Do Dogs Need Blankets? (Answered By Trainer)

Do Dogs Need Blankets

Anytime you get a new dog or puppy, you typically have a long list of supplies you need to buy your pup to ensure he is taken care of. That list usually includes things like a harness, collar, crate, and bed. But, have you ever considered one small, simple item that might be missing from this list unintentionally? That’s right – a blanket!

Blankets are something you probably already have multiples of at home, so naturally, you will probably find your dog lounging comfortably on one of your blankets anyway. This article is going to list some reasons why blankets need to be intentionally included in your dog supply list, though!

But the question is – do dogs need blankets?

While they might be unintentionally overlooked, a blanket is a small and simple comfort item that your dog does need. Blankets provide a warm and comfortable spot for your dog to lay, but they also provide a sense of comfort to your dog by allowing them to nest and smell a familiar smell. 

In this article, we’ll list the many reasons to support why you should go ahead and buy your dog his own special blanket.

Why Your Dog Needs A Blanket

If you’ve ever left a blanket lying on your couch or on your dog’s bed, then chances are that you’ve caught your dog snuggling up directly on top of the blanket. And, if you’ve ever left a pile of your laundry out, then you’ve also probably caught your dog lying on that too. The concepts here are the same – your dog likes to lay on something that is soft, comfortable, and smells like you!

Blankets provide a warm, soft place for your dog to lie down. Plus, blankets tend to take on the smell of their environment, so they can provide an extra level of comfort to your dog by smelling familiar.

We’ve covered the main highlights for the reasons why your dog needs a blanket, but let’s go ahead and mention a couple of reasons why your dog having his own blanket is actually useful to you – as the dog owner!

Placing blankets on top of furniture and even your dog’s bed will help protect the furniture and bed from dog hair and scratches and can ultimately extend the life of those items preventing you from replacing them so much.

Plus, blankets are much easier to wash and cheaper to replace. Some dog beds can be unwieldy to wash in a standard-size washing and drying machine. By placing a blanket on top of your dog’s bed, it’s much easier to take the blanket off to wash it.

Reason 1: Blankets Can Signify A Special Spot

Since blankets can protect your furniture nicely, there are generally two options for how to place your dog’s blanket on your furniture. You can either cover all of your furniture entirely in blankets, or you could fold a blanket up and place it neatly in one specific spot on your furniture. Since dogs are naturally inclined to lay on top of the blankets, this could signify your dog’s special spot.

For example, you may not want to cover your entire couch in blankets because that can be a hassle when you want to sit down and get comfortable yourself. Instead, folding up a blanket and laying it on the side of the couch on one couch cushion could help your dog understand that he’s allowed to be on the couch but only in that specific spot.

Some dogs will be naturally inclined to lay in their special spot on their cozy blanket, but if not, this is something you could easily teach your dog.

Reason 2: Blankets Smell Familiar

As we’ve mentioned above, we can assume dogs like blankets for two main reasons (we can only assume since they can’t tell us!) – they provide a comfortable place to lay and have a familiar, comforting smell. In other words, blankets are just a comfy item for a dog to have.

Many people have special, sentimental childhood blankets that they keep as comfort and sentimental items well into adulthood. If you’ve ever had a special blanket throughout your childhood, then you can completely understand how your dog could also become attached to a special blanket!

Since blankets primarily stay inside our home, they’ll naturally begin to take on a familiar scent to your dog. Giving your dog this blanket, especially at times when you can’t be with your dog, can help your dog feel comforted by having your scent around.

Reason 3: Blankets Can Be Used In A Crates

Some dogs have a tendency to be big chewers and can end up being destructive. Some dogs will be destructive with larger items, like beds, but they may be perfectly fine with thinner blankets and not be apt to destroy them.

If you need to crate your dog who happens to be a big chewer and can’t have a bed in his crate, you could try putting a blanket inside the crate to replace the bed. This would be a good substitute to provide your dog with a comfortable place to lie down. Most dogs that destroy dog beds enjoy taking the stuffing out of the bedding, but since that isn’t possible with blankets, they tend to leave them alone.

Of course, if you have a power chewer, always supervise your dog carefully at first with new items and new scenarios, like a blanket inside a crate, to make sure that your dog is safe.

Reason 4: Blankets Can Be Multifunctional During Travel

If you travel with your dog, packing a blanket is an absolute necessity! Blankets can serve many different purposes during travel, so it’s best to pack one and be prepared just in case.

