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
Katy and Shell are two style-savvy dog mums celebrating the best in pet-friendly living. A professional pet photographer and dog lifestyle writer, together they share dog-friendly inspiration, pet product reviews, dog treat recipes, expert pet advice and on-trend dog brands with discerning pet parents around the world.
‘Why does my dog sleep under the covers…?’
Okay okay, so we let our two boys share the bed with us (yes they have their own luxury dog beds, but these are their ‘day beds’ apparently!)
Besides, most people consider their four-legged friends to be a part of the family. So, it’s not uncommon for pet parents to let their dogs sleep in bed with them, right? Our two boys wouldn’t have it any other way, and boy do they take up a lot of space!
Sometimes, our dogs even like to sleep under the covers.
Sure, your dog sleeping under a blanket is an adorable dog photo op no doubt…but is it safe? Can dogs suffocate under blankets? After all, dogs can’t manoeuvre the covers on a bed or couch as easily as humans.
As a dog mum or pet parent, it’s normal to have a thousand questions, especially if you have a dog breed that likes to burrow.
If your canine companion can’t get enough of crawling beneath the blankets when they want to get nice and cozy (who can really blame them!) then let’s take a closer look at why, and how you can ensure your dog stays safe when sleeping under the covers.
Does your dog sleep under the covers?
Seeing as 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 lay on top.
One myth that’s important to debunk right away is that this isn’t just a small dog thing! While it’s not uncommon to see a chihuahua or terrier crawl under the covers, big dogs who like to dig and burrow can have the same desire.
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.
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.
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:
- Bedlington Terriers
- Cairn Terriers
- Siberian Huskies
- 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 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.
So at the end of the day, if you too have asked yourself ‘why does my dog sleep under the covers?’ – don’t worry too much about it!
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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Thank you for being part of our dog-loving community!
Copy: Katy & Shell
Photography: Katy & Shell