Everybody knows cats are the biggest fans of boxes. But what about dogs? It’s hard to generally pin down their comfort zones, unless your dog has already claimed the underside of your bed.
First, welcome to the club! And second, you must be wondering, “Why does my dog sleep under my bed?”
The answer is simple. The underside of your bed is quite secure and comfortable. If you want to learn more, then hop in!
Why Your Dog Likes Sleeping Under Your Bed
The underside of your bed is a dark, enclosed area. It’s most likely small and quiet. All of those features make it the ideal place to relax. Yes, even dogs like their private spaces.
To understand your canine’s affinity for the underside of your bed, you have to remember: dogs are den animals. They prefer having a sanctuary. They’re big fans of small, contained places that they can hide away inside.
However, that is not to say that dogs require crates. In fact, this is a common misconception. Dogs spend the majority of their time outside, running and exploring.
When we say dogs are den animals, we mean that they consider den-like places to be safe spaces.
Sick dogs often recuperate in dens, while newborn pups spend their first few weeks there. A den is a dog’s space to relax and unwind. He’s not necessarily confined to it, but he certainly enjoys it from time to time.
Your Dog Likes You, Too
So dogs like dens. But that isn’t the only reason why they prefer the bottom of your bed.
Dogs love to sleep near their owners. It helps them feel more protected, which contributes to healthy sleep.
“But why doesn’t my dog sleep right next to me?” you might ask. Well, sleeping under your bed doesn’t only provide your dog with shelter and quiet. It also provides him with a 360-degree view of their surroundings.
This means he can easily view and access all approaching angles. If something happens, he can quickly alert you and keep his little “den” safe.
Is It Normal for My Dog to Hide Under My Bed?
We’ve now established that the underside of your bed can function as a den. But what if your dog has been spending too much time there?
Maybe They’re Scared
Dogs are like humans in more ways than one. They, too, can experience emotional trauma, separation anxiety, and even post-traumatic stress disorder. If your dog spends hours under your bed, it may mean that he’s afraid or anxious.
The bottom of your bed is a safe space, and an emotionally-scarred dog might flee to it when vulnerable. When driven out of a den, a traumatized dog may either freeze, fidget, or try to hide again. In such cases, it’d help if you could consult veterinarians or behavior experts.
Maybe They’re Sick
Dogs favor the spacious outdoors unless they’re injured or hurt. If so, they’ll need a place in which they could rest and heal.
For example, your dog could suffer the sting of a bee. In this case, he’ll try to find a small, contained place to cope with the pain. It could be under your bed, between a chair and a wall, or even behind your toilet.
If hiding is unusual behavior for your dog, you may want to take a closer look. If there are any signs he could be ill, it’d be best if you took him to the nearest veterinarian immediately.
It’s Getting a Bit Crowded
Has there been any change in your dog’s environment lately? When confronted with unfamiliar surroundings, dogs may react by “burrowing” into their den. After all, it’s the only familiar (and therefore secure!) place available.
This can be the case if you have people over. If people or other dogs suddenly surround your canine friend, he may want to take a break from all the noisy commotion. To do so, he’ll retreat into his safe haven: under your bed.
What Should I Do If My Dog Sleeps Under My Bed?
If it’s causing no trouble, then your dog’s affinity for the underside of your bed should pose no problem. However, you have to remember to take proper hygiene measures.
The bottom of your bed is a place that’s often neglected when it comes to cleaning. Now that your dog is sleeping there, you must pay more attention to this area.
For starters, remember to vacuum regularly. You want to avoid dust building up in this area, along with mites and other common pollutants.
It’d also help if you regularly ventilated your room. Since mites and bacteria prefer humid environments (which are often dark!) you must also remember to let the light in.
Another thing you should regularly do is brush your dog’s coat. Brushing it will help keep hair from accumulating beneath your bed. It’ll also boost the overall hygiene of your canine companion.
How Do I Stop My Dog From Sleeping Under My Bed?
There are several reasons why you may not want your dog to sleep under your bed. Maybe you can’t sleep well. Maybe you don’t appreciate your dog shedding all over the sheets. Whatever the reason is, rest assured: you can stop your dog from sleeping under your bed.
Before you learn how, you must understand that it’s a process. Like all processes, it requires patience. If you don’t have the patience, then you can easily hire a dog trainer.
However, you can still train your dog yourself. You can do this by rewards: withhold treats until he comes out from under your bed. You could also give him a treat after putting him in his crate.
Crate training could reap fantastic results. Going about it is easy: you begin by giving the crate positive associations. To achieve this, you must do the following:
- Speak to your dog in a positive tone while he’s in the crate
- Remember to leave treats inside
- Put a beloved toy in the crate
- While inside the crate, feed your dog
- Reward your dog if he goes in the crate with treats and praises
Then, you can begin to condition your dog to stay in the crate for short periods:
- Try to call him over and motion towards the crate. Keep a treat in your hand as you do this.
- Once he goes into the crate, give him the treat and praise him.
- Then, sit near the crate for 10 minutes. Afterwards, go into another room for a couple of minutes.
- Then, return to sit near your dog. After another 10 minutes pass, let him out of the crate.
- You should repeat this process a couple of times a day. This will condition your dog to remain in the crate for short periods of time when you aren’t around.
Make sure to leave the crate somewhere near you as you sleep. This way, your dog won’t associate it with social isolation.
Dogs love to sleep under beds, and this is a common problem for many dog owners. Some may not be able to sleep well, while others object to the mess some dogs leave in their wake. This is why dog barriers exist.
Dog barriers are objects that obstruct the dogs’ movement. Bed barriers are products precisely designed to keep your dog from getting under your bed. Since it’s a narrow market, the options aren’t diverse. However, they’re definitely effective.
Does your dog have a habit of dragging his toys under your bed? A gap bumper can work wonders for your problem. It’ll also keep dust and dirt from getting there. However, you’ll have to make sure that its height is compatible with your bed.
Dog-repellent scat mats are another solution. The spikes found on such mats are harmless. Instead of irritating your dog, they gently prick him. If you put a scat mat under your bed, chances are your dog will stop going there.
Is It Bad If I Let My Dog Sleep in My Bed?
There’s no rule out there that forbids your dog from sleeping in your bed. If you’re both comfortable with the arrangement, then why not? It all boils to whether you want him in your bed or not.
“But is it bad for my dog?” you might ask. Well, it depends. There are several questions you need to ask yourself:
- Can my dog stay in his own bed without whining?
- Can my dog sleep through the night without going potty?
- Is my dog big enough that I won’t crush him in my sleep?
- Is my dog small enough that he won’t hog the bed?
In short, your dog needs to be of medium size, crate-trained, and nighttime house-trained. If he meets all of the aforementioned criteria, then he’s fit to sleep in your bed.
Of course, sleeping next to your dog may not be the most comfortable experience on the whole. He may drool, take up too much space, and heat up the bed. There’s also the case of shedding, which you’ll inevitably have to deal with by routinely cleaning dog hair off your bed.
We hope we could explain why your dog likes to sleep under your bed. It’s comfortable, secure, and safe. This puts him within close reach to you, making him feel both protected and protective.
This sleep arrangement isn’t harmful, but it may not be the most comfortable experience either.
- Should My Dog Sleep in My Bed? by VCA Hospitals