Why Dogs Like To Sleep Underneath the Bed – Top 6 Reasons

A cute gray and white puppy peeking out from under a bed.

Dogs love to be close to their owners even when they sleep. If your dog is sleeping under the bed, he can still be close to you and enjoy the dark, cool space.

Most of the time, dogs sleep under the bed because they feel comfortable there, but on rare occasions, it could be due to a health issue or another problem.

Why do dogs like to sleep under the bed? The cool, dark space replicates a natural den environment where they feel safe, comfortable, and close to their owners. When under the bed, they don’t need to worry about being stepped on, but they also may be trying to hide after getting in trouble or due to pain or illness.

If your dog is sleeping under the bed and you want to know more about the reasons why, read on to find out more about this type of behavior.

6 Reasons Why Dogs Sleep Under the Bed

Dogs often like to sleep under things because it makes them feel safe, and they often view your bed as the best to sleep. Here are some reasons why they may choose to sleep there.

1. Replicates Natural Den Environment

In the wild, dogs often sleep in dens. This allows them to be sheltered and helps with warmth.

Dens also usually only have one or two entrances, so dogs can guard these entrances and know that they won’t be surprised by an attack from above or an ambush from the side.

Domestic dogs have these same fears and instincts and may see the area under the bed as the perfect den.

For a fascinating look at the denning behavior still existing in our pet dogs (and so much more), I highly recommend reading The Hidden Life of Dogs by Elizabeth Marshall Thomas.

You’ll be blown away at the depth of insight the author gained by just allowing dogs to be dogs.

2. Cool, Dark Space Is Comforting When Scared

When dogs feel stressed or scared, being able to sleep in a cool, dark space can be very comforting.

The darkness and cool temperatures can help them relax and sleep better, much like a cool, dark room promotes rest and relaxation for people. 

3. Can’t Be Stepped on or Tripped Over

Your dog may be aware that he can’t sleep in certain areas because he might be in the way and could get tripped over or stepped on.

Dogs know that under the bed is a safe place where they can sleep out of the way and undisturbed.

4. Pain or Illness

When dogs don’t feel well or if they are in pain, they can hide or tend to pull away from people.

They may go hide somewhere dark to rest because it goes against their natural instincts to show pain or weakness. 

If you feel this may be the reason behind your dog’s behavior, please take him to the vet right away.

5. Desire To Be Close to Owner

Dogs like to feel close to their owners, and if you don’t allow your dog to sleep in the bed with you, he may feel that under the bed is the next best thing.

This also allows them to feel near you for their own safety and helps them feel more protective over you.

6. Trying To Hide 

If there are loud noises or strangers in your home, if your dog has had an accident or was naughty, or if he has had a traumatic experience, he may feel the need to hide until he decides the area is safe again.

Under the bed can be the perfect hiding place where your dog can feel safe and still see what’s happening around him.

When To Be Concerned About Your Dog Going Under the Bed

A Cavalier King Charles Spaniel puppy under a bed.

If your dog sleeps under the bed every night, naps there, or goes there to escape loud noises and strangers in the home, it shouldn’t be a cause for concern.

It just means your dog sees the bed as a safe place.

If your dog goes under the bed and refuses to come out or if this is a completely new behavior, it could mean your dog is injured or sick.

Once you are able to get the dog out from under the bed, you should take him to a veterinarian to diagnose the problem.

How To Coax Your Dog Out From Under the Bed

The best way to coax your dog out from under the bed is by speaking gently to him. You can also use food or treats to get the dog out.

If you can’t coax the dog from under the bed, you may need to remove the bed and then gently lift your dog up and take him to a different place or the veterinarian. 

Related Questions:

Should I Cover My Dog With a Blanket at Night?

It is okay to cover your dog with a blanket at night as long as the dog seems to like the blanket.

A blanket can be warming and comforting for the dog. Some dogs are scared of blankets and prefer to be uncovered.

Pay attention to how your dog reacts to the blanket and if he doesn’t like it, stop covering him.

How Many Dog Beds Should a Dog Have?

A dog should have at least one bed in the home. You can give your dog more than one bed if you choose.

Some people like to have a bed in their bedroom for their dog to sleep in at night and a bed in the living room so the dog can nap or rest in his own space but still feel close to everyone. If there are multiple dogs in the home, each one should have their own bed.

Conclusion 

Dogs like to sleep in places where they feel safe and comfortable. If your dog tends to sleep under the bed, it may be the place he likes best.

If you are not happy with your dog sleeping under the bed, provide him with a similar environment in the corner of your bedroom or another area of the home.

Be sure to take your dog to a veterinarian to rule out a health problem that could be causing your dog to sleep or hide under the bed.