Dogs sleep underneath blankets for many reasons. And while some pet owners might enjoy snuggling up with their four-legged best friend, others are concerned that dogs may not be getting enough oxygen to breathe under blankets.
Many pet owners worry that their dog will suffocate if they cover him or her with blankets, but you can relax. It’s highly unlikely, according to the experts! It goes without saying that you should never suffocate them or block their exit with blankets or sheets, and you should always leave a space for them to escape.
Before scrolling down to the answer to this question, “Can Dogs Breathe Under Blankets,” check out: Why Is My Dog Breathing Heavily While Sleeping? (2023) and Why Is My Dog Breathing Heavy At Night? (2023).
What Causes Some Dogs to Sleep Under Blankets?
Your dog’s habit of sleeping under the covers is reminiscent of its habit of hiding under your bed. There are, however, a couple of other explanations for the action that you might not have considered.
Following its natural instincts, your dog probably seeks refuge under your covers. The majority of a dog’s time in the wild is spent outdoors. Their foraging and water-seeking expeditions typically take them out into the open.
Wild dog packs, however, frequently seek refuge in natural dens or caves when it is time to rest. These creatures find refuge from the outdoors in caves and dens.
As a canine, your dog’s natural inclination is to seek shelter and darkness when sleeping, so the blankets may help him feel at ease. There are probably other ways in which this instinct manifests.
Some canine breeds, for instance, have a habit of circling the room a few times before settling down on the couch or bed. That’s another habit you pick up when you learn to sleep in the wild. There’s also the urge to dig, which is natural but probably best avoided in the bedroom.
Some breeds, like Terriers, have evolved to burrow in order to better access underground prey.
Your dog may suffer from separation anxiety if it only seeks refuge under the covers on rare occasions, for instance, if it’s feeling under the weather or when there’s a particularly loud storm outside.
When anxious, a dog will want to be close to you and find comfort in being squished and confined.
Thunder jackets have compression that acts like a hug and helps calm anxious dogs. The same effect can be achieved by hiding under the covers.
Sometimes the answer is as simple as turning on the heat for your dog. There is a good chance that your dog will feel cold if you do. Even if your dog isn’t shivering, it might still appreciate the extra warmth.
If you have noticed that your dog prefers to spend more time under the covers on colder days and in the winter, it may be seeking warmth. In the winter, your dog may enjoy snuggling up under the covers, but in the summer, he or she may find the bedspread more comfortable.
Smaller dogs or those with thin coats are more likely to exhibit this behavior because they feel the cold more intensely. More than that, an aging dog may have trouble maintaining a healthy body temperature. In its later years, an older dog who has never slept under your covers before is likely to benefit from the added warmth.
Your dog still retains some of its wild instincts, and this may be reflected in the way it acts. However, they have picked up many of their habits from others. Each night, as you get ready for bed, your dog watches you and knows it’s time for sleep, which is why it’s no surprise that your dog would follow suit.
They aren’t just picking up knowledge from you — they also crave physical proximity. When a dog wants to be close, that closeness may involve being on top of you.
Some dogs require human contact at all times, even if that means sleeping on your pillow. Their physical closeness and nightly snuggles are expressions of their limitless love for you.
In a nutshell, your dog enjoys the snuggly warmth of your duvet because he knows he is safe with you.
Can Dogs Sleep Under the Covers and Still Get Enough Oxygen?
The average dog sleeps for 12 to 14 hours per day, but it’s usually broken up into several shorter 45-minute naps. In the early stages of a normal sleep cycle, dogs enter “light sleep,” a stage from which they may be roused with little effort. They will then enter a more difficult-to-arouse “deep sleep” phase.
At last, a dog will enter a “rapid eye movement” (REM) phase in which their eyes move rapidly and they may have dreams. A dog’s ability to rest and rejuvenate after a long day depends on long stretches of time spent in deep sleep. However, there is a risk that your dog will not get enough oxygen if it sleeps in the same bed as you.
Due to the obstruction of airflow, your dog may experience shallow breathing or even apnea if you wrap him or her in a blanket or sheet. It’s possible that severe cases of this could result in hypoxia (low blood oxygen levels), which is fatal. Dogs can share your bed, but it’s important to use breathable fabrics like cotton or linen if you do.
Make sure your dog has plenty of room to move around so they don’t feel confined. Finally, if your dog sleeps with you on the bed, check on them frequently to make sure they are not suffocating.
Is It Risky for Dogs to Sleep Under the Covers?
Although dogs are not in any immediate danger from dozing off under the covers, mishaps are always possible. Be careful not to tuck in your sheets or corner your dog between yourself and your partner, as this could cause them to overheat and panic.
Consider the weight of a blanket as an indicator of whether or not it will be comfortable for a dog. There is only a negligible chance of suffocation. You can trust that if your dog gets too warm or needs to catch their breath, it will quickly emerge from the blankets.
Although it may seem like a good idea to find a blanket with big holes and give it to your pet, doing so could actually cause harm. Not only can your rambunctious pooches playfully tear at their blanket with their paws and teeth, but their little limbs are also at risk of becoming entangled in the material.
Rather than letting your dog sleep under all of your blankets, you should use a thin blanket or at most only allow him to sleep under your top sheet.
Finally, it makes sense that you would be worried if you only noticed your dog burrowing when they were feeling anxious. This is a perfectly healthy coping mechanism, and it’s likely to be quite helpful, but displaying excessive anxiety symptoms is problematic in its own right.
Although a couple of trips to the vet can get you well on your way to solving your dog’s problems, remember that prolonged stress can have a variety of negative effects.
How Can I Prevent My Dog from Snuggling Up Under the Covers?
Some dog owners are fine with their canine companions sleeping on their beds, while others would rather they didn’t. Remember that your dog may be quite roomy. Movement and repositioning throughout the night from them can also disrupt your normal sleep pattern.
Additionally, they are notorious for tracking unwanted bedtime guests, such as dirt and fur, which can quickly soil your sheets. That’s not a bed anyone would want to sleep in. Just like with any other type of training, it will take time to teach your dog to sleep in a particular spot. Have patience and give these strategies a shot.
Find a New Bed Space
Instead of