If your dog is anything like mine, then your dog is a big fan of fluffy, soft blankets. Have you ever heard someone joke around or say that you can catch a cat outside simply by putting a cardboard box out?
I personally like to joke that you can catch a dog by setting out the comfiest, softest blanket you have! If you’ve ever been snuggled up on the couch only to get up and leave your blanket behind, then chances are that when you returned to the couch, your dog had already made himself comfortable curled up directly on the blanket. There’s just no doubt about it – dogs love blankets!
So the question is, what is it about blankets? Why do dogs like blankets so much?
Dogs like to be comfortable, just like humans! A soft, comfortable blanket gives your dog a dedicated spot to cozy up, lay down, and get comfortable. Some dogs may even dig at their blanket to create a special nest setup to get extra comfortable, and sometimes blankets can even help them feel safe and secure.
In this article, we’ll unpack the specific reasons that dogs like blankets as much as they do and what are the benefits of giving your dog a blanket.
Why Does My Dog Love His Blanket?
Chances are that if you’re a dedicated dog owner reading this article to determine why your dog likes his blanket so much, then I can only assume that your dog has at least one or two blankets on top of his bed! In fact, I suspect you probably have multiple blankets for your dog. You may even have them placed strategically on your bed and couch.
There are actually many reasons that go much deeper than your dog just wants to be comfortable!
Reason 1: Dogs Like To Nest
Dogs have natural instincts that have stuck with them, even if they’re now living great lives inside our comfortable homes and are no longer outside in the wild. One of these natural instincts is nesting!
If you’ve ever watched your dog before he goes into a deep sleep, chances are you’ve seen him spin around and dig in his bed. Not only does this help a dog get more comfortable, but some wildlife biologists suspect that the turning behavior, in particular, may have been what wolves in the wild did.
Living in the wild is all about survival, and it’s believed that wolves would turn around to make sure they were lying in the right position to ward off any attack while they were sleeping.
Wolves in the wild use what is considered a maternal den, which can be a hole in the ground or a small cave. When female wolves are giving birth or raising pups, they spend the majority of their time in this maternal den.
Even though our dogs don’t have to worry about being attacked by a predator inside our homes, nesting and finding comfort in a small comfortable space can make them feel safe and secure like their maternal den once did.
We can attribute this nesting behavior to being one of those evolutionary traits that get passed down from generation to generation! Giving your dog a blanket allows them to paw at it to get it scrunched up to just the way that they like that feels the most comfortable and nest-like to them at the moment.
Reason 2: Blankets Are Warm
Similar to humans, some dogs like to feel warm and cozy while they’re sleeping, especially in the colder months. If your dog is lying on a tile or hardwood floor, chances are that he would prefer to lay on top of a blanket to get off of the cold floors.
Like people, dogs like to have some sort of blanket or bed to lay on when sleeping because it will provide warmth and comfort.
Reason 3: Blankets Are Comfortable
While we can’t ask our dogs how they’re most comfortable, we can assume that they’re extremely comfortable when they’re in a deep sleep on a nice dog bed with a big, fluffy blanket under them. We all know that dogs can fall asleep at pretty much any time, but like humans, dogs prefer to be as comfortable as they can.
There is no doubt that giving your dog a thick, soft blanket allows your dog to lay on something comfortable so he can snuggle up and take a good, long rest.
Plus their favorite blanket might also be comforting, just look at this adorable Pittie and his security blanket!
Reason 4: Blankets Have A Familiar Scent
Dogs can smell up to 10,000 times better than people, so no matter how clean the blanket is, your dog will eventually smell the familiar smell of you and your house on the blanket. This familiar smell can actually be incredibly comforting to your dog, especially in stressful or unfamiliar situations, like when your dog is traveling.
One study even shows a dog’s pleasure center in his brain lights up when they encounter the scent of its owner and other familiar dogs. This supports the fact that our dogs really do find comfort in being near us. Even if they can’t physically be near us, just being near an object that smells like us can help reduce anxiety and promote a positive emotional response.
Giving your dog items to lay on that have familiar smells is incredibly comforting. Our dogs love us, so having items near them, like blankets, that smell like us can help them feel safe and secure.
If you’re planning on taking a road trip, or if your dog struggles with anxiety, try giving them a blanket that smells like you! This simple thing could help your dog feel better.
Why Do Dogs Like Soft Blankets?
Chances are your dog likes laying on blankets, though it’s unfortunate that he can’t tell you if he has a preference for one blanket over another. There are many different types of blankets on the market ranging in different materials, thicknesses, and softness. It’s safe to assume that your dog enjoys a soft blanket the most, but it’s not likely that your dog will turn his nose up at even the stiffest or thinnest blanket.
In fact, it’s such a well-known thing that dogs love blankets that there are many different types of blankets on the market, including some that are marketed specifically for dogs. These dog blankets can either be super thick, plush, and comfortable or sometimes, they’re even made with very durable and slick materials so that dog hair doesn’t stick to them so easily.
Why Do Dogs Like Blankets On Them?
While we’ve clearly established that dogs love to lay on blankets since they provide a comfortable spot where they can nest to feel comfortable and secure, sometimes dogs actually like the blankets on them. Yes, you read that correctly – some dogs like to sleep underneath blankets.
Some dogs burrow underneath blankets because the dark space it creates helps them to feel safe and secure. In fact, sleeping underneath a blanket is probably about as close to a wolf sleeping in a den as a domesticated dog can get to today. No matter how many years it’s been, our dogs can still have these instinctual traits.
Benefits Of Giving Your Dog A Blanket
After reading through everything listed above, chances are that you already have plenty of soft comfortable blankets for your dog, or you’ve already decided to get your dog a blanket to make him even more comfortable.
If you still need convincing, here are a few benefits to giving your dog his very own blanket.
1. Easy To Wash
Washing dog beds can be difficult depending on their size and how they’re made. Unfortunately, in many cases, it can actually be quite difficult to wash a dog bed since they often aren’t designed to go into a washing machine whole.
Of course, blankets are much easier to wash! You can easily place a blanket on top of your dog’s bed and just remove it to place in the wash anytime it gets dirty or funky.
2. Protect Furniture
In many cases, you may want to cuddle with your dog on the bed or couch, but you may be worried about your dog destroying your furniture. Some materials are very delicate and can’t hold up to dog nails easily. By placing blankets on top of the furniture, you’re adding a protective layer to keep your furniture intact.
3. Comfort For Travel
As we mentioned above, blankets provide comfort to your dog not only because they are thick and fluffy but also because they smell like you. This can ease your dog’s stress and anxiety and help your dog feel more secure. If you’re going on a road trip, it may be helpful to bring along your dog’s blanket so that he feels more relaxed by being surrounded by a familiar object.
Giving your dog a blanket is a cheap and easy way to help your dog feel more comfortable, safe, and secure. Even if your dog has a nice, comfortable dog bed, consider adding a blanket on top to help your dog relax even more in the ultimate level of comfort that he deserves.
If your dog is struggling to get comfortable or struggling with anxiety, try giving your dog a blanket that smells like you to help him feel better!