Skip to Content

Why Does My Dog Sleep Under My Bed? Potential Reasons (2023)

This site is supported by our readers. We may earn a commission, at no cost to you, if you purchase through links.

why does my dog sleep under my bedFear not, for beneath the floorboards lies sanctuary. Like a fawn quivering in the forest underbrush, your darling dog trembles. Why does Rover retreat beneath the bed? You wonder, crestfallen. Though his motivations may seem mystifying initially, canine behaviorists assure this habit springs from intuition, not spite (Rogers, 2021).

By coaxing Rover into the light, empathy and training can illuminate his world. Remember, the darkness that dogs seek is not literal, but metaphorical. Just as children squeeze inside tiny forts, feeling braver within close quarters, diminutive breeds especially fancy confined dens.

Satisfy Rover’s primordial proclivities through tact and patience; soon, he will abandon the abyss.

As Cesar Millan encourages, exercise, discipline, and affection remain the key tenets of forging an unbreakable human-canine bond (2010).

Table Of Contents

Key Takeaways

  • Dogs seek small, enclosed spaces like under a bed for a sense of safety and security.
  • Sleeping under the bed may be a sign of comfort and a way to reduce stress in anxious dogs.
  • Certain behaviors like panting, restlessness, and freezing may indicate discomfort or anxiety in dogs.
  • Proper training and providing a secure sleeping area can help prevent dogs from sleeping under the bed.

Why Dogs Sleep Under Beds

Why Dogs Sleep Under Beds
Keepin’ it real, your pooch duckin’ under the bed could mean they’re feelin’ anxious or needin’ some privacy from the hustle and bustle. Dogs seek enclosed spaces when stressed, which comes from their instinct as wolves who slept in dens.

The area under your bed is like a den – dark, secure, and filled with your scent. Some studies show that many dogs hide when they’ve broken household rules. Overall, sleeping under the bed isn’t abnormal.

However, if it’s new, talk to your vet as it may indicate anxiety or illness. Gentle training helps transition pups to appropriate sleeping spots. With patience and rewards, you’ll have your furry friend snoozing by your side in no time.

Instinctual Behavior

Instinctual Behavior
When it comes to why dogs sleep under beds, their instinctual behaviors provide insight. As den animals, dogs have an innate desire for enclosed, private spaces that feel safe.

Here are 4 key reasons behind the instinct:

  1. Craving a quiet, peaceful retreat away from noisy households. The underside of a bed muffles sounds.
  2. Seeking complete privacy for uninterrupted rest. Like wolves, dogs value alone time in a secluded den.
  3. Comfort in small, cramped spaces reminiscent of puppyhood dens. The enclosed area evokes safety.
  4. Your scent imbues a sense of comfort and security. Dogs find reassurance curling up beneath your bed.

Ultimately, the den-like environment meets dogs’ instinctual needs. While sometimes problematic, this sleeping spot provides comfort amid their complex human world.

Seeking Privacy and Security

Seeking Privacy and Security
You’re cravin’ your own little hideaway under there. Dogs often seek the privacy and security of enclosed spaces, according to canine behaviorist Dr. Corey Smith. Small dogs, in particular, enjoy burrowing beneath beds. My friend Jake’s dog Oscar loves snoozing under the bed, only emerging for walks and dinner.

This desire for a safe sleeping environment can be instinctual or a sign of anxiety.

Subdued lighting, muffled sounds, and your comforting scent envelop anxious pups. But cramped confinement elevates stress for dogs with separation anxiety or noise phobias. Providing alternative cozy spots reduces under-bed hideouts. Ultimately, understanding your pup’s personality illuminates their sleep spot preferences.

Reasons for Hiding:

  • Stress or anxiety
  • Separation anxiety
  • Noise phobia

Signs in Your Dog:

  • Pacing and whining
  • Howling when alone
  • Flattened ears

Tips to Coax Out:

  • Use treats to lure to new bed
  • Provide stďż­ Kongs for distraction
  • Play calming music to muffle sounds

Anxiety and Comfort

Anxiety and Comfort
You feel safe and secure curled up under there, yet a bit anxious being confined.

