Why Does My Dog Hide Under the Bed? When It's Normal or Cause for Concern 28 Feb 2024

Why Does My Dog Hide Under the Bed? When It's Normal or Cause for Concern

Dogs often make us laugh and smile with their amusing antics. But we also know that sometimes our furry friends display behaviours that can seem strange or worrying. One such behaviour is when a dog hides under the bed.

Before you jump straight onto the phone with the vet, there are many reasons why your furry friend might retreat under your bed, the majority of which are completely benign.

To help put your mind at ease, we've got 8 of the most common reasons your dog might be hiding under your bed and reeled in the experts to determine when it might be cause for concern.

8 Reasons Why Your Dog Hides Under the Bed

dog under bed

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If you've noticed that your dog is hiding under your bed more than usual lately, you might be wondering if they're okay or what's going on in their canine brain.

There could be a wealth of reasons they’re doing this, but 8 of the most common reasons why your pooch might set up camp under your bed include…

#1 They Want Comfort & Privacy

#2 They're Startled By a Loud Noise

#3 Someone They Don't Like is Around

#4 They're Feeling Anxious

#5 They're Looking for Peace & Quiet

#6 They're Feeling Unwell

#7 They're Regulating Their Temperature

#8 They've Found Something They Shouldn't

#1 They Want Comfort & Privacy

Although dogs are pack animals that love being around their human companions, they still like to have a bit of privacy from time to time. Being adored by humans can get exhausting, and sometimes, all your dog wants is somewhere comfortable and secluded to chill out.

Your dog might retreat to the warm, comfortable spot beneath your bed if you have company over or if there's a lot of stimulation in the house to get some 'me time' and catch 40 winks.

#2 They're Startled By a Loud Noise

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If your dog hides under the bed in a hurry, they might have been startled by a loud noise such as fireworks.

This behaviour is driven by their instinct to find safety in their den – like their ancestors would have. This is a perfectly normal reaction to being faced with a sudden, loud noise and isn't cause for concern.

If you're expecting loud noises, like on fireworks night, it can be a good idea to make the space beneath your bed easily accessible to your dog. Placing their blanket or Bronte Ranger Throw under there can make it feel extra safe for them.

#3 Someone They Don't Like is Around

No matter how friendly and loving your dog is, there's always going to be someone they dislike for no apparent reason. Just like we all do, they, too, have their preferences for the people they interact and spend time with.

If someone your dog doesn't like is spending time in your house, they might choose to take themselves off and spend time alone in a safe space under your bed.

This isn't always a fear response. It's simply taking the opportunity to curl up somewhere safe and warm while someone different is around.

#4 They're Feeling Anxious

If your dog is feeling fear or anxiety, this might be a cue for them to retreat to their safe spot under your bed. The space beneath a bed provides an environment similar to that of a den, so it can feel calming on an instinctive level.

If your dog isn't usually anxious and they're displaying fear symptoms, such as shaking, drooling, or panting, that aren't abating, it's a good idea to call your vet as they may be in pain or feeling unwell.

#5 They're Looking for Peace & Quiet

Just like us, dogs enjoy a bit of peace and quiet from time to time. If your house is full of loud noises from children, other pets, or simply too much activity, your dog might choose to hide under the bed as a way to escape to a quiet space for a while.

They might also choose to do this after they've enjoyed a rambunctious walk or an exuberant playtime to chill out and calm down.

This isn't anything to worry about and can be seen as a healthy coping mechanism for your furry friend.

#6 They're Feeling Unwell

sleeping dog

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A slightly more serious reason why your dog might be hiding under your bed is that they're feeling unwell. This could be from an injury, disease, sickness, or just because they ate something they shouldn't have.

If your dog is hiding under your bed and won't come out, they're looking lethargic, or they've vomited, it's a good idea to take them to the vet to find out what's wrong with them sooner rather than later so they can begin to feel better.

#7 They're Regulating Their Temperature

Dogs don't regulate their temperature the same way we do. They can't just take off their coat in the summer or put more layers on in the winter. Therefore, they seek out areas that offer them the most comfortable temperature to nap in.

