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Terri Riba
Terri Riba, Healthcare Expert
Category: Dog
Satisfied Customers: 32665
Experience:  Expert in canine health and behavior. 20 years of experience with dogs
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Why does my dog lick the bed sheets

Customer Question

My dog licks the bed sheets every night after we've gone to sleep. She doesn't really do it when we're not there. The spots can easily get bigger than the size of a basketball. Is there something wrong with her? I tell her no and try to punish her but it doesn't seem to do anything? I have to get this to stop. What's going on?
Submitted: 10 years ago.
Category: Dog
Expert:  Terri Riba replied 10 years ago.

How long is she doing this?

what age, breed and weight is she?

is she eating normally?

Customer: replied 10 years ago.
Reply to Terri Riba's Post: I got her at 8 weeks and she started it at about a year and a half old.

She is a cocker spaniel mix. I believe she may be mixed with poodle but not sure.

She is now 3 and a half years old. She weighs about 17 lbs.

She doesn't do it every night. But it happens very frequently.

As far as eating, she will NOT eat when we aren't there. She only eats at night. She only eats her food in our bedroom and once we've gone to bed. If we're not in the room with her she will not eat it. She won't drink water during the day either.

I have left her food out for her to see how much she eats but it is very obivous that she doesn't touch the water nor the food.
Expert:  Terri Riba replied 10 years ago.

Dear friend,

Sometimes dogs will lick certain objects if they are anemic or lacking a certain nutrient. However, your girl is very bonded to you. You are an integral part of her life. She does not even exist when you are not home. She smells your scent in the bed. She is licking the sheet the same way she would be licking you. It comforts her and makes her feel secure. The best way to stop this is to provide her with an alternative. Give her some old clothing, you no longer use. Every time she goes for the sheet - tell her NO! and give her the clothing. As long as she is not the type to actually swallow anything she will subsitute the clothes for the sheet and it will be safe for her.

Please let me know how this works out and if you still have questions.I will be happy to help.

Very sincerely,