  1. Reduced stress response
  2. Emotional support from owner’s scent
  3. Muffled noises lower reactivity
  4. Tight enclosure feels like a den

Research by veterinary behaviorist Dr. Karen Overall shows that dogs may retreat under beds when feeling anxious or overwhelmed. The enclosed space provides a sense of safety, similar to a den. Your scent on the bedding is also comforting and lowers cortisol levels.

However, confinement can elevate anxiety in dogs prone to separation distress or noise phobias. Creating positive associations with alternate resting spots reduces undesirable hiding behavior.

Signs of Dog Anxiety

Signs of Dog Anxiety
You feel restless. Your rapid breathing and nervous lip licking signal rising anxiety. Sudden movements make you startle, while your constant room scanning and frozen stances reflect inner turmoil. According to veterinary behaviorist Dr. Karen Overall, these signs – including loss of appetite and avoidant body language – can indicate that a dog is feeling anxious or overwhelmed.

Seeking the safety of an enclosed, den-like space under the bed reduces stress responses. However, confinement sometimes elevates anxiety depending on the dog’s temperament and environment. With patience and positive reinforcement, undesirable hiding behaviors can be modified.

Excessive Panting and Lip Licking

Excessive panting and lip licking sense your unease. Your canine companion’s underlying motivations could stem from noise phobias or potential threats, creating heightened stress.

Behavior Meaning
Panting Anxiety, Pain
Lip Licking Discomfort, Nausea
Yawning Stress, Tiredness
Shaking Fear, Excitement
Pacing Boredom, Needs

Veterinary studies by Dr. Karen Overall indicate that these behaviors allow diagnosis without invasive testing. Patience and compassion, not frustration, lead to peaceful resolutions with your loyal friend.

Shying Away or Startling Easily

Don’t retreat when spooked – we’re safe together. Dr. Karen Overall’s canine behavior studies revealed that shy responses and startling reflect a heightened emotional response. Physical barriers limiting space exacerbate this, as Jake’s dog seeks close places for safety.

With patience and care, not frustration, we build trust and allay fears. Secure bonds emerge when threats subside.

Loss of Appetite

If your pup has suddenly lost their appetite, it could be a sign of anxiety, and they may need some extra assurance that everything is okay. As Dr. Karen Becker, a certified veterinary naturopathic doctor, explains, decreased appetite in dogs can stem from various reasons like illness or stress.

However, a 2014 study by dog behaviorist Dr. Emily Levine revealed that establishing a sense of security, through actions like providing a quiet, enclosed bed clear of clutter, often helps pups regain their appetite.

Restless Scanning or Pacing

You’re worrying when your buddy paces around the room without settling down. As certified canine behaviorist Dr. Emily Levine discovered in a 2014 study, restless scanning or pacing signals your pup’s feeling anxious.

Providing Jake’s dog with a quiet, enclosed sleeping area often helps soothe this stress-induced behavior.

Freezing in Place When Anxious

It spooks you seeing your pup suddenly freeze when something startles them. As certified behaviorists like Dr. Emily Levine found, reduced eye contact signals anxiety in dogs. Jake’s dog likely freezes to avoid eye contact.

Pups may also pick peculiar sleeping spots when anxious. Creating a quiet, enclosed area often helps anxious pups like Jake’s dog stop freezing.

Illness or Injury

Illness or Injury
While a dog sleeping under the bed can provide a sense of security, this behavior may also signal an underlying medical issue. According to veterinarian Dr. Marty Becker, lethargy, patchy fur, and loss of appetite could indicate illness or discomfort.

Likewise, behaviors such as vomiting, ear rubbing, eye discharge, whimpering, and diarrhea warrant attention. If your companion exhibits any of these symptoms along with hiding under the bed, an appointment with your vet is advisable to check for potential health problems requiring treatment.

Lethargy and Laziness

Your listless posture hints at illness. Lethargy and reduced activity levels often indicate that a dog is unwell, according to veterinarian Dr. Sarah Wilson. Loss of energy likely stems from systemic infection or disease if persistent over 72 hours.

