Why Does My Dog Lick My Pillow?

Has your dog started licking your pillow and you aren’t sure why? Perhaps you have caught your dog licking your pillow non-stop and it’s starting to concern you?

Or maybe you are curious about it and want to know more? Whatever your reason might be, we have the answer for you!

We know how concerning it can be when your dog starts doing something you haven’t seen before. And while licking your pillow seems harmless enough, you start to wonder if there is anything dangerous on there.

Could your dog be licking up some moisturizer residue? Or perhaps you are worried they could be eating some melted chocolate? You wonder if this is safe for your dog or not and you take to the internet.

You search and search, but are unable to get the answers that you need. You worry for your dog’s safety and aren’t sure what to do or where to turn.

But no more! Today, we are here to give you the answers that you need. Keep reading to find out all you need to know about why your dog is licking your pillow.

Why Does My Dog Lick My Pillow?

Why Does My Dog Lick My Pillow

Let’s get straight into it! There are a few reasons why your dog is licking your pillow, and we will take a look at them in closer detail now. The most common reason is that your pillow is salty and your dog likes the taste.

Dogs are notorious for salty things, they love them. And although you might think that your pillow isn’t salty, you would be surprised to learn just how salty it is!

As we sleep, we sweat. It’s human nature and not getting away from it, especially on warm and humid summer nights. Our sweat has a salty taste that will dry on our pillows, sheets, and other bedding.

This sweat also mixes with dead skin cells that we shed daily. Don’t panic, these are often tiny and unseen to the naked eye. But when combined with your sweat, leave a salty taste on the pillow that your dog can smell.

They will be drawn to the smell and start to lick the pillow to enjoy that salty taste. And you know what dogs are like, once they start, it’s hard to get them to stop!

They will start licking your pillow to get that salty taste, and once they know it’s there, are likely to return to get more of a hit! If you apply any moisturizer or lotion before getting into bed, this will also be transferred onto your pillow.

Any scents that are in your lotion or moisturizer will also attract your dog to your pillow and they will start licking it.

If they try to lick your face or body after applying a lotion, then chances are they like the smell and will be drawn to your pillow and give it a good lick.

Any lotion and moisturizer residue will also mix with your sweat and appeal to your dog. This is usually the most common reason that your dog will be licking your pillow.

Providing that there are no harmful chemicals or ingredients in your moisturizer or lotion then it is safe for your dog to do this.

But in case this isn’t the reason, let’s take a look at why else your dog could be licking your pillow.

Separation Anxiety

Some dogs can develop separation anxiety with their owners and can act out when they are apart from their owners. This could be the reason that your dog is licking your pillow.

When stressed, your dog will look for things that provide comfort and remind them of you, and your pillow will do this.

As you spend most of your nights lying on the pillow, it will have a strong scent that your dog will be attracted to. You might come home from work and find your pillow wet with saliva from your dog.

They could have been licking the pillow to soothe themselves until you returned home. If you suspect this is the cause, you should look for a behavioral therapist that can help treat your dog’s separation anxiety.

A Change In Diet

If you have recently changed your dog’s diet, this could be the cause of them licking your pillow. Even the slightest change in a routine or taste can upset your dog, and they might be looking for the salty taste they enjoy on your pillow.

It might be that your dog’s new food doesn’t have the same level of salt, or that their diet is lacking in salt. They might make up for this by licking your pillow, the same way that they eat grass when needed.

An Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder

If your dog licks your pillow without stopping, then it might have OCD. This can be developed when they consistently repeat a behavior to the point of physical harm.

This could be scratching until an area bleeds, chasing their tail for hours, or they might lick your pillow non-stop for hours.

OCD is a serious condition and you must take your dog to the vet for a diagnosis and treatment plan.

How To Stop Your Dog Licking Your Pillow?

Now that we have looked at why your dog might be licking your pillow, let’s quickly look at how you can stop this. There are a few different ways you can stop your dog from licking your pillow. Choose one or a combination from the list below:

  • Move your pillows or close the bedroom door so your dog can’t access them
  • Change your dog’s diet or increase their salt intake slightly (consult a vet before doing this)
  • Offer an alternative like a puzzle or a new toy that will keep your dog busy
  • Treat any anxiety or condition that could be causing this behavior
  • Train your dog to stop licking your pillow

Here you can choose the option that best suits you and your dog. If you have any questions or are unsure how to address the issue, it is best to speak to your vet.

They will be able to offer you specific advice and help create a treatment plan.

Final Thoughts

And there you have it, all the different reasons why your dog is licking your pillow. They might like the taste, be missing you, lack salt in their diet, or have developed a compulsive disorder.

No matter the reason, there is a solution and with the help of a vet or behavioral specialist, you can stop your dog from licking your pillow and have a dry night’s sleep!