Why Is My Dog Sleeping Under the Bed?

Reviewed By Kim •  Updated: 02/02/22 •  11 min read
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Why Is My Dog Sleeping Under the Bed?

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Have you ever noticed that your dog seems to prefer sleeping under the bed? Or maybe he starts off sleeping with you on the bed, but during the night, your dog slips off the bed. He may then head under the bed to finish out the night. But why? Why would a dog want to sleep under the bed?

If you’re asking this question, then you’ve come to the right place! We’ve put together some information about what may cause a dog to sleep under the bed! Let’s get started!

Why Does a Dog Sleep Under the Bed?

Truly, there are several reasons a dog may choose to sleep under the bed rather than on top. In this section, we’ll go over several things that may cause a dog to sleep under the bed.

1. Fear & Anxiety

When dogs are afraid or anxious, they look for places where they can feel safe. But what could make your dog feel anxious or fearful? There are several things.

Your dog could be anxious or fearful for these reasons:

A dog’s natural instinct is to get away from what is causing his fear and anxiety. A dog tends to find the smallest place where they can hideaway safely. This may be under a desk, table, or even under the bed. Even large dogs will find a space where they can squeeze into. You’d be surprised where they can fit!

Along with hiding, you may notice these symptoms if your dog is fearful and/or anxious:

It’s normal for any dog to occasionally show anxiety and fear. However, if your dog seems to be regularly anxious or scared, then it’s best to take him to the vet for a checkup. It’s possible for a dog to have an underlying illness or need treatment with medication to help ease his fear and anxiety.

2. Illness or Injury

Another reason a dog may sleep under the bed is because he’s been injured or is ill. When dogs are in pain, they will hide. Again, this is a natural instinct. What’s more, you may not even realize your dog is in pain or ill. That’s because, in the wild, dogs’ ancestors couldn’t show their weakness (such as pain or injuries). Doing so could put them in danger, so they learned to hide illness and pain. Our domesticated fur babies still carry this instinct within their genetics.

You may notice these other symptoms if your dog is in pain and hiding:

If your dog is sick, you may notice these symptoms along with him hiding under the bed:

Here, again, dogs don’t usually show they’re ill. By the time you notice your canine companion is sick, he could be pretty sick and unable to hide his condition any further.

If you notice these or the above symptoms in your dog, it’s imperative to have him checked by the vet. The vet can determine if your dog is in pain and sick or whether your fur baby is stressed and anxious. Never try to treat your dog with home remedies. It’s always best to have your dog evaluated by a veterinarian. They have the knowledge and experience to determine what’s going on with your dog.

3. Your Dog Want to Be Close

Another reason some dogs may sleep under the bed is because they want to be close to their pet parents! This may happen if the dog is not allowed on the bed. In that case, the dog may choose to be under the bed to get that closeness he needs.

In addition, your dog may feel better sleeping under the bed for these reasons:

These are dogs that may feel anxious and/or may suffer from separation anxiety. Many dogs, when left on their own all day, develop separation anxiety. Dogs want to be with their pet parents and families. When they’re separated from their loved ones, dogs can become fearful and anxious. They may also develop other unwanted behaviors such as becoming destructive, barking all the time, and more.

You could say these are “Velcro dogs.” They simply need to be with their family most of the time. If your dog is suffering from separation anxiety, you may notice these symptoms:

Dogs with separation anxiety may also watch your every movement. They may also shadow you everywhere (including the bathroom!). And the dog may want to be close at all times.

It’s important to understand that a “Velcro” dog may not be suffering separation anxiety. Some dog breeds simply want and need to be close to their pet parents. However, it is possible for a dog with separation anxiety to be a “Velcro” dog.

If your dog exhibits any of these behaviors, it’s imperative to have him checked by the vet. The vet can evaluate your dog’s behavior, ensure there are no underlying health issues, and possibly treat the dog’s symptoms. It may also be necessary to ensure someone is home with the dog most of the time. The vet may also recommend working with a professional dog behaviorist to help ease the dog’s anxiety.

4. Your Dog’s Den is Under the Bed

Not all dogs who sleep under the bed are ill or suffering from anxiety! Some dogs simply consider the space under the bed to be their den! This may be a space where your dog feels completely safe. He may also find this a place where he can get away and no one will bother him!

Dogs are genetically predisposed to creating a den. Wild canines create dens where they can rear their puppies, stay out of inclement weather, and more. Our domesticated canine companions still carry the instinct to create a den, just like their wild canine ancestors. It’s for this very reason that many dogs love being in a crate. It’s like having a room of their own.