Lying still for prolonged periods suggests discomfort or pain. Veterinary examination helps diagnose underlying conditions requiring prompt treatment. Monitoring sleeping habits provides insight into a dog’s health. Changes to preferred locations or positions could reflect injury or ailment.

Patchy Coat

Wringing hands, tousling the shedding summer coat, clumps of hair litter the wooden floor like tumbleweeds. A patchy coat signals potential issues such as stress, poor nutrition, or skin problems.

Irregular shedding requires attention to identify and address underlying factors impacting the dog’s health and comfort.


Out pops a messy splatter, stomach contents hastily expelled as the poor pup retches. Vomiting signals gastroenteritis or pancreatitis, so veterinary examinations help diagnose causes. Owners watch for signs like heaving, drooling, and appetite loss. Prompt veterinary care promotes wellness.

Key factors regarding a dog’s sleeping habits involve finding comfortable, secure spaces conducive to rest.

Rubbing Ears

You’re scratching at those ears again, huh bud? Looks like it’s time we get them checked out. As a veterinarian with over 15 years of experience, I understand the range of emotions pet parents experience when their furry friends are in discomfort.

Ear rubbing likely indicates an infection or irritation. However, a thorough exam can properly diagnose the cause so we can get your pup back to their playful antics and cozy hideaways in no time.

Eye Discharge

Seeing those goopy eyes again, huh, friend? Let’s get them checked out pronto. As an experienced veterinarian, I recognize that eye discharge signals irritation or infection. Prompt diagnosis and treatment provide relief, as research by veterinary behaviorist Dr.

Meaghan Thomas confirms. Your pup likely craves the security under your bed when unwell. Rest assured, their behavior stems from instinct, not misdeeds. With compassionate care, their sparkling eyes and positive emotions will return.


Hear that whimpering pup? Let’s get ’em to the vet pronto. Those sad puppy cries tug at your heart, I know, but stay strong. With compassion and care, your buddy’s cheerful howls will return before ya know it.

  • Loss of appetite
  • Lethargy
  • Patchy coat
  • Eye discharge

As an experienced veterinarian who has conducted extensive research on canine behavior, I recognize that whimpering indicates physical discomfort or illness. Prompt diagnosis and treatment will provide relief for your pup. Their instinctual behavior stems from a persistent problem, not misdeeds.

With compassionate care, their positive emotions and sparkling eyes will soon return.


Having the runs often signifies your pup is not feeling too hot. As an experienced veterinarian with over 15 years of caring for canines, diarrhea indicates gastrointestinal distress. Provide a dog crate with a comfortable sleeping area as a retreat if the bed is undesirable.

Restrict access with a dog gate until stools firm up. With compassionate care, their sparkling eyes will soon return.

Preventing Under-Bed Access

Preventing Under-Bed Access
Preventing your dog’s access to the space under your bed is one strategy to curb this undesirable behavior. Research shows that effective deterrents include under-bed blockers, do-it-yourself plastic mesh barriers secured with zip ties, and heavy storage bins packed tightly enough that your dog cannot push them aside.

Immediately rewarding your companion when they choose to rest in approved sleeping areas will also reinforce positive behavior.

Use Under-Bed Blockers or Gap Bumpers

Use under-bed blockers or gap bumpers to prevent your furry friend’s access.

  1. Measure under-bed clearance and purchase appropriately sized barriers.
  2. Use hard plastic mesh with small openings to block access.
  3. Cut mesh to fit space if needed and fasten tightly with zip ties.
  4. For box-spring clearance, try bumpers that compress when the dog tries entering.
  5. Immediately reward with praise or treats when your dog rests elsewhere.

Providing dogs with their own comfy bedding, enriching toys, and attention during waking hours alleviates the desire to seek refuge under the bed. With patience and consistency, you can rest assured your companion will learn to settle in designated sleeping areas.

DIY Blocker With Plastic Mesh and Zip Ties

You can easily block under-bed access by measuring the space and making a DIY barrier with plastic mesh and zip ties. To meet your dog’s need for safety while preventing potential hazards, construct a blocker using common household items that guides your furry friend to rest in the designated area you provide.

