When we as humans think of blankets and the benefits they serve, the uses are many. Keeping us warm when the temperature drops, providing that little extra bit of "security" when a thunderstorm rolls through, protecting our furniture from spills or other accidents, keeping our fury friends comfortable during travel, or just something that feels good to have wrapped around you; the list goes on. Those same reasons can apply just as well to your pets.

Yes, sometimes an old towel or a worn blanket is enough to keep them happy and safe, but there are other dog blankets out there that are designed specifically with your furry friend in mind, through every stage of their life. Some might be extra tough to stand up to more active snugglers, while others provide more padding or a thicker design for extra comfort if used in a crate or on the floor, like the PetFusion Premium Reversible Micro Plush Dog Blanket.

Some things to consider:

  • Stay away from blankets with large or loose threading – microfiber and fleece are usually harder for a dog to shred.
  • Make sure the dog seems comfortable with the blanket – you don't want anything too big or burdensome that they can't easily get up from.
  • While most materials used in blankets are safe for pets, do be mindful when it comes time for washing – they might be allergic to some laundry detergents.

Depending on which direction you go, one thing to keep an eye out for – especially if you've spent some money on it – is your dog chewing on their blanket. While not an overly common behavior, it's generally considered to be the result of premature weaning from their mothers. Other factors could be teething in younger dogs or even an indicator of stress, especially if you notice accompanying whining or other signs of restlessness. Remember, just like us, blankets can sometimes provide that extra feeling of comfort and ease!

While chewing is a normal behavior in dogs, if what they've set their mind (and teeth) onto is something you'd rather not see set to tathers, a few simple options exist:

  • Get your dog some chew toys to try and distract their attention from things that shouldn't be getting chewed on. There are some out there which are specifically made for teething dogs.
  • There are deterrents out there like bitter apple or bitter cherry which can help.
  • Exercise is another thing to try – if it seems like they're bored, resorting to chewing on something might be their release. 

Back to the subject of cleaning; one of the concerns that any pet owner has is dealing with hair that can accumulate on blankets or other items they might frequent.

While some breeds tend to shed more than others, there are a few helpful hints for keeping them as clean as possible:

  • Get a lint roller – it might be a little cumbersome depending on the size of the dog blanket, but these little devices are great for gathering up hair.
  • Tape is a good alternative to having a lint roller. Wrap a strip around your hand and move along the blanket; be careful using stronger types like duct tape which could damage items. If you want something versatile that can also be used on furniture, use a pet hair collector. These work great for blankets, clothing, and bedding and last much longer than single-use lint rollers.
  • Damp washcloths are also a good way to go especially on any type of cloth surface. Get one wet and move in a continuous direction to remove hair buildup.
  • Put an old toothbrush to use. It's very important this be a toothbrush you're NEVER GOING TO USE AGAIN! It's one thing to get hair out of a brush, but nobody wants to be picking it out of their teeth. They are great though for getting up those stubborn hairs that don't want to let go.

For overall cleaning and dealing with odors that eventually make their presence known, regularly vacuuming around areas where your dog likes to keep their blanket is a good habit to get into. Other ways to help combat this could be sprinkling baking soda on or around the dog blanket, spraying diluted vinegar, or using a citrus and hydrogen peroxide mix, which acts as both a good cleaner in addition to neutralizing odors.

So, whether your dog is big or small when looking for a dog blanket, don't forget, just like us, a blanket is oftentimes more than just "a blanket". Take some time to see what works and what they like; it'll go a long way toward having a happy pup and a cozy home.

Sources:

  1. https://www.petmd.com/dog/care/blanket-safety-pets
  2. https://www.hgtv.com/design-blog/clean-and-organize/10-quick-tips-for-dealing-with-pet-odors
  3. https://wagwalking.com/behavior/why-does-my-dog-chew-blankets

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