Weighted Blankets for Dogs: Are They Safe?

Discover the benefits and safety tips of weighted blankets for dogs. Learn how to help your anxious pet with our expert guide.

Weighted blankets have become increasingly popular among humans for their calming effects, but can these benefits extend to our furry friends?

This comprehensive guide delves into the safety and effectiveness of weighted blankets for dogs, providing insights from experts and real-life experiences.

What Are Weighted Blankets?

Weighted blankets are therapeutic blankets filled with materials like plastic pellets or glass beads, designed to provide gentle, even pressure across the body.

This pressure mimics the sensation of a hug, promoting a sense of security and relaxation.

A dog comfortably lying under a weighted blanket, looking calm and relaxed.
Image by Ebowalker from Pixabay

The Science Behind Weighted Blankets

The principle behind weighted blankets is Deep Pressure Therapy (DPT). DPT increases serotonin and melatonin levels while decreasing cortisol levels, which helps alleviate anxiety and improve sleep quality.

Why Consider Weighted Blankets for Dogs?

Many dogs suffer from anxiety due to various factors such as thunderstorms, fireworks, separation, or changes in their environment. Weighted blankets might offer a non-invasive solution to help calm your anxious pet.

Signs Your Dog Might Benefit from a Weighted Blanket

  • Excessive barking or whining
  • Pacing or restlessness
  • Destructive behavior
  • Hiding or seeking constant reassurance

Are Weighted Blankets Safe for Dogs?

Safety is a primary concern when considering weighted blankets for dogs. Here are some factors to consider:

Weight Considerations

The weight of the blanket should be appropriate for the dog’s size. A general guideline is to use a blanket that is 5-10% of the dog’s body weight.

Material and Durability

The blanket should be made from pet-safe, durable materials. Dogs can chew through materials, so it’s crucial to choose a blanket that can withstand such behavior.

Supervision and Usage

It’s essential to supervise your dog when they are using a weighted blanket, especially for the first few times. Never leave a weighted blanket on an unsupervised dog.

How to Introduce a Weighted Blanket to Your Dog

Introducing a weighted blanket to your dog should be a gradual process:

  1. Start Slowly: Begin by placing the blanket near your dog without covering them.
  2. Positive Reinforcement: Encourage your dog to lie on the blanket and reward them with treats.
  3. Gradual Coverage: Gradually cover your dog with the blanket, starting with a light layer and increasing the weight as they get comfortable.

Alternatives to Weighted Blankets

If you’re unsure about using a weighted blanket, consider these alternatives:


Thundershirts are snug-fitting garments designed to provide gentle pressure, similar to a weighted blanket.

Calming Beds

Calming beds are donut-shaped beds with raised edges that provide a sense of security and comfort.

Anxiety Wraps

Anxiety wraps are another option that works on the same principle of gentle pressure to soothe anxious dogs.

Case Studies and Testimonials

Real-Life Experiences

Many dog owners have reported positive results after using weighted blankets for their pets.

For instance, Bella, a 7-year-old Labrador, showed significant improvement in her anxiety levels during thunderstorms after being introduced to a weighted blanket.

Expert Opinions

Veterinarians and pet behaviorists generally agree that while more research is needed, weighted blankets can be a useful tool for managing anxiety in dogs, provided they are used correctly and safely.

Potential Risks and Concerns

While weighted blankets can be beneficial, they are not without risks. Potential concerns include:

  • Overheating: Ensure the blanket does not cause your dog to overheat, especially in warmer climates.
  • Ingestion Hazards: Dogs that chew may ingest the filling materials, which can be harmful.

When to Avoid Weighted Blankets

Weighted blankets are not suitable for all dogs. Avoid using them if your dog:

  • Has respiratory issues
  • Suffers from mobility problems
  • Is prone to chewing and ingesting non-food items


Weighted blankets can be a safe and effective tool for managing anxiety in dogs when used correctly. Always consult with your veterinarian before introducing any new anxiety-relief products to ensure they are suitable for your pet.


1. Can all dogs use weighted blankets?

Not all dogs are suitable candidates for weighted blankets. Dogs with respiratory issues, mobility problems, or those prone to chewing should avoid them.

2. How heavy should the blanket be?

The blanket should weigh between 5-10% of your dog’s body weight. Consult your vet for specific recommendations.

3. Can I leave my dog alone with a weighted blanket?

No, it’s essential to supervise your dog while they use a weighted blanket to ensure their safety.

4. What materials should I look for in a weighted blanket for my dog?

Choose blankets made from pet-safe, durable materials that can withstand chewing and are easy to clean.

5. Are there any side effects of using a weighted blanket for dogs?

Potential side effects include overheating and the risk of ingestion if the blanket is chewed. Always monitor your dog while they use the blanket.

Leave a Comment