Why Does My Dog Sleep Under My Bed?

Dogs love to explore, and it’s common to see them crawling under blankets, investigating new furniture, and finding new spaces to play and relax. Many pets enjoy small spaces, especially puppies or small dogs looking to cuddle between two pillows, in a closet, or under the bed.

Dogs may get comfortable in places other than a dog bed if it feels safe and secure. If you notice your puppy hides often or prefers to sleep under the bed regularly, there are various reasons for this behavior and what it means.

Key Take-Aways:

  • Why does my dog sleep under my bed?
    • Because your dog likes you. Your dog feels secure & safe under your bed, so your dog goes to sleep there.
  • Should I let my dog sleep under my bed?
    • There’s nothing wrong with your dog sleeping under your bed. You may add a dog bed or blankets and clean up a little so it’s more comfortable.

Security and Safety

New dog owners may find that a puppy takes time to adjust to their home, and sleeping under the bed can give them a sense of security. While they may behave this way initially, as a way to feel protected, they also sleep under their human’s bed to stay close, as they become more attached.

Sleeping under a bed can give your dog a sense of safety from perceived threats or dangers, including strange or unfamiliar sounds inside the house or outside the street. If you have other pets, your dog may want to find a secluded space that allows them to sleep in comfort and peace.

An older dog may find sleeping under the bed gives them a sense of knowing what to expect, so they can get familiar with their owner’s routine and won’t feel lonely when they want to relax. The area under a bed may provide the perfect space for your pet’s favorite sleeping position, which gives them comfort and a sense of security.

close up of sad white dog lying on bed

Signs of Stress or Anxiety

Sometimes, dogs will sleep under a bed to cope with anxiety or a stressful situation. An anxious dog may hide under the bed for various reasons, such as loud, unexpected noises like fireworks, children playing loudly, or a thunderstorm.

If you move into a new home or adopt a new puppy, they may be frightened of the unfamiliar surroundings. While this may seem concerning with dogs, especially if they appear scared and shaking, providing comfort with gentle encouragement can help them adapt and get acquainted with their new home.

Coping With Pain and Discomfort

When your furry friend experiences pain from an injury or illness, their survival instinct prompts them to hide as they recover. This is expected behavior for dogs in the wild, and other animals, including cats. Your pet will respond to injury or sickness by hiding in a small space that provides warmth, shelter from danger, and comfort. An attacked animal that manages to escape will hide from predators and other threats to its health and survival in the wild.

Suppose you notice your dog becomes avoidant and appears in pain as they hide under your bed. In that case, it’s essential to visit a veterinarian to determine the cause of the discomfort, ranging from an injury from playing outdoors or a chronic illness.

You’ll notice other symptoms when your dog is ill, including losing appetite, vomiting, lethargy, and weight loss. If your vet provides medication to treat a condition, this may also change your dog’s sleeping pattern, impacting how and where they rest.

Hiding and Playing With Toys

It’s common for dogs to chase after a toy that rolls under the bed or stash a blanket, sock, or favorite items. Dogs enjoy stashing their toys in a space that they consider safe, so they can easily find them later for play. In some cases, dogs may hide a snack under the bed to chew on it before bed. They also enjoy sleeping with their favorite blanket or stuffed animal. This behavior is harmless, though it’s a good idea to check under the bed to ensure there aren’t too many items accumulating. Many dog breeds hide, sleep, and play under the bed, including Labrador Retrievers, Golden Retrievers, Chihuahuas, and Poodles.

close up of tired dog resting on pet bed in home

Suggestions on How to Help Your Dog

The best way to address your dog’s habit of sleeping under your bed is to leave them be so that they can enjoy their den. It’s your pet’s way of finding a private, enjoyable spot where they can feel safe and happy, improving their sleeping patterns and health. Whether or not you should allow your dog to sleep under the bed depends on a variety of factors, including:

  • The conditions under the bed, and if it’s a good spot for your dog to sleep comfortably.
  • The size of your dog, like small dogs, typically have an easier time fitting into tiny spaces that may not cause them discomfort, and they are less likely to get stuck.
  • Check the condition of your pet’s dog bed and whether it needs to be placed in a different location or your dog needs blankets to feel relaxed.
  • Take note of any changes to your dog’s health or behavior, which can be a sign of illness or a symptom of how your pet is reacting to a significant change in the home environment.

Once you can rule out medical issues or other conditions that may cause your dog discomfort, it’s generally safe and harmless for your pet to crawl under the bed for a nap. Dogs are pack animals and are playful and social by nature, though they need time to recharge and relax, making the quiet space under your bed an excellent choice for them.

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Summary

Dogs have many reasons for sleeping under the bed, and they tend to enjoy the safety and security of the enclosed space for comfort. Whether you have a frightened puppy who is learning to adjust to a new home, or an older dog in need of a cozy, hidden space, it’s often a comfortable place for pets to sleep.

If you want to discourage your dog’s new sleeping habits of sneaking under your bed, you can create a new space in another spot, such as under a staircase or a quiet room where your pet can rest without interruption.

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