Why Does My Dog Sleep Under The Covers? (10 Reasons)


Why does my dog sleep under the covers?

Like most animals, dogs have a deep sense of resources. Dogs trust their human owners to supply them with resources like food, water, shelter, toys, etc.

Due to their strong sense of shelter, you may realize that your dog likes to snuggle under your covers.

That’s precisely because your bed represents a perfect shelter or den, where your canine friend can retreat to, either to enjoy a comfortable sleep or escape a threat.

Also, if your dog regularly sleeps under your covers, it might have left its scent on the bed. Each time the dog is near the bed, its scent acts as a magnet, pulling it to the bed even more. But what does it mean when your dog likes to sleep under the covers?

Well, there could be numerous explanations to this phenomenon, ranging from instinctive behavior to fear, anxiety, affection, and a strong desire to protect you.

In this post, we shall attempt to uncover some of the top reasons why your dog sleeps under the covers, as well as what you can do to redirect the behavior.

Why Do Dogs Like To Sleep Under Blankets?

If your cute, adorable canine friend has a tendency of sleeping under your beddings, it’s not unusual to keep asking yourself, why does my dog like to sleep under the covers?

The following are some of the possible explanations why your pooch might be fond of sleeping under your blankets or covers.

1. Transferable Trait

The first dogs that humans domesticated were known for their strong desire to sleep under covers. That’s because most of these dogs were reared in well-sheltered homes. Now, it’s believed that modern dogs might have inherited this trait from their first-generation ancestors.

Can my Dog breath under the blankets or covers?

Apart from being brought up in comfortable shelters, dog breeds like Dachshunds and Terriers have a natural instinct of chasing prey that burrow in the ground. And in the process, they also tend to burrow.

Snuggling under your blankets mimics the action of burrowing, which is part of these dogs’ predatory instincts.

Lastly, certain breeds like Alaskan Malamutes and Huskies may prefer to sleep under the covers because their ancestors burrowed under the snow to hide from predators.

2. Affectionate Behavior

Dogs are highly affectionate, and sleeping under the covers could be one of the ways your canine friend demonstrates its affection towards you.

If you treat your dog well by supplying all its physical, mental, and emotional needs, the dog will develop a strong urge to always be by your side.

3. Guarding Instincts

Your dog might also choose to get under the covers in a bid to protect you from danger.

Your bedroom is probably the safest room in the house. But your dog might not necessarily see it that way. In the eyes of dogs, danger is always lurking by. This is especially true for breeds that were developed as guard dogs.

You’ll know that your canine friend is guarding you if it chooses to sleep under the blankets with its eyes uncovered.

It’s also important to note that protection is two-way. Sometimes, the dog may be looking for protection from you, especially if it’s threatened, insecure, or find its environment uncomfortable.

sleeping man's feet with jack russel dog

4. Attention-seeking Behavior

Another possible explanation to the question, why does my dog always want to sleep under the covers is that the dog is trying to seek your attention.

Your pooch might be trying to draw your attention to the fact that it doesn’t like its sleeping environment, and that you should do something about it.

You should try to establish what could be the problem with your dog’s sleeping area. The convention is to ensure that your dog’s sleeping environment is both comfortable and accessible.

Besides problems with its sleeping area, the dog could also be trying to draw your attention to a threat nearby or inside the house that you may be oblivious to.

5. Looking for Warmth

Your dog might want to sleep under your covers because it’s looking for warmth. This phenomenon is especially common during winter or cold nights.

Though dogs have high body temperatures compared to that of humans, certain conditions may get overly chilly for them.

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6. The Pack Mentality

Dogs are pack animals. They also consider their human owners as members of their pack. And members of the same pack stick up for one another.

By curling up under your blankets and squishing against you, your dog simply wants to hang around a member of its pack.

women sleeping with her dog

7. Fear

Fear is another reason your canine friend might prefer to sleep under the covers.

Fear factors range from strange and unsettling sounds to invasive lights, or suspicious movements in the house or around the compound.

8. You’ve Inadvertently Encouraged the Behavior

Doggy habits don’t just form overnight. They take time. So, you may have been inadvertently encouraging your pooch to sleep under the blankets.

If you never draw your dog away from your bed whenever it comes to sleep, the dog will grow knowing that the bed is its typical sleeping area.

Another way you could be inadvertently encouraging the behavior is by drawing the dog away from your bed using a treat. The idea of receiving a treat will keep attracting the dog to your bed each night.

Hitting or yelling at your dog whenever you find it sleeping on your bed might also encourage the behavior. Remember, dogs interpret yelling as an indication to continue with the line of action

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9. Medical Condition

In some cases, your dog might be suffering from an underlying medical condition. The most common one is separation anxiety.

Separation anxiety occurs when you’re always gone but do not make provisions for your dog’s physical or mental stimulation. So, whenever you’re around, your dog prefers to snuggle by your side to show that it doesn’t want you to leave.

Symptoms of separation anxiety include;

✔ Gastrointestinal issues like a loss of appetite, vomiting, or diarrhea,
✔ Bowel and bladder incontinence,
✔ Aberrant behavior, such as excessive barking, howling, growling, or chewing,
✔ Pacing,
✔ Change of schedule,
✔ A tendency to escape.

