We already know that insects such as moths, beetles, and crickets eat fabric.
The weather cools, you put on a jersey, and you discover a hole in it.
Some insect has been feeding on your fabric items.
You’ll have to use some insecticide now if you want to salvage your other items.
But now there’s another culprit in the house. You’ve discovered that your pet dog has a penchant for eating fabric.
Why is he suddenly eating fabric? You’ll need to get to the bottom of it as the last item he ate was an expensive silk scarf.
He’s Got A Compulsive Disorder
If you notice that your canine pet has developed a liking for eating fabric, he may have what is known as ‘pica’ behavior.
Pica in dogs may have either a behavioral or a medical underlying cause.
Behavioral pica, also known as stress eating, is a condition.
It’s a compulsive disorder that involves eating things that aren’t food.
Dogs that consume inedible things are often experiencing pica, which is a medical ailment.
He’ll be chowing on wood, stones, wires, blankets, and fabric. But why?
You’re feeding him properly, so why would your dog suddenly eat fabric?
A dog may become destructive and ingest things like bedding, clothing, or trash due to stress, boredom, and anxiety (particularly separation anxiety).
He Wants Your Attention
Your dog may resort to eating pieces of your clothing or even your duvet cover to get your attention.
You may have petted him and showered him with attention when he was a puppy.
The fluffy ball of cuteness has grown into an adult, and you ignore him most of the time.
Your 4-legged canine friend is feeling lonely and rejected.
This mundane existence of his, devoid of attention, could well be the reason he is suddenly eating fabric.
It Could Be A Health Issue
Be patient with your fabric-eating pet.
Has this annoying habit of his could be a medical condition.
It could even be an anxiety disorder.
Instead, take your pet to the veterinarian and have him checked over.
You can’t have him eating fabric as it could result in an obstruction within the digestive tract.
You want to rule out medical conditions first before looking at other reasons for him developing his eating disorder.
Although it can be frustrating to not have an answer that enables a specific course of treatment, if it is a medical condition, treatment could be expensive.
Your vet may even refer you to a pet behavioral expert.
You’ll need the advice as your dog’s fabric-eating behavior can leave you with nothing to wear.
He’s Just A Puppy
A dog’s inappropriate chewing behavior can be significantly influenced by age.
For puppies, chewing on everything is a sign that he is teething.
If your dog is younger than six months old, chances are he’s teething.
Just like babies put everything into their mouths, puppies use their mouths for exploring.
For young dogs, eating fabric is an attempt to relieve the pain caused by new teeth.
Puppies will chew on just about anything, including fabric items of value.
You have to accept that this is normal puppy behavior.
Chewing alleviates the pain and discomfort a puppy feels associated with the teething process.
Usually, he will have his permanent teeth by six months of age, and the fabric chewing will stop.
As a dog grows older, he may outgrow his destructive chewing behavior.
Weaned Too Early
Why is your dog suddenly eating fabric?
If your dog is already an adult and is eating fabric, it may well be that he has some other compulsive behavior.
Fabric sucking and eating may be a result of being weaned too early.
The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals believes that your adult dog may have been deprived.
He wasn’t allowed to suckle for the first eight weeks of his life.
Now he wants to lick, suck and chew fabrics compulsively.
They were removed from their mom too early.
You can give your dog fabric dog-safe toys to amuse himself with.
Dog puzzle toys with a tasty treat inside will keep your pet engaged for a good while.
It will draw his attention away from eating tasteless fabric.
Boredom And Loneliness
Both boredom and loneliness can leave your 4-legged family member searching for something to do.
The self-amusement of a bored dog is inevitable.
And probably in ways that don’t suit you.
Bored dogs will chew on shoes and furniture, tear apart pillows, and even unroll your toilet paper if left to their own.
They’ll do anything to pass the time. It’s even more exciting because you can’t stop them because you’re not there.
Mainly when you leave the house, he eats blankets, pillows, jackets, and anything that is fabric. He is bored and frustrated.
Dogs descend from wolves, and they are social, pack animals doing everything together.
True, dogs have been domesticated, but they are still social animals.
Dogs require mental and physical stimulation.
Being left alone for long hours causes them to become destructive.
Your fabric-type lounge chairs, cushions, and clothes will keep your pet happily engaged for hours.
Even the best-behaved dog can eat fabric when left to its device.
One possible reason your dog suddenly eats fabric is that he may have some or other mineral deficiency.
It’s not to say that the fabric he chooses to eat has the missing mineral.
Perhaps something tasty spilled and wiped up on the piece of fabric.
Nutritional deficiencies don’t only come from the food your dog is eating.
They come from not getting enough food as well as from digestive diseases.
Poor digestion may well prevent the absorption of nutrients.
By eating the fabric, the dog possibly received some nutrients.
Maybe the dog food you’re giving your pet doesn’t contain the full range of minerals and vitamins required by your pet.
Swallowing the occasional bit of fabric is unlikely to harm your dog.
However, if you think that your dog’s health is in jeopardy, evaluate his diet.
If your dog has developed a liking for fabric, he needs a check-up from the vet.
Some Dog Breeds Liken a Soft Sock To A Bird
It’s natural for a dog to want to chew things up. It’s why we buy our pets chew toys.
But sometimes, this doesn’t seem to satisfy, and he starts to chew your clothes and household items.
There are several reasons why your dog has an interest in chewing and eating fabric.
Certain dog breeds such as Retrievers love to carry delicate items such as socks.
It takes them back to their hunting days of carrying birds back to their owners. Hunting is inherent in them.
The dog breeds keep on retrieving soft fabric items to impress you. Chasing and killing a bird is in their genes.
They will retrieve and eat a sock as this is the nature of some sporting dog breeds.
If you feed your dog properly, it may be difficult to understand why he has an interest in eating fabric.
Why is your dog suddenly eating fabric?
It would be best if you found out that eating fabric can result in a digestive blockage.
The item may have to be surgically removed.
If your dog is suddenly eating fabric, try and think back to when the behavior started.
If you have a young dog, it may just be a way to have fun and explore his world.
The trouble comes when he ingests the items he chews.
It may be loneliness, boredom, or just sheer entertainment.
It will become essential for you to find ways to end the behavior.
One way to start is to keep certain fabric items out of his reach.
Zoey is a long-time pet owner and animal rights advocate, a vital part of Purrfect n’ Pawesome. She shares her unique experiences and learnings with her readers to enhance their understanding of pet behavior and nutrition. Along with being an active pet writer, she volunteers at multiple animal shelters, rescue centres with some bespokenly awesome pets.
Zoey has a lot to share when raising the pets and spending life being their true friends. She has a quite pampered Persian cat and a Ragdoll, whom she loves the most. Readout her blogs to know more about being a responsible parent to your beloved pets.
“I love to be around cats and dogs; that’s my passion and my trick to get away from all the negativity and soaking in unconditional love and affection. Being attached to this platform gives me the reason to be vocal about pet love, care, and nurturing. Although I am not an expert or veterinarian by any means, I have a lot of experience and learnings to share with my fellow readers.”