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Why Does My Dog Nibble On My Pillow?

why does dogs nibble on pillows

Dogs make the best companions, but some of their behaviors make us feel annoyed. The same is the case when dogs nibble on pillows. Well, if you also feel annoyed just because your dog nibbles on the pillow, this is the time you need to pay attention to what they want to say. If you are not able to get the reason behind this behavior, keep reading. Here we will discuss all the possible causes behind it so that you can understand it in detail and cater to their needs too. Let’s get started!

Reasons for a dog nibbling on pillows include

Before adopting any measure to stop them from chewing or nibbling the pillow, it is integral to know the possible causes behind it. These are:-


Teething is the primary and most common cause of nibbling. It is likely to happen at a young age, but sometimes it happens in later years too. Well, if your dog is young, then bring some toys that they can nibble without affecting the pillows or blankets available in the surroundings. The market is flooded with toys and bines, which are especially for those dogs that nibble on pillows.

Anxiety issues

Anxiety issues are very common with canines too. Sometimes we do not pay attention to things related to them, and it makes them anxious. If this is happening, it is high time for you to understand what they want. For example, if you have started staying away from them, then they might be going through separation anxiety. They will look for some stuff that has your scent and nibble it. The majority of the time, dogs will nibble on pillows and blankets to feel your presence.

Encouraging behavior

Encouraging behavior is a rewarding behavior. You might have misinterpreted it, but sometimes it happens. When you start giving other things to dogs to stop nibbling, they tend to get more involved in it. They start doing such things, which somewhere forces you to reward them.

They want your attention

If you are not giving them attention, or in simple words, not spending time with them, they will look for methods to help them seek your attention. They start nibbling pillows, blankets, covers, curtains, and so on. When you pay attention to them, they immediately stop it.


Boredom can let canines do anything they can. Nibbling is one such behavior. Sometimes they are not able to find anything helpful in coming out of boredom and choose nibbling as an activity. Well, if you notice your dog is unhappy or bored, try to engage in some enthusiastic activities so that they can drop it and engage with you.

Taste of the stuff

The taste of the stuff can also be a reason for nibbling. Not to be confused, dogs love to try different tastes. The chances are that the taste of the pillow appears to be pleasing to him, and he wants to have it again and again. The stuff they choose includes clothes, blankets, pillows, towels, and so on.

Diet issues

Diet issues are very common with dogs. Sometimes we are not sure of the best foods for dogs and feed them unnecessarily. Well, this is one of the major mistakes we make. Make sure the diet is filled with all the vital nutrients. If the diet has no complete nutrition, it lets the dog nibble. This condition is called “Pica”.

“Pica is the condition when there is a compulsive urge to have something. This could be anything, like any cloth, dirt, or so on. Also, the items consumed have no nutritional value.

Sign that they want to say something

Well, this is rare, but if your dog is doing it in front of guests and other people in the vicinity, then they probably want to say something, or they are in need of something. As a caretaker, you need to know what they are up to. Try to know what they need and fulfill it.

Things to consider for stopping the dog from nibbling on pillows

Some tips and tricks are there that will be helpful for you in stopping the dog from nibbling on the pillow. These are as follows:

Keep pillows safely in the wardrobe

If you are not at home and do not require pillows during this time, then keep pillows in the wardrobe. When dogs do not have any encounters with pillows, they will not nibble on them.

Spray citrus spray on the pillow

It may sound like we are telling you to be unfair to the dog, but this is the best way if you want your dog to stay away from the pillows. Get some citrus spray and spray it on the pillow. The pillow will taste bitter, and they will not nibble on it again.

Get some play pillows

Play pillows are also available on the market. It may be an extra expenditure, but it will save you from investing money in purchasing pillows again and again. Be sure, after purchasing the play pillows, to try to place them in the surroundings before you leave home because if dogs get to your personal pillow, they will nibble it.

Don’t keep your dog’s cage open when you are not at home

If it happens that the dog nibbles on the pillow in your absence, then don’t keep your dog out when you are not at home. You can keep them in a crate or in their kennel.

Daily exercise

Exercising daily will be helpful because when your dog is tired, it offers mental stimulation as well. They will not get bored and will not nibble on the pillow.

Keep track of when your dog nibbles on pillows

Dogs also have a schedule that they follow. You need to be sure of the timing when the nibble pillows. Within the same duration, you can adapt some other activities to engage with them.

