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article by Pam Watson

Why does my dog like to sleep under the covers?

One thing that happens to dog owners relatively often is that they find their dogs sleeping under the covers. Be that on a bed or on a couch, they will be snuggly wrapped, enjoying a nice nap.  

The image of your beloved pooch just dozing off there serenely will warm your heart, but with time, you may realize that they’re doing that over and over again, especially when you’re not home.

There’s no reason for alarm, though. It’s all fairly common behavior, but knowing what’s at the root of this may allow you to give even more comfort and help them feel more relaxed at home.

Why do dogs sleep under blankets?

“Why does my dog sleep under the covers so much?”, we hear you ask, and worry not - you are not the first person to ask that question. There are, however, several possible answers that can shed some light on your dog’s behavior, so allow us to enlighten you on each of them.

Keep reading, and you will find some really adorable reasons that will melt your heart in an instant!

Chilly weather

The reason why a dog sleeps under covers may be as simple as the weather outside. If it’s cold, they will naturally want to be somewhere nice and cozy. And what better place for that than a big comfy bed.

Honestly, can you blame them? Even us humans like to just cover ourselves with a blanket during a cold autumn or winter day, make a cup of hot cocoa, and just stay in bed with a good book. That’s the kind of feeling your pup sometimes has, too!

Just make sure your pup has the best dog blankets to keep him/her warm.

Why do dogs sleep under blankets?

They are anxious

One of the reasons dogs sleep under blankets is because they are anxious. In this case, they may also start sucking on the blanket, too.

A lot of things can cause this kind of behavior - some loud noise outside, like a truck or fireworks, or maybe they just don’t like the fact that they’re alone for a long time.

In any case, they may want to squeeze under the covers because it gives them comfort and they feel protected there. It’s a way for them to calm down when something stressful happens.

It’s comfortable

Or your bed is just so darn comfortable! That’s a very real possibility, you know. It’s hard to resist a chance for a nice nap, so your pup may just decide to hop on and catch some z’s. And you know how hard it is to get out of a warm and comfortable bed!

Your dog may just be enjoying the good life under the covers, and that’s perfectly OK. If they don’t have muddy paws, that is.

Guarding instincts

Now, this one is interesting. The reason why a dog likes to sleep under covers may be the fact that they want to protect you. This is especially common among breeds that have been developed to act as guard dogs.

You see, millennia ago, dogs lived in dens, with their families, and being under a blanket may trigger an instinct that goes far back into the past. Knowing what’s going on around the den is important for keeping a dog family safe, and since you’re their family, they will want to protect you because they know you’re vulnerable while you sleep.

You can see that your dog is guarding you if they are under the blanket with you, but their eyes aren’t covered. So, rest easy, Fido is on guard duty tonight!

It reminds them of you

If the sheets aren’t brand new, they will have picked up your scent, and dogs can sense that quite easily. This can have a whole range of beneficial effects on them, primarily relaxing them and calming them down if something stressful is going on.

And this is fairly easy to understand too - we’ve all been in a situation where a smell threw us back to our childhood or reminded us of a pleasant situation. This is similar to what’s going on here, only dogs are reminded of the person they love most - you. It’s kind of like the next best thing after a hug when you’re not around.

Adorable, isn’t it?

dog sleeping under blankets

Does every dog do this?

Well, maybe not every single dog, but don’t be surprised if you find your best friend wrapped under a blanket, especially if they’re still a puppy. This is because puppies are reminded of the time they spent with their moms and siblings this way, so it helps them grow accustomed to their new home.

Smaller breeds (Terriers, Daschunds, etc.) are also prone to this type of behavior, but bigger breeds have also been known to act like this.

So, there’s no clear rule on which breeds do this and which ones don’t. There’s a fair degree of probability your dog will like sleeping under covers/blankets for whatever reason. The important thing is to be able to discern whether they’re anxious or just enjoying life.

What should you do?

An obvious question that needs to be asked after all of this is - what’s a dog owner to do? And, more importantly, can a dog suffocate under blankets?

First, allow us to put your mind at ease: sleeping under blankets, no matter how heavy they are, is quite safe for your dog. This is because they will always move if something is impeding their sleep. They don’t sleep still and will adjust if the position doesn’t suit them.

If your child is sleeping in the same bed as you, having your dog along for the ride may not be the smartest idea, especially if the child is still very young. Furthermore, if your dog is small, you don’t want to be rolling over them in your sleep.

Of course, you will also want to think about how to get rid of dog hair because if your dog belongs to a breed that sheds a lot, your bed and your covers may be in for a bad time.

Finally, try to control YOURSELF. It’s easy to encourage this behavior without really thinking about it too much, so think about how you’re going to react the next time you see your dog sleeping under the covers.


The bottom line is that there may be several different reasons why your dog sleeps under the covers, so before you decide how to act on it, you need to be sure what’s behind this behavior. You certainly don’t want to stress your puppy further if it’s already anxious.

Besides, maybe they just want to protect you or they miss you while you’re not home.

Once you know that, it will be much easier to address the behavior. Training them to sleep somewhere else shouldn’t be too difficult as there are many different approaches you can use, from using treats to hiring a professional who can help your dog with separation anxiety.

In any case, properly planned steps will allow both you and your pet to feel much more comfortable at home.

Frequently Asked Questions : Why does my dog like to sleep under the covers?

1. Can dogs overheat under blankets?

Dogs move around during the night in order to find the best sleeping spot. So, if they don’t feel comfortable, are not getting enough air, or have a similar issue with the place where they’re sleeping, they’ll just get up and move away. Therefore, overheating under the blankets is not an issue dogs owners should worry about.

2. Is sleeping under covers bad for Dogs?

Not in and of itself, no. Just keep in mind that you could hurt a smaller dog if you’re rolling over in your sleep while the two of you are in the same bed. Other than that, it’s completely up to you as the owner to decide whether or not you want your pet in your bed with you. Just remember to take things like shedding into consideration.

3. What kind of dogs tend to sleep under the covers?

Generally speaking, puppies and smaller dogs are more prone to sleeping under the cover. This environment reminds puppies of the time they spent with their mother, while small breeds simply have an innate instinct that makes them want to burrow under the banket. That is not to say, however, that larger dogs won’t want to do that. Quite the contrary! So, while there is no clear rule, smaller dogs will be more likely to sleep under covers.

4. Should I stop my dog from this behavior?

That’s entirely up to you. If you don’t mind that your dog is sleeping under the covers, you can let them keep doing that. However, if you have a baby sleeping in that bed, it would be wise to train your dog to change its sleeping location. Simply, it will be much safer for everyone involved. And it’s not a big challenge to do this, too. Consider all factors and then make the decision that’s right for you.

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