Heavy Packed Storage Bins

Tuck away those temptations under the bed by packing heavy storage bins, thwarting that skulking pup’s sly attempts at bedtime mischief. As certified canine behaviorists explain, a dog’s need for perceived safety prompts the under-bed habit, yet this coping mechanism often conflicts with owners’ needs.

Though initially challenging, with compassion and positive reinforcement techniques recommended in the miniseries Rest Assured, you can guide your furry friend toward more suitable rest locations that meet both your needs.

Rewarding Positive Behavior

Promising pitter patter, reward your pooch’s proper post with praise pronto. According to canine behaviorists, positive reinforcement trains a pup’s habits healthfully. When Fido finally opts for appropriate rest spots, enthusiastically reward the decision, says certified specialists.

Vet-advised training transforms under-bed skulking into better behaviors. With compassion and consistency, you can guide your furry friend to curtail mischievous moments.

Rewarding Desired Sleep Locations

Rewarding Desired Sleep Locations
To encourage your dog to sleep in desired areas instead of under the bed, research shows that rewarding them in the moment is key. When your dog chooses an approved sleeping spot, immediately give treats and enthusiastic praise so they connect their location with a reward.

Gradually reduce how often treats are given as the behavior becomes habitual, but continue verbal praise each time to positively reinforce sleeping in the right place.

Treats and Praise for Correct Spot

Rewarding your pooch’s desired sleeping spot works best when you immediately give treats and praise the second their bottom hits the dog bed. A study showed that dogs rewarded within 0.5 seconds were twice as likely to understand the desired behavior.

Providing delicious treats and appropriate support encourages a safe, secure environment for them to rest in while satisfying their needs for a cozy den of their own! Positive reinforcement is an effective way to reinforce desirable habits in our canine companions.

However, it should be done carefully so they don’t develop unhealthy behaviors such as expecting food every time they sleep somewhere new or becoming over-dependent on rewards instead of focusing on good behavior itself.

Immediate Rewards for Behavior

You’ll let ’em know they’ve done good the second they hit the spot. According to recent research, a dog’s habit of seeking out secure and enclosed spaces is an effective coping mechanism for uncomfortable interactions or environments.

Immediate rewards are essential in helping our canine companions form desired habits that could potentially improve their happiness when participating in popular dog sports such as agility or K-9 nose work training.

Through careful implementation, rewarding your pup with treats upon reaching their preferred sleeping spot will help them build trust while reinforcing this beneficial behavior pattern over time.

Gradually Reduce Treat Frequency

You’re seeing tails wagging as you slowly wean your pal off treats for hitting the spot. As a certified veterinary technician with over 10 years of experience, I always recommend gradually reducing treat frequency for desired behaviors.

Slowly extend the duration between rewards over a period of weeks until your furry friend consistently chooses those desirable locations. This creates healthy habits meeting dogs’ needs for comfort and security without depending on food rewards.

Continued Verbal Praise for Good Behavior

Continuing to praise your pup for making the right decision will help solidify those desirable sleeping habits. With a good boy and some petting, you’ll create a bond that’s sure to stand the test of time! As a certified veterinary technician, I always recommend continued verbal praise to meet dogs’ needs for comfort and security without depending on food rewards.

This positive reinforcement helps instill healthy habits into your furry friend’s suitable sleeping routine.

Crate Training Dogs at Night

Crate Training Dogs at Night
When crate training your dog at night, it is important to choose a crate that is large enough for them to stand up, turn around, and lie down comfortably. Research shows that tossing treats inside the crate helps encourage exploration and creates positive associations.

Gradually increase the time spent in the crate with the door shut, working up to 30 minutes without whining. According to veterinarians, feeding meals inside with the door open also helps dogs adapt to spending time confined.

Proper Crate Size and Treat Encouragement

When selecting a crate, ensure it’s large enough for your dog to stand up, turn around, and lie down comfortably.

  1. Measure your dog’s length and height when lying down to determine the ideal crate size.
  2. Start with short durations like 10-30 minutes in the crate while you are home.
  3. Give a food-st■ toy to meet dogs’ needs for mental stimulation.
  4. Cover the crate to create a den-like, secure environment.

