A good night's rest is important for our health, and the same applies to our dogs. They need time to recharge after barking at the neighbors, after all. But do they need a dog blanket to get a good night's rest? Or are dog blankets just a way of spoiling our besties even more?
One obvious question is if a blanket has to be specifically designed for dogs, or if any old blanket will do. While you can use any blanket in the house, you need to be cautious with the materials the blanket is made out of.
Some dogs are notorious for destroying their beds and toys. When they're on their path of destruction, it's all too possible for them to swallow part of the item they're clearly saving you from, so it's important to find something that isn't too easily destroyed.
This can range from microfiber to fleece. They do the job of providing your pup with warmth while making it harder to destroy.
Crocheted afghans or other knitted materials, on the other hand, are not a good choice. This can get into your dog's digestive system, which may mean a trip to the vet.
Buying a blanket designed specifically for dogs can take the guesswork out of if it's appropriate for your dog or not. Plus, dog blankets are typically more comfortable and soft than human blankets. After all, don’t we all treat our dogs better than we treat ourselves?
According to PetMD, "On average, most dogs spend about 50% of their day sleeping—about 12 hours in a 24-hour period. Puppies, large-breed dogs, and older dogs may sleep more, while small-breed dogs and working dogs may sleep less.
"In addition to the 50% of their day spent sleeping, dogs will then spend another 30% of their awake hours doing what I call "loafing." Just like with humans, loafing is when a dog is awake but really not doing much of anything—just hanging out."
With that being said, a dog blanket can help your dog get more relaxed, just as it does us. Most dogs love sleeping on a blanket. It probably feels good, plus it's nice to have a scent that is familiar to them, such as their own or even yours.
As for sleeping under the blankets, some pups adore it, while others aren't that comfortable doing so. If your dog clearly doesn't like being under the covers, don't force it. Just let them chill out on top, and give them extra snuggles if they're cool with it.
It's important to note that dogs with thicker fur coats may not welcome a blanket at all. They're already warm enough without having the added pressure of being wrapped up in a piece of cloth.
Dogs with thinner coats, on the other hand, could definitely benefit from a blanket, especially if you live in a cooler environment.
Your dog will most likely let you know if they enjoy blankets or not. Just wrap up in one yourself, and see how quickly they try to steal it from you.
Unlike us, dogs just can't say "I'm cold, I want a blanket." We have to learn to watch our pups, and learn from their body language if they are cold or not.
According to the Ontario SPCA, some signs you can look for which will let you know your dog is feeling a little chilly are:
Other changes you may be on the lookout for include trying to snuggle with you, especially if they aren't that affectionate. They may be trying to get warm by using your body heat, which is totally OK. Giving them their favorite blanket is a great way to help out as well, especially if you have to head out of the house.
If you want to know for sure if they're too cold, especially if they're showing signs of getting ill, a pet thermometer can take the guesswork out of it. A dog's temperature (on average) is 99.5-102.5 degrees. That's much higher than our own, so keep that in mind if you do take your pup's temperature.
Helping your dog into their own bed as well as covering them up with their own personal blanket may help them feel better. If not, a trip to the vet may be in order.
Many dogs are totally independent and are probably inwardly cringing that you're tucking them in. They can do it themselves, after all.
Then there are pups who absolutely adore the extra attention, and may refuse to go to sleep until you get with the program and tuck them in. Just make sure to get their favorite toy first, and read them a bedtime story. Preferably, the one about the time dogs saved the planet from being taken over by evil mutant squirrels.
Yet other dogs may not care either way. They obviously want to get into bed with you, but if that's not an option, a good second choice will be tucking them in.
Yes, dogs can get too hot under blankets. PetMD reports that this isn't a big deal, however. Just like us, your dog knows when it's getting too hot, and will move to another spot without the blanket.
This could go back to their ancestry. Some dogs were born hunters, who would chase animals into burrows. Still others had to seek out shelter on their own, and being under a blanket gives them that same sense of security.
Another reason why dogs like to sleep under blankets, especially with other dogs or their favorite person, is their pack mentality. It gives them a sense of being safe.
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