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8 Reasons Your Dog Licks Your Bed: Is Bed Licking Normal?

Last Updated: December 10, 2023

If you are a dog owner, you may have noticed your furry friend licking your bed. While it may seem harmless, it can leave you wondering why your dog is doing it in the first place. For several reasons, dogs lick their owner’s bed and understanding these motivations can help you better interpret your dog’s behavior.

One of the primary reasons why dogs lick their owner’s beds is due to their instincts. Dogs have a keen sense of smell and can detect scents that humans cannot. Your bed likely carries your scent, which can comfort your dog. Additionally, dogs will lick your bed to mark their territory or show affection.

However, there may be other reasons why your dog is exhibiting this bed-licking behavior, and it’s important to explore them to ensure that your dog is happy and healthy.

Why Does My Dog Lick My Bed? A dog on owners bed licking.

Why Does My Dog Lick My Bed?

1. Comfort

As a dog owner, I’ve often caught my furry friend licking my bed. At first, I was a little confused about why she was doing it, but I eventually learned it was a way for her to feel closer to me. 

It turns out that dogs are highly attuned to their owner’s scent, and licking the bed can make them feel like they’re snuggled up with their human companion.

My dog tends to lick my bed more when I’ve been away for a while. I think that it’s her way of trying to feel closer to me when I’m not around. 

While it might seem a little strange, I’ve come to see it as a sign of affection and a way for us to bond. 

And honestly, there’s something pretty heartwarming about knowing that my dog feels comforted by my scent.

2. Territorial Marking

I’ve noticed that my dog’s behaviors seem to be all about claiming her territory. 

One of these behaviors is licking my bed. While it might seem strange to mark her spot in the household, it’s a pretty common behavior for dogs.

I think my dog likes to lick my bed because it’s one of the places where she feels the most comfortable and safe. 

By licking it, she’s claiming it as her own and letting other dogs know this is her territory. 

While it might seem a little territorial, I’ve accepted it as just another quirk of my dog’s personality. It’s kind of cute to see her so proud of her spot in the household! She is a German Shepherd, after all, and the breed is renowned for being territorial.

Brown Dog Licking

3. Anxiety

Some dogs can get pretty anxious when you’re not around. One of the ways that this anxiety manifests itself is by licking your bed. 

At first, you may not make the connection between your dog’s anxiety and his licking behavior. However, it is a common symptom of separation anxiety in dogs.

Your dog may lick your bed when he’s feeling anxious because it’s one of the few things he can do to soothe himself when you’re not around. 

It’s almost like a security blanket for your doggo – he knows your scent is there, making him feel a little less alone. 

While you’ll hate to see your dog feeling anxious, you’ll be glad he has something he can turn to for comfort. 

Of course, you’ll want to work on ways to help your dog manage his anxiety so he doesn’t need to lick your bed quite as much!

4. Grooming

I’ve noticed that my dog can be pretty particular about her grooming routine. She spends a lot of time cleaning herself, but sometimes I’ve also seen her licking my bed. 

At first, I thought it was just a weird quirk, but it’s a pretty common grooming behavior in dogs.

My dog licks my bed as part of her grooming routine because she sees it as an extension of herself. When she can’t groom herself properly, she turns to my bed to keep herself clean. 

While it might seem strange, I’ve seen it as a sign that she’s taking good care of herself. Plus, it’s kind of sweet to think that she sees my bed as part of her domain!

5. Smells

I’ve come to accept that my best friend will always be interested in what I’m doing, including what I’m doing when I’m sleeping. 

One of the reasons why dogs lick their owner’s bed is because they love the smell. Humans sweat at night, leaving a salty, slightly sour scent on the sheets. 

While it might not be the most pleasant smell, dogs love it.

I think my dog likes to lick my bed because it’s one way for her to taste my scent. 

It might seem a little gross, but it’s like getting a big whiff of her favorite perfume for her. 

And honestly, it’s nice to know that my dog loves my scent, even if it means she’s licking my bed in the middle of the night!

Tired Dog on Owners Bed

6. Food Leftovers

One of the reasons why dogs lick their owner’s bed is because they’re searching for food leftovers. 