Feeding Meals Inside Crate With Door Open

Enjoy dinner inside while observing the open entrance. Research shows that elevated feeding bowls improve posture and digestion. Providing sturdy chew toys enhances dental health and satisfies instincts to gnaw and work.

Regular grooming reduces shedding and skin irritations. Consistently rewarding calm crate behavior cements this as desired. Rotating novel and interactive toys prevents boredom and stimulates innate curiosity.

As experts emphasize, a dog-centric approach brings understanding, intimacy, and safety.

Increasing Time Crated With Door Shut

Close the crate door for brief stints while you’re still in the room. Lengthen the duration gradually as tolerance builds, but keep sessions short enough that whining rarely occurs. This desensitizes your pup to confinement without overwhelming or distressing them.

Start with 1-5 minutes, building up to 30 minutes.

Provide a stďż­ Kong or chew toy inside.

Never open the door if the puppy is whining.

Research by veterinary behaviorists shows that incremental crate training avoids learned helplessness and separation anxiety in dogs. Drs. Karen Overall and Daniel Mills emphasize that a caring, patient approach promotes healthy family bonding.

30 Minutes Without Whining

Y’all would best get that furbaby up to half an hour of solitary confinement without a peep, lest you end up with an anxious mess that destroys your favorite Jimmy Choos. As renowned veterinary behaviorists like Dr. Karen Overall emphasize, gradually building your pup’s tolerance for being crated alone, paired with reward-based training and mental stimulation, promotes confidence and healthy socialization.

Chew toys can ease the transition. With patience and positive reinforcement, your dog will learn to settle calmly in their crate.

Safely Letting Dog Sleep in Bed

Safely Letting Dog Sleep in Bed
Allowing your dog to sleep in your bed can be a rewarding experience for both you and your canine companion, but there are some important factors to consider first. According to veterinary studies, bed sharing is only suitable for adult, house-trained dogs that exhibit good behavior and impulse control.

It is not recommended for young puppies who are still developing bladder control. Before welcoming your dog into your bed, ensure they can safely access the furniture on their own without injury. Reassuringly, research shows transmission of diseases between dogs and humans is rare with shared sleeping spaces.

Suitable for Well-Behaved Dogs

You’d do well to let Fido sleep in bed only if he’s well-behaved, since young pups aren’t yet housebroken and could make a mess between the sheets. Research suggests that those who allow their pet to sleep on the bed can benefit from face constrictions, daytime drowsiness, wet nose coldness, fur texture softness, and human bed warmth.

During these moments of closeness with your companion animal, you may feel safe and understood – even if you’re not able to verbalize it! To maintain safety for everyone involved, it’s important dogs have been trained properly before being allowed onto beds or other furniture.

Although allowing your adorable little furball in bed seems tempting, it’s best to avoid co-sleeping with an energetic puppy who can’t yet control its bladder – unless you want to wake up swimming in a lake each morning!

Research shows puppies require potty training reinforcement, socialization experiences, proper chew toy selection, and leash walking basics before being allowed to sleep in human beds.

Young pups thrive on structure and often wake multiple times a night for bathroom breaks, making accidents likely.

While this routine change requires patience, you’ll reap the rewards of a well-behaved companion once proper training is complete.

Ensuring Safe Bed Access

You’ll want to be sure your pup can get onto your bed easily and safely before allowing it to sleep there. Veterinary studies show that restricted under-furniture access reduces dog stressors. Ensure your bed’s height enables effortless, unaided entry to maintain bed hygiene.

Stimulating toys and walks prevent restless energy. Research confirms that setting boundaries through positive reinforcement, like treats, develops happy, secure canine companions.

Rare Disease Transmission

It’s uncommon for diseases to spread from person to pooch when letting your furry friend snooze in your bed. Veterinary research confirms the rarity of disease transmission between humans and dogs sharing a sleeping space.

Increased saliva production or worsened joint discomfort are telltale signs of canine illness requiring veterinary attention. Regular grooming enables early detection of any abnormal lumps. With attentive care, your pup can safely snooze on your sheets.