As we mentioned above, blankets provide comfort to your dog – they’re warm, comfy, and smell familiar. Traveling with your dog can be stressful, so being able to provide your dog’s blanket that he’s familiar with can help take the edge off and make your dog more relaxed and less stressed.

Plus, blankets can be used in a variety of ways during travel, which makes them especially useful.

Use the blanket as a furniture protector. If you’re staying somewhere that isn’t yours, you may want to go ahead and use the blanket to cover the furniture to protect it from any hair and dirt.

Use the blanket as a special spot to lie down. Depending on where you’re staying, you may not want your dog to lay on the furniture at all. If you bring your dog’s bed and blanket, this will give him a comfortable place to lay on the floor.

Use the blanket to clean up dirt/debris in a pinch. Towels, of course, are the preferred item to clean up any mess, dirt, or debris since they’re easy to wash and dry quickly, but sometimes a blanket can be used in place of a towel in a pinch if you’ve forgotten a towel. Blankets can be used underneath your dog’s food and water bowls to protect the flooring, or you could use the blanket in the car to prevent muddy paws from getting on the car seats.

Use the blanket when you’re out and about. If you’re traveling with your dog, then chances are that you’re also doing some dog-friendly activities like hiking or at least just going for a few walks. During these little trips out and about to sightsee or check out new places, you could pack the blanket and use it as a comfortable place to lie down outside.

Reason 5: Blankets Can Protect Your Furniture

As we briefly mentioned above, even though your dog will love the soft, comfortable blanket, you will enjoy having it around too!

Blankets are an easy and cheap way to protect your furniture, like your couch or bed. You could even place a blanket on top of your dog’s bed. Not only will the added blanket make him have a more comfortable experience, but it’s much easier to rip the blanket off to wash it than to have to deal with dirty, hair-ridden furniture.

Will All Dogs Benefit From A Blanket?

While most dogs will enjoy having their own special blanket, it comes down to each dog’s personal preference. Most dogs do enjoy to lay on top of blankets, and some even like to lay underneath blankets.

However, if you have a dog that is prone to being destructive, chewing, or tearing things up, then you may want to be cautious about giving him a blanket.

Do Dogs Need Blankets At Night?

While dogs can certainly benefit from blankets at any time and in any room of the home and even during travel, giving your dog a blanket at night could have some unique benefits.

Blankets At Night Signify Bedtime

Placing a blanket on your dog’s bed at night could signify bedtime. If this routine becomes consistent, this could easily become your dog’s new bedtime routine. This bedtime blanket routine would not only help your dog settle in for the night ahead, but it would also give him a soft, comfortable place to lay.

If you keep the blanket stored away during the day and bring it out only when you’re ready to go to bed, your dog will understand that the blanket making its appearance is a cue to signify that it’s time to settle down and go to sleep.

Dogs are often drawn to blankets. Once you place the blanket on the bed, your dog will naturally come to make himself comfortable so he can get a good night’s rest.

Do Dogs Need Blankets In Winter?

Many people tend to put away their blankets during the warmer months and bring them out so they’re more accessible during the winter months because blankets provide the ultimate cozy, comfortable, and warm experience for a chilly winter night. Now, you may be asking yourself – does your dog need his own blanket in the winter too?

Blankets Provide Extra Warmth

Just like people, some dogs naturally run colder while others run warmer. For dogs that tend to be cold, blankets, especially thick, fuzzy blankets, can help provide extra warmth for your dog, especially at night or in the colder months.

Shorter-haired dogs like Chihuahuas, Greyhounds, Beagles, and Pugs are just a few breeds of dogs that are prone to getting cold easily. They have short and thin fur, so it can be harder for them to regulate their own body temperature, which causes them to get cold faster.

Introducing Your Dog To A Blanket

If you opt to get some blankets that you’re going to designate specifically for your dog, it’s best to shop for those blankets with your dog in mind! For a dog blanket, choose a blanket that is machine washable and made of a comfortable material.

It’s important to make sure that it’s a plain blanket with sewn edges and no intricate details or patterns, like tassels or sequins, or other designs that your dog could chew off or get a toenail stuck in.

Final Thoughts

While you surely have multiple blankets at home in your linen closet, you may not have considered giving your dog his own special doggie blanket, but you should! All dogs can find comfort in having their own special blanket that they lay on inside the home and even travels with them on vacation.

If you have a dog that has a tendency to chew or be destructive, be sure to supervise your dog with his new blanket first to make sure he’s being safe. Otherwise, blankets can be a cheap and easy way to uplevel your dog’s comfort!

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