Note: Don’t forget that compulsive nibbling can also take place due to hormonal imbalance, pain, allergies, and even parasites. If you are noticing some changes in your dog’s activity, make sure to approach the veterinary doctor immediately. If you do not approach the doctor, chances are the situation will get complicated and uncontrollable.

What to do about my dog’s nibbling pillows?

If you are feeling annoyed because of this behavior of your dog, it is high time to take some steps to prevent them from doing it. Some major things you can consider are:

Redirect its attention

Redirecting focus will be helpful in many ways. When they start to nibble on the pillow, try to engage them in some other activities. You can simply give them something to eat or step outside. In most cases, the canine friends are considered to have exercise sessions at the same time. When a dog nibbles on the pillow, it means they are in an active state, and this is the right time to engage in some other activities with them.

Do not encourage your dog

If your dog is nibbling on the pillow, don’t encourage it. If you encourage the same, they will start to do it irrationally. That has been troublesome lately. In most cases, it happens that they get used to the same condition and do not pay attention to other things at all. It doesn’t matter who is in the room. If they love to nibble on the pillow, they will do it no matter what.

Get some other things for him to nibble on

The market is flooded with different items like bones and other toys that are specially designed for dogs who nibble on pillows and blankets. You can purchase them and give them to your dogs. This will save you from spending unnecessary money on purchasing pillows and other damaged items.

Create a happy environment around them

If your dog is in a depressive state or in some stressful situations, this will lead to nibbling on blankets. In most cases, they start to chew the surface and damage the object completely. Try to create a happy environment around them so that they will feel stress-free and engage with you in all the activities you are doing.

Show them love and care

If you are ready to show your canine friends love and care, then they will not nibble on the pillow at all. You need to make them understand certain things so that they will not behave accordingly. Also, if they nibble on the pillow, don’t punish them; try to solve the problem with love and care.

Frequently Asked Questions about dog nibbling pillows

  1. What to do if my dog always nibbles pillows?

    After putting in all the effort, your dog does not stop nibbling pillows. It is high time to approach the veterinary doctor. Sometimes it happens for other reasons, including allergies, hormonal imbalances, pain, and so on. So yes, it is important to get the treatment done as soon as possible.

  2. How to get a dog to stop tearing up pillows?

    Some basic tricks you can adapt to stop your dog from tearing up pillows include:
    > Be sure to keep the pillows safe.
    > There are some chewable available that are distinguishable from household goods.
    > Train your dog to perform a specific behavior.
    > Physical and mental exercise is important.
    > Spend more time with your dog and notice what they do and how they behave.
    > Approach the veterinary doctor immediately if things are out of control because this can be due to some health issues.

  3. Is it better to spray citrus spray on pillows to keep a dog from nibbling on them?

    Choosing to spray citrus spray on pillows is a good option, but do not do it in excess. The taste is bitter, and sometimes it may cause some oral issues.

  4. Is it okay to punish dogs for nibbling on pillows?

    If your dog nibbles on the pillow for the first time, you can simply calm them and treat them with love. But if they are doing it frequently, then punishment can be an option. Be sure you are not being very hard during it.

  5. How to punish a dog for destroying things?

    Do not use any object to punish your dog physically. Instead, you can yell at them and train them in physical discipline.

  6. How can I tell if my dog has a medical problem?

    Different conditions are present that will help you to analyze that some health issue is present with your dog. This includes:
    > They are not eating properly.
    > They nibble on the pillows frequently.
    > They scratch them all the time.
    > They are not sleeping well.
    > They are not as active as they used to be.

  7. Does vinegar stop dogs from chewing?

    Yes, vinegar is effective in stopping dogs from chewing pillows. A fairly standard recipe for cleaning is to mix equal parts white vinegar and apple cider vinegar in a spray bottle. Shake it well before use. Keep your puppy from chewing up the blankets or pillows by spraying their chewy areas.

  8. At what age do dogs stop chewing?

    At around five months old, your pup will stop teething, and when they are fully grown, their teeth start to fall out. Generally, this process comes to an end when they're about six years old. This second phase of chewing usually starts around 7-8 months after their first teeth fall out and may last up to two years. Thus, for this duration, you need to be prepared that they will nibble or chew the pillows, blankets, or other objects.

The takeaway from all this

Nibbling on pillows is a common behavior of dogs, but it is important to pay attention to other factors. If your dog nibbles on the pillow frequently, chances are he may have some health issues. Try to encourage your dog to engage in some other activities instead of nibbling. This will be helpful for them in maintaining their overall health, and they will learn good manners as well. If they are not paying attention to what you are saying, then chances are they are not interested in listening and are enjoying nibbling.

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