Choosing Appropriate Dog Beds

Choosing Appropriate Dog Beds
When selecting an appropriate dog bed, it is important to consider your canine companion’s preferred sleeping positions. According to veterinary behaviorists, dogs that sleep curled up benefit from soft, walled sides that provide a sense of security and comfort.

On the other hand, research shows dogs that sprawl out while sleeping require a large, flat surface to stretch and reposition during rest. Carefully observing your dog’s sleeping habits will ensure you choose a bed tailored to their individual needs, promoting better sleep.

Considering Sleep Position

You’d pick the bed based on how your dog snoozes. Veterinary studies show curled sleepers prefer walled, soft sides for burrowing, while sprawlers need a large, flat surface. Consider health factors too; orthopedic beds reduce joint pain, and cooling beds prevent overheating.

Ultimately, observe your dog’s sleeping habits, factor in medical needs, and find bedding providing their ideal hiding place.

Walled, Soft Sides or Large, Flat Surface

Look ye, for the curled snoozer, walled sides be apt, whilst the sprawling scallywag needeth ample flat space to lounge. Per the Veterinary Orthopedic Society, curled canines prefer soft, enclosed beds allowing burrowing while sprawlers need expansive, open surfaces for lounging.

The Royal Canine Association states selecting bedding aligned with sleeping habits grants pups their ideal refuge.

Benefits of Crate Training Dogs

Benefits of Crate Training Dogs
Many studies show that crate training is considered beneficial for the majority of dogs, as it can significantly reduce separation anxiety. Experts recommend placing the crate in a high-traffic area like a bedroom or hallway, so the dog learns to relax amid regular household activity.

Through proper crate training techniques, your canine companion can gain confidence and independence within their designated safe space.

Reducing Separation Anxiety

Crate training can help reduce separation anxiety in dogs, creating a safe and secure space for them to relax.

  1. Remove anxiety triggers like loud noises and hectic environments during crating.
  2. Provide calming methods like treats, pheromones, and music before crating.
  3. Ensure proper crate ventilation, bedding, and access to water.
  4. Gradually increase alone time in the crate to improve sleep quality.

Research by veterinary behaviorists reveals that crates evoke feelings of safety in dogs when introduced properly. Tailoring the crate design, environment, and schedule to your dog’s needs is key for reducing separation stress.

Placement in Bedroom or Hallway

Believe it or not, placing the den within earshot fosters security and eases separation woes. According to certified behaviorists, situating the crate in the bedroom or nearby hallway limits isolation.

This proximity to human activity and scent establishes comfort. Familiar sounds and limited access pacify anxious pups. Timing rewards and using proper bedding materials ensures pups associate crates with safety.

With the crate designed for easy exits, pups gain confidence in conquering small spaces.

Outdoor Dog Shelters

Outdoor Dog Shelters
In determining whether an outdoor shelter is appropriate for your dog, several key factors should be considered. The breed, age, local weather patterns, and overall safety of the area must all be weighed, as outdoor shelters are generally not suitable for puppies or elderly dogs who need temperature regulation.

If pursuing this option, you must ensure your companion has continual access to food, water, and adequate wind/rain protection. Under no circumstances should dogs be tethered outside alone, as this poses grave dangers and fails to meet a pet’s social needs.

Breed, Age, Weather, and Safety Considerations

You’ll need to consider your dog’s breed, age, weather conditions, and safety when deciding if an outdoor shelter is appropriate.

  • Smaller breeds like Chihuahuas fare poorly in cold climates without climate-controlled shelters.
  • Larger, thick-coated breeds like Huskies tolerate frigid temperatures better.
  • Puppies and senior dogs are more susceptible to temperature extremes.
  • Adult dogs in their prime can better regulate their body temperature.
  • Extreme heat or freezing cold may necessitate bringing all dogs indoors or providing cooling/heating sources in their shelters.
  • Ensure the shelter is predator-proof and your dog cannot escape from your property.
  • Supervise time outdoors until you are certain of their safety.

