You set up your puppy's basket with a warm fluffy blanket, and your little furry friend is over the moon with this cozy new bed. He is now wagging his tail and licking your face, showing how grateful he is for this perfect gift. From now on, you will hardly see your pet friend without his favorite dog blanket. He will snuggle in the blanket every night, feel comfortable, or wrap himself into it whenever he feels sad or lonely.
But why do dogs like blankets? Do all dogs love to cuddle up in a blanket like humans? Why do dogs feel warm and safe with a mere blanket?
Cuddling up in the soft and cozy blanket is embedded deep into a dog's nature and has both psychological and physiological factors that account for it. You can also blame the genes of your canine friend for this whole "Blanket Behavior."
In this post, we will explore different aspects of why dogs love blankets and how you can encourage blanket behavior. So, let's begin:
Your Puppy's Ancestors Play A Big Role!
Yes, you read it right!
The strong bond that your puppy has with his warm blankie and the cozy bed comes from the instinct your canine friend acquired from his early ancestors.
Before dogs evolved as domestic animals and humans started to provide them with warm beds and comfortable crates, these canines were raised in a maternal den.
A maternity den is simply a safe, cozy, well-protected place where the mother gave birth to puppies. Interestingly, puppies are born blind and deaf. They do not even open their eyes until they are two weeks old, and when they do, they cannot see clearly. So, before tiny pups could see and hear the world around them, this maternity den was their source of comfort and safety measure against external elements and potential predators. It’s their home for the first 10-12 weeks.
This centuries-old habit is still found in dogs and pups of today. They develop a sense of security and attachment with their crates and especially their blanket. Whenever your furry friend feels unhappy, anxious, or when he experiences new things around him, he will rush to grab his security blanket right away. A dog blanket works as his personal safe heaven!
The Blanket Carries Your Scent!
We all know that phrase, “A dog is a man's best friend." This is yet another reason why your buddy loves to wrap himself up in his blanket.
A dog’s ability to evaluate smell is 40 times higher than humans, and the blanket you bought for your pet carries your scent. So, with the blanket around him, your puppy feels calm and relaxed when you are not around him. Also, your pup may feel lonely when you suddenly get busy. In such a situation, a comfy dog blanket provides them reassurance and companionship.
It Brings Warmth, Especially during Winters
Letting your dog play and sleep on wooden floors and tiles, especially during winters, will definitely make your delicate little friend get sick. Therefore, experts recommend using blankets for puppies to provide warmth and comfort to your furry friend during freezing weather and chilly nights.
Like humans, dogs also feel cold, and their furry coat is not enough to protect them when the temperature falls below 40° Fahrenheit (4° Celsius). So, when your dog is indoors, he prefers the warmth of his blanket rather than your favorite couch!
Moreover, whenever a dog is anxious and stressed, he tries to retreat into a familiar environment. Giving your pup a bed and a soft blanket is like giving them a perfect kit for handling stress. Once he buries himself into the blanket, he will feel relieved and at ease.
Maybe Your Pup Is Teething!
If you have adopted a puppy who is not yet an adult dog, this might be a possibility. Puppies, like human babies, get agitated when the teething phase kicks in. So, they roam around the house, clenching their blankie into their teeth. They rub the fluffy smooth security blanket into their gums for a soothing effect as it helps them relax.
It Feels and Smells Familiar
Dogs are born with an extremely sharp sense of smell. Their small nose contains about 300 million olfactory receptors, making it many times sensitive and advanced enough to smell familiar scents. Moreover, dogs have a condition called neophilia. This makes the dog more excited when they sense new and interesting smells around them.
With such a powerful nose, your canine friend can easily detect the friendly smell coming from his blanket as the blanket can have different familiar smells. Besides your pup himself, the fabric may also contain the scent of his mother. So, whenever your young pup feels worried and senses danger, the blanket becomes his first safe place to rush to.
He Is Just Having Fun!
If your pooch parades in the house with his blanket wrapped around his body, he might be having fun in his own way. He may hide in his blanket, curl up in it, or bring it to the TV lounge to enjoy a movie night with you. After all, he has the right to stay warm, eat popcorn and enjoy the time of his life!
How to Encourage Blanket Behavior in Your Dog?
If your pup has begun to carry your gifted blanket around the house, do encourage this behavior because your pooch friend is simply following his instincts. He is just making his crate a safe place to crash at night and feel calm during stressful situations.
Besides, if you just adopted a newborn pup, you can ask the shop owner to season the blanket with the mother's smell. This will allow your pup to feel safe and comfortable in his new surroundings.
And if you wish to develop the blanket behavior in your adult dog, use one containing your smell. Place some treats on the dog blanket and when your dog sits down on the fabric, treat him with a bowl of dog cereal. This way, he will get familiar with the blankie and start using it whenever he craves your attention.
Like humans, feeling safe, comfortable, and at ease is what animals crave and blankets for puppies ensure this. Giving them a security blanket not only shows your affection and love towards your pooch but also allows your pet friend to feel warm and relaxed whenever he feels stressed out or anxious or needs comforting. So, if you want your dog to feel special, dog blankets are the best option.