So, if your dog doesn’t have a “den” area somewhere in the house, he may choose to make his den under a bed. What’s more, the dog usually chooses a spot that’s a snug fit. Wild dogs do the same thing. It’s a great way to feel safe and conserves body heat.

If your dog likes to sleep under the bed, it could be that space is his den! He’s staked out a “room” of his own, where he feels safe. That’s his “get away” spot, where no one bothers him! Wouldn’t you love to have a space like that?

5. Hiding Valuables

Another reason your dog may enjoy being under the bed is because that’s where he hides his valuables! Some dogs will bury precious items out in the yard. This may a dog’s favorite toy, your dirty underwear, bones, and more! You might be surprised at what you’d find in a dog’s “treasure room!”

The space under your bed could simply be your dog’s treasure vault. Dogs have the instinct to hide things away. In the wild, canines may hide something such as food to eat later. Some dogs may even hide food items in their vault!

So, if you’ve noticed any weird smells coming from under the bed, you may want to check your dog’s stash!

6. Loud Noises

Another reason some dogs may sleep under the bed is to get away from loud noises and sounds. Dogs have extremely sensitive hearing. If you live in a loud area with lots of construction, it’s possible that noise could be hurting your dog’s ears.

Many dogs also are afraid of thunderstorms and their loud clashes of thunder. Some pet parents can tell when a storm’s coming well ahead of when it hits! The reason? Their dog starts to hide and act scared. The dog can hear the storm before it arrives locally.

Other noises that may cause a dog to hide under the bed include:

If you notice your dog seems to be sensitive to sounds, it’s a good idea to have him seen by the vet. Some dogs may become so fearful they develop anxiety disorders. Anxiety disorders can be treated with medication by the vet. So, taking your dog to the vet for a checkup may result in your fur baby feeling less anxious on the right medication.

As you can see, anxiety and fear can make a dog sleep under the bed. However, in some cases, the dog may simply want to be close to you and his stash! He may also use that space as his room!

Should You Stop a Dog from Sleeping Under the Bed?

Well, that all depends on what’s causing the behavior. If your fur baby simply wants a space to hide his treasures and a room of his own, it’s OK to let him sleep there. However, if your canine companion seems to be suffering from illness or an anxiety disorder, then it’s best to have him checked by the vet. You may also want to consider not allowing your dog to sleep under the bed for other reasons.

For instance, some people who have allergies and asthma may have trouble being near their dogs. If the dog sleeps under the bed and that space isn’t cleaned regularly, the dog’s fur could carry dust and other allergens to the rest of the house. This could make someone with allergies and asthma sick.

So, how can you keep your dog from sleeping under the bed?

Provide Your Dog with What He Needs

If it appears your dog is looking for a den or private space, then you may want to consider providing this for him. You might choose a room or an area in the home where your fur baby can feel comfortable. For that reason, you may want to consider purchasing a dog crate.

The crate can serve as both a safe place and a dog’s private room. All you need to do is ensure your dog has comfy bedding in there. You might want to purchase a dog bed and some blankets to help your dog make a comfortable place. You can also put his favorite toys in the crate.

However, never force your fur baby to get into the crate. When he’s just getting used to it, it’s best to give him the freedom to come and go at will. The goal is to help your dog develop a sense of safety and privacy in the crate. The crate should not become the space where your dog is left alone for extended periods. And it should not be used as a way to punish your dog.

Take Your Dog to the Vet

If your dog suddenly begins sleeping and/or hiding under the bed, then it’s time to see the vet. It’s possible your canine companion could be ill and/or in pain. A checkup can rule out any physical illness.

And if your dog has become anxious, the vet can tell that, too. They can provide your dog with medications to help ease his feelings of stress and anxiety.

Keep a Daily Routine

Dogs are creatures of habit. They love and need to have an expected daily routine. With a routine, your dog may feel more secure. He knows when you’ll be away and when to expect you. Your fur baby will also know when it’s time to eat, go outside to potty, and more.

So, it may help your dog to have a daily routine. This may help dogs that are dealing with separation anxiety.

Summing It Up

There are many reasons your dog may choose to sleep under the bed. If it’s a problem, then first take your dog to the vet for an exam. If health and behavioral problems are ruled out, then it could be your canine companion simply wants a space of his own!

In that case, you may try to see if a crate will work. Your dog may be very happy to trade the space under the bed for a room of his own!

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Kim is a talented author, who loves animals especially dogs. She engaged in writing books and articles relating to animals a decade ago. Kim resides in Chicago with her husband and son. The family is the proud owner of a dog and a parrot (Jack and Lily). Kim wanted more than these two pets, but her husband put his foot down... She often visits elementary schools to talk to the kids about what she learned about pets and how they could learn from them.