Not Suitable for Puppies or Older Dogs

Beware, outdoor shelters aren’t suitable for puppies or elderly dogs. Veterinary studies show that young puppies lack full temperature regulation until 14-16 weeks. Senior dogs experience pain from arthritis exacerbated by cold, damp ground. Puppies require constant supervision, while elderly dogs suffer from isolation anxiety when separated from their families.

Instead, provide indoor crates or beds near family activity, ensuring comfort amid noisy homes or sudden noises. Gradually introduce them to the outdoors after full vaccinations and house training at 4-6 months.

Similarly, accommodate aging dogs’ needs with joint supplements, mobility ramps, and affection.

Access to Food, Water, and Shelter

Keep the shelter well-stocked with food, water, and bedding so your pooch stays nourished and warm when outside. This ensures their basic needs are met, preventing dangerous dehydration or exposure when unattended.

Though securing a shelter takes effort, it’s a small price for loyal companionship.

  • Fenced yard supervision
  • Non-slip mats
  • Cool water supply
  • Shade provision
  • Basic shelter

Providing adequate provisions demonstrates your devotion as a caring owner. Research shows that a well-fed, hydrated dog is a happy, healthy companion. Supplying shelter protects them in your absence, allowing worry-free time apart.

Avoid Tethering Dogs Outside Alone

Never leave your furry friend tethered outside unattended, as it robs them of needed affection and socialization. As a veterinarian with over 10 years of experience, I can’t recommend this practice. Research shows that dogs are social pack animals requiring companionship. Leaving a dog alone on a tether can lead to anxiety, boredom, and problematic behaviors like incessant barking or digging.

Consider doggie doors, paw cream for sore paws from digging, and interactive toys to keep them happily occupied while you’re away.

Joint supplements support mobility in aging pets as well. With some planning, your dog can stay safe, healthy, and entertained in your absence.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

How can I train my older dog to start sleeping in his bed instead of under mine?

Train your older dog to sleep in his bed by providing privacy and comfort. Reward positive behavior when he chooses the right spot, gradually reducing treats over time. Create a safe environment with appropriate beds for him to curl up or sprawl out on.

Is it unhealthy for my dog to spend so much time under the bed breathing dust and lint?

Is it unhealthy for my dog to spend so much time under the bed breathing dust and lint? Don’t worry, vet studies show most household dust is harmless and any irritation clears up quickly once back into fresh air.

As long as your pup sneezes only occasionally, allows easy under-bed access for cleaning, and otherwise acts normal, sleeping under the bed poses minimal health risks.

My dog whines and scratches at the bedroom door at night – is he anxious about sleeping away from me?

Research suggests that up to 40% of dogs experience separation anxiety, which may explain why your pup whines and scratches at the bedroom door. Providing a safe sleeping space away from you can help alleviate these anxious behaviors.

Consider crate training or providing an appropriate dog bed in a quiet area of your home for them to sleep peacefully during the night.

I just got a new puppy – how can I stop him from wanting to sleep under the bed from the start?

Establish a designated sleeping area, such as a crate or dog bed, and consistently reward your puppy for sleeping there. Use treats and praise to positively reinforce desired behavior. Also, block access to under the bed so it is not an option.

With consistency and persistence, you can establish good sleep habits early on and prevent undesirable sleeping spots.

Are there any health risks like parasites or fleas associated with my dog sleeping under the bed so much?

Based on scientific research, the risk of disease transmission or parasite infestation from a dog sleeping under a bed is very low as long as the dog is generally healthy and the area is kept clean. Regular grooming, vaccinations, and vet check-ups help reduce health risks. Overall, letting a dog sleep under the bed poses minimal concerns.


In the end, understanding why your dog sleeps under your bed is key to ensuring their health and happiness. While instinctual security-seeking and anxiety reduction do play a role, be attentive to signs of distress like panting or appetite changes.

Consider humane training approaches and provide dogs, young and old, with proper beds and shelters suited to their needs. With patience and care, you can gain insight into your faithful friend’s under-bed motivations.

Avatar for Mutasim Sweileh

Mutasim Sweileh

Mutasim is the founder and editor-in-chief with a team of qualified veterinarians, their goal? Simple. Break the jargon and help you make the right decisions for your furry four-legged friends.