Even the tiniest crumbs can be enough to get their attention, and once they’ve caught a whiff of something tasty, they won’t stop until they’ve checked every inch of the bed.

I think my dog likes to lick my bed because she hopes to find something to munch on! It’s like a treasure hunt for her, and she’s convinced that there’s always something delicious in my sheets. 

While I try to keep my bed as clean as possible, I know there are bound to be crumbs and bits of food falling between the sheets! 

And honestly, it’s kind of cute to see my dog’s determination as she sniffs out every last crumb.

7. Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD)

Dogs can have various unusual behaviors, and sometimes they may be signs of underlying conditions. 

One such condition is obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), which can cause dogs to exhibit repetitive behaviors like excessive licking, chewing, and scratching, including on their owner’s bed. 

Like humans, dogs can develop OCD, impacting their quality of life.

Dog owners need to be aware of the signs of OCD in their furry friends. 

If you notice repetitive behaviors like excessive licking or other strange behaviors, it’s crucial to consult with a veterinarian or animal behaviorist. 

They can help diagnose the underlying condition and develop a management plan to alleviate the symptoms. Working together can help your dog live a happy and healthy life.

8. Medical Conditions

As a dog owner, I know how worrying it can be when our furry friends exhibit unusual behaviors. 

One possible reason why dogs may lick their owner’s bed is due to underlying medical conditions. Various medical conditions can cause dogs to feel nauseated and lead them to lick on things. 

It’s essential to consult with a veterinarian if you notice any unusual behavior in your dog to rule out any medical issues.

On a related note, as dog owners, we all want to ensure that our furry friends are comfortable and pain-free. That’s why I’m more than happy to recommend the Big Barker Bed

A clinical study by the University of Pennsylvania showed that the Big Barker bed can reduce joint pain and stiffness, improve joint function and gait, and improve nighttime restfulness in large dogs with arthritis. It can also help prevent joint issues in dogs; hence it’s the bed that I chose for my German Shepherd.

This means that dogs with arthritis can enjoy a better quality of life and sleep more soundly, thanks to the therapeutic benefits of the Big Barker bed.

Dog on Owners Bed


Is Bed Licking Normal?

Bed licking is a relatively common behavior in dogs and is often seen as normal. Dogs have a keen sense of smell, and their owner’s scent can provide comfort and a sense of security. 

However, excessive licking may indicate underlying medical conditions or anxiety, and it’s important to consult with a veterinarian if you notice any changes in your dog’s behavior. If your dog’s bed licking is not causing harm, it’s generally safe to let them continue this behavior.

Is It Bad For My Dog’s Health To Lick My Bed?

Licking your bed is unlikely to cause any significant harm to your dog’s health. However, there is a slight risk that your dog could ingest harmful bacteria or toxins if there are any on the bed. 

Additionally, excessive bed licking can lead to skin irritation or digestive problems, so it’s important to monitor your dog’s behavior and seek veterinary help if you notice any signs of illness or discomfort. 

While bed licking is generally safe, ensuring your dog’s environment is clean and free of any potential hazards is essential.

Can I Train My Dog To Stop Licking My Bed?

Yes, you can train your dog to stop licking your bed. The first step is identifying why your dog is licking the bed and addressing the underlying cause. Once you have identified the root cause, you can work on training your dog to stop the behavior. 

This may involve positive reinforcement techniques, such as rewarding your dog when they refrain from licking the bed. This will discourage the behavior as they will soon associate that good things happen when they stop the bed-licking. 

It’s important to be patient and consistent when training your dog and to seek professional help if the behavior persists. With the right approach and training, you can help your dog stop licking your bed and develop healthier habits.

Sharon Waddington
Sharon Waddington is the founder of World of Dogz. With over 30 years of experience working with dogs, this former Police Officer has seen it all. But it’s her trusty German Shepherd, Willow, who steals the show as the inspiration behind this website. As Sharon’s constant companion Willow has played a pivotal role in shaping her passion for dogs. Recently, Sharon has become deeply passionate about the plight of rescue dogs and is an active advocate for dog rescue, striving to make a difference in the lives of dogs in need.

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