Your dog might choose to spend time under your bed in the summer because it's shaded and cooler than the rest of the house, or they might snuggle up under there in the winter because it's cosy and warm.

#8 They've Found Something They Shouldn't

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Of course, where our beloved furry friends are concerned, there's always the chance for mischief to be afoot. If your dog has managed to get their paws on something they know they shouldn't have, they're likely to take it somewhere secret to enjoy it in peace.

Whether they've nabbed a bit of chicken from the kitchen counter or they've found a slipper that looks too new, under your bed is the perfect hiding spot to revel in their ill-gotten gains. You might even find some evidence of mischievous hoarding if you take a look under there.

When is Hiding Under the Bed a Cause for Concern?

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Whilst some dog behaviours can be easily explained and are generally harmless, when hiding under the bed is accompanied by other concerning symptoms, it may be a cause for concern.

Some accompanying symptoms to look out for include...

This could potentially indicate that your canine companion is feeling stressed, anxious, or unwell. If these symptoms persist or become severe, it's crucial to contact a veterinarian as soon as possible. They can conduct a thorough assessment and provide appropriate treatment to ensure your furry friend's well-being.

Emma Chandley BVetMed PGCertSAS MRCVS says, “If your dog suddenly retreats under the bed or if this is out of character for them, I would be concerned. If they are showing signs of pain, stress or anxiety such as shaking, vocalisation, losing control of their bladder or bowels or growling or snapping, this would also be worrying.”

Why Do Dogs Hide Under Their Bed?

dog under blanket

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Of course, it's not just your bed that your dog might hide under. Many dogs also enjoy hiding under their own dog bed, although it doesn't offer anywhere near as much protection. This behaviour may baffle us as humans, especially as we've often invested in a comfortable bed specifically for our pooch's pleasure.

There are a few potential reasons behind this seemingly perplexing behaviour. It could be a matter of temperature regulation, with the floor offering a cooler surface during warm weather. It might also be driven by a dog's instinctive desire for safety and seclusion, akin to a den-like environment.

There are some dogs that may simply find the underside of their beds more comfortable or even just more fun.

If your dog consistently avoids using their bed as intended, it might be worth experimenting with different types of dog beds to see if a particular style or material is more to their liking.

Comfort Or Compulsion? Understanding Why Your Dog Digs Their Bed

How to Stop Your Dog Hiding Under the Bed

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While it's natural for dogs to seek out enclosed spaces like the area beneath a bed, if this behaviour becomes a problem, there are a few approaches you can take to deter it.

  • Make the area inaccessible – One of the simplest ways to prevent your dog from hiding under the bed is to block access to the area. This could involve placing storage boxes or other obstructions beneath the bed, effectively removing the 'den' your pet has been using.
  • Provide an alternative safe space – Dogs often seek out areas like under the bed because they provide a sense of safety and seclusion. By creating a similar space elsewhere — such as a dedicated dog bed in the corner of the room or a blanket-covered crate — you may be able to coax your dog away from the bed.
  • Positive reinforcement – Using positive reinforcement techniques can also be effective. This may involve rewarding your dog with treats, praise, or extra cuddles when they choose to rest somewhere other than under the bed.
  • Consult a professional – If your dog's behaviour is causing significant concern or stress, it may be beneficial to consult with a professional dog trainer or behaviourist. They can provide tailored advice and strategies.

Give Your Dog a Safe Haven With Bronte Glen

Dogs are naturally inclined to find enclosed spaces that make them feel safe and warm, and while this behaviour might seem strange at times, many of the top reasons for it are perfectly harmless and even normal.

If you want to give your dog the ultimate safe space to chill out and relax that isn't under your bed, you can't go wrong with one of our luxurious dog beds! We craft all our beds at our working mill in Yorkshire using premium materials to give your dog the comfiest, cosiest, and calmest place to rest.

Shop the range online today!

This article is for informational purposes only and is not intended to be used as a substitute for veterinary medical advice. If you’re concerned about changes in your dog's behaviour, always consult with a vet as soon as possible to check them over.


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