10. Is It A Puppy?

Lastly, if you recently adopted a puppy, you may notice that it prefers to sleep under the covers. That’s because the covers offer the warmth that the pup was obtaining from its mom, prior to adoption.

why does my dog only sleep under the covers?

Does Every Dog Do This?

It’s generally observed that smaller dog breeds, as well as puppies, sleep under the covers more readily compared to larger breeds or mature dogs.

Breeds that are notorious for this behavior include Hounds, Dachshunds, Chihuahuas, and Terriers.

However, sleeping under the blanket isn’t just a small or young dog thing. For instance, the phenomenon can also be observed among other large breeds like Huskies.

ALSO READ: Why Does My Dog Lick My Pillow And Bedding? (6 Reasons)

Is It Ok For My Dog To Sleep Under The Covers?

We’ve examined some of the possible reasons why your dog might be sleeping under the covers. But should you be concerned if your dog sleeps under the blankets? But first, is it ok if dogs sleep under the covers?

The answer to this question can be a yes or no, depending on both you and the dog.

First up, do you also sleep with a young kid? If you do, then there’s a problem. Kids tend to toss and turn frequently in their sleep, and that may be unsettling for the dog. Depending on how irritated the dog is, it could snap the kid.

Also, if the dog is too big, it could roll over the child and even suffocate it.

french bulldog puppy sleeping under blanket
On the flip side, sleeping under the blankets with a very small dog isn’t a great idea either. You might turn in your sleep and squash your cute, furry friend. So, is it safe for my dog to sleep under the covers?

Well, it isn’t so safe for a small dog to sleep under the blankets.

Another thing to consider is if the dog sheds. Dog breeds like Labrador retriever, German shepherd, golden retriever, and Siberian husky are notorious shedders.

Sleeping with a dog that sheds a lot means having to wash your beddings more frequently than you should. Which doesn’t reflect very well on your time and monthly bills.

There’s also the question of suffocation, and you could be wondering, can my dog breathe under the blankets or covers? And what of puppies, can my puppy breathe under the covers?

Your dog will unlikely suffocate under the covers. That’s because unlike us, dogs don’t sleep still. Instead, they always move to a spot where they can breathe well. The same goes for puppies too.

And now that dogs won’t suffocate under the covers, can my dog sleep under my weighted blanket?

Generally, weighted blankets can weigh anywhere between 2 and 20 pounds. As to whether your dog can sleep under weighted blankets or not, that depends with the dog.

If your pooch likes to be swaddled, it will feel warm and comfortable sleeping under your weighted blanket.

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How Can I Stop My Dog From Sleeping Under The Covers?

Having already examined the possible reasons why your dog sleeps under the covers as well as the risks involved, you might be wondering, can you stop a dog from getting under covers?

Yes, it’s absolutely possible to stop a dog from getting under the covers. And there are plenty of ways to go about it.

However, the most important thing is to establish the reasons why your dog sleeps under the blankets. That way, you can apply the best solution.

One of the most effective ways to get your dog to stop sleeping under the covers is to train the dog to sleep elsewhere.

To do that;

1. Make your dog’s sleeping location comfortable and accessible.

2. Wait for the dog to come to your bed, then draw it from the bed and direct it to its sleeping area.

3. Encourage the dog to lay down in its bed using a treat.

4. Repeat the process the second day, this time without a treat.

small breed dog sleeping in bed

Other tips to stop your dog from sleeping under the blankets include;

✔ Avoid encouraging the behavior.

✔ Work on your dog’s separation anxiety. You can do that by getting your dog a professional dog trainer to keep it stimulated when you’re away.

✔ If it comes down to it, enlist professional help.

✔ Note that even if you’re okay having your dog sleep under the covers, there are still precautions to take.

Some of those include;

✔ Ensure the blankets are comfortable.

✔ The dog shouldn’t be too young.

✔ Ensure the dog doesn’t oversleep under the sheets.

ALSO READ: Top 8 Best White Noise Machine for Dogs (Barking + Anxiety)

The following are other questions related to dogs sleeping under the blankets;

Why does my dog only sleep under the covers?

Again, this has a lot to do with the fact that the dog feels comfortable, safe, and secure under the covers.

Why does my dog sleep under the covers and between my legs?

If your dog sleeps under the covers and between your legs, it could be indicative that your pooch considers you as part of its pack.

two small dogs sleeping on bed

Conclusion

There are numerous reasons why your dog might want to snuggle under the blankets.

If you’re uncomfortable with this habit, you can redirect the behavior by establishing the underlying cause and then adopting the right remedy.

Even if you’re okay having your dog sleep under the covers, you should still observe certain precautions to ensure both you and the dog have a comfortable sleep.

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Maria

Passionate lover of dogs and proud owner of a friendly, mischievous and energetic Golden Retriever named Beethoven! I’m incredibly excited to share my experiences on how best to care for your beloved pet. The more we know, the happier we and our canine friends will be!

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