Do Dogs Like To Be Under a Blanket? This Explains Why

A Dachshund lying in bed under the covers in between a man's feet.

If you’ve tried sleeping with your dog in your bed at night, you might be wondering about this one strange but adorable behavior of your furry friend – crawling under the blanket with you. 

Is this a normal behavior? Do all dogs do this? Is it safe? Let’s explore the answers to these questions and more.

Do dogs like to be under a blanket? Not all dogs enjoy being under a blanket, but many do. In addition to the blanket providing warmth and security, it’s thought that burrowing under a blanket mimics natural digging and denning instincts. As long as the dog can’t become trapped and is able to breath, being under a blanket is safe.

Let’s take a look at the root of this behavior and whether or not you should allow your dog to sleep under the blanket.

Why Dogs Like to Be Under Blankets

When your dogs enjoy slumbering under the comforter like humans, especially at night, it often leaves owners wondering, “Why?”

Natural Burrowing/Denning Instinct

Dogs with a preference for sleeping under the covers could be exhibiting an instinctual behavior they get from their wild ancestors.

Ancient dogs were born and raised in dens, which are sheltered homes for mammals, usually underground. 

This behavior is pretty common in Huskies and Alaskan Malamutes, who burrow in snow as a way to stay warm and hide from predators.

Dachshunds and Terrier as well have ancestors who were avid hunters of smaller prey that usually hide in tunnels and undergrounds. 

So, digging and burrowing is a completely natural behavior often exhibited in working breeds, though any dog may enjoy “denning.”

Security

Dogs are pack animals, and if you’ve seen them at puppyhood, their nature is to sleep in piles, huddled together.

In a way, sleeping under the covers, preferably pressed against you, provides your dog with a secure environment. 

In addition, dogs who are a bit fearful and anxious may feel calmer and safer snoozing under tight covers close to you. 

Blankets Are Warm and Cozy

If your dog is burrowing under the blanket, it could also be that they are just creating a warm, cozy spot for themselves where they can relax.

Just as humans love the comfort and warmth of their beds, so do dogs. 

Do All Dogs Like to Burrow Under Blankets?

The burrowing or denning behavior in dogs depends on the dog breed, as some breeds will burrow more than others. However, all dogs will burrow to a certain degree.

If it’s not under the covers, it could be under the table, a tight spot, or a hole they made in your backyard. 

Why Some Dogs Do Not Like Being Under a Blanket

While some dogs love to burrow under the blanket, others hate it.

The main reason is that tucking themselves under the covers can make them too hot, especially during the summer season, and dogs like to be comfortable. 

Some dogs may prefer to sleep on top of the blanket, while others will prefer sleeping on the cold floor without any blanket at all. 

Do Dogs Get Cold at Night?

Even with their fur and despite keeping them indoors, it is still possible for your furry friends to get cold at night. This is particularly common in small breeds and dogs with a thin coat.

However, most dogs will usually seek out somewhere warm if ever they start feeling a little cold. 

A cute Border Collie on the couch under a light-weight blanket.

Can Dogs Breathe Under Blankets?

If you’re worrying about whether your dog can breathe under blankets or not, you don’t have anything to worry about.

Indeed, they can breathe even when burrowed under the covers, but make sure the blanket is light enough that it won’t pose any danger to your pup. 

Can Dogs Suffocate Under a Blanket?

Dogs suffocating when burrowed under the blanket is highly unlikely to happen, although you might want to make sure that the blanket isn’t too tight around them or that they are not weighed down by the blanket.

Your dog should always have a way to get out if he wants to.

Can a Dog Overheat Under Blankets?

Overheating under the blanket is possible for dogs, but thankfully, they can thermoregulate on their own.

This means that when dogs start to get too hot under the covers, they will get up and find somewhere cooler to lie down. 

Should Dogs Sleep Under the Covers?

Many dogs enjoy snuggling under the blanket, and generally speaking, it’s safe for them to do so. However, taking some precautions is always a smart idea.

  • Ensure that the blanket isn’t too heavy or too tightly wrapped around them.
  • Keep the blanket light and loose to makes it easy for them to get out from under it if they wish to.

There are cases when it’s not the safest option to let a dog sleep under the covers – for instance, if you have a brachycephalic dog.

Flat-faced and short-nosed dogs with breathing problems like Pugs, Bulldogs, Shih Tzus, Boston Terriers, and Pekingese may find it harder to breathe properly when sleeping under a blanket.

Does My Dog Need a Blanket at Night?

Keep an eye out for some tale-tell signs that your dog may be feeling cold, such as:

  • Shivering.
  • Eye and nose discharge.
  • Sneezing.

If your dog is getting cold, consider giving him a cozy and warm blanket to snuggle on and get comfortable in. a soft dog bed may help too.

I recommend the Calming Donut Bed as the central depression allows your dog to really snug in to the ultra-soft and soothing shag lining.

Best Friends by Sheri The Original Calming Donut...
  • CALMING DOG BED SUPPORTS BETTER SLEEP: Thanks to its round shape, our high-quality Donut Cuddler cat...
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Related Questions: 

Do Dogs Like Blankets Over Their Crates?

Not all dogs like their crates draped with a blanket, but others may prefer a partially covered crate for comfort and security.

It ultimately depends on the dog and what he or she is accustomed to.

Do Dogs Like Sleeping With Their Owners?

Dogs generally do like to sleep in the same vicinity as their owners.

If a dog wants to sleep with his owners, it’s usually because he feels the most secure and comfortable in their presence.

Some dogs will sleep right next to their owners while others are content sleeping just in the same room with their owners.

Final Thoughts

Dogs clearly love to seek somewhere warm and comfortable, and that’s why you often see them huddled under your blanket.

While it’s generally safe, always make sure that your dog doesn’t have breathing or mobility issues when allowing him to sleep under the covers. 

Last update on 2022-05-18 at 10:50 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API