Health & Wellbeing

Why Does My Dog Sleep Under the Covers?

Is snuggling under the blankets safe for your pup? Let's find out.

Copy: Katy & Shell

Photography: Katy & Shell

Yes, we are those pet parents that let our dogs sleep on our bed (gasp!)

Sometimes, our dogs even like to sleep under the covers.

Sure, seeing your dog sleeping under a blanket is super cute…but is it safe? Can dogs actually suffocate under blankets…?

Because when you think about it, a dog can’t manoeuvre the covers on a bed or couch as easily as we can.

As a loving dog mum, it’s a fair question to consider…especially if you have a dog breed that likes to burrow in their bed. 

So, if your best friend loves to crawl beneath the blankets at snooze time, let’s take a closer look at why!

And, more importantly – how you can ensure your dog stays safe when sleeping under the covers.

EDITOR’S NOTE: This post may contain affiliate links, which help keep this content free. (Full disclosure)

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Does your dog sleep under the covers? 

If you’re here, chances are you have a four-legged friend who likes to burrow beneath your blankets.

There are plenty of theories as to why some dogs tend to crawl beneath the covers, while others are content to just cozy in on top. 

One myth that’s important to debunk right away, is that sleeping under the covers isn’t just something small dogs do.

While it’s not uncommon to see a chihuahua or terrier crawl under the covers, some larger dogs like to dig and burrow too. We’ll get into some of those theories shortly.

First, let’s look at how you can keep your dog safe and healthy if they’re a big fan of sleeping under the covers. 

Can dogs breathe under blankets?

When your best friend crawls beneath a blanket, chances are they aren’t expertly tucking themselves in and pushing the covers down and away from their face.

So, while you might laugh when you see a mysterious dog-shaped lump in your bed, you also might wonder if dogs can suffocate under blankets. 

The good news? It’s highly unlikely. But how do dogs breathe under blankets? 

When your dog sleeps under the covers, there’s still plenty of airflow coming into the blanket, due to the fabric it’s made of.

So, they should be completely fine as long as they aren’t covered too tightly.

Puppy sleeping in bed - Why does my dog sleep under the covers?

However, if your dog is burying themselves in blankets on a hot day, this could increase their risk of overheating.

So make sure you’re keeping your pup cool throughout the day by:

  • Offering a lot of water
  • Encouraging breaks for them to cool down
  • Giving them frozen dog treats and dog toys
  • Providing shade whenever they’re outside

You could also opt to switch out your dog bedding and blankets as the seasons change, using more lightweight fabrics when it’s warm out.

This way, your dog can sleep under the covers and still feel comforted without overheating. 

dog sleeping in bed under blankets

Why does my dog burrow in blankets? 

Again, there are plenty of theories out there as to why dogs like to sleep under the covers. Whatever you believe, it’s important to remember that dogs are den animals.

It’s natural for dogs to go back to places that have their scent, and to where they feel safe and comfortable (no prizes for guessing that might be your bed!) When they cover themselves up, the blankets add another layer of comfort and protection.  

Dog breeds that burrow under blankets

Some dog breeds naturally love to burrow. It’s pure instinct, passed down through the generations.

While all dogs are den animals, some dogs have different den habits. The most common dog breeds that burrow under the covers are:

  • Dachshunds
  • Bedlington Terriers
  • Cairn Terriers
  • Beagles
  • Siberian Huskies
  • Malamutes
  • Border Collies
  • Australian Shepherds

Of course, no one wants their sheets to smell like dog for too long!

So it’s a good idea to pop them in the washing machine from time to time.

Adding a little baking soda will get rid of any unpleasant pet odours without being detrimental to your pup.

Also, try to avoid using bleach or aerosols to clean your sheets. These can cause respiratory problems and skin issues, especially for dogs with allergies.  

Why does my dog sleep under the covers?

Why does my dog sleep against me?

Fact: there’s nothing better than cuddling with your fur baby at night, right?

Studies have shown that sleeping next to your dog can reduce depression, ease insomnia, and improve your overall sleep quality. And it sure can make you feel super loved and cozy!

It’s also just really darn sweet, isn’t it? 

You might be quick to assume that your dog sleeps against you and cuddles up close because they love you, and that’s likely a big part of it (yes, we hear you saying “aww” right now — we are too!)

Again, dogs are den animals, so it’s instinctual for them to sleep in packs. To them, you’re a member of that pack.

Hopefully, they see you as their leader. They trust you to protect them and take care of them.

More than your bed and blankets being their safe haven, it’s you that makes your dog feel comfortable and safe, so they want to be as close to you as possible. 

dog sleeping on pillow under blanket

Last word on your dog sleeping under the covers

At the end of the day, you don’t need to worry much about your dog sleeping under the covers.

If your dog really likes to burrow under blankets, just do what you can to keep them safe and comfortable while letting them be free to follow their instincts.

More often than not, your dog knows exactly what they’re doing.

So, soak up those nighttime cuddle sessions, and take comfort knowing your best friend loves being a part of your pack!

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Copy: Katy & Shell

Photography: Katy & Shell

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