for Your Pet

    Satisfied Customers:

    4704
    19+ years experience in small animal medicine
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/VE/vetforyou/2012-6-20_33122_PearlPhoto.64x64.jpg Dr. Andy's Avatar

    Dr. Andy

    Medical Director

    Satisfied Customers:

    4430
    UC Davis Graduate, Interests: Dermatology, Internal Medicine, Pain Management
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/VE/VetAnswers/2013-4-5_8257_prof10.64x64.jpg Scott Nimmo's Avatar

    Scott Nimmo

    Dog Veterinarian

    Satisfied Customers:

    3977
    BVMS, MRCVS.
 
 
 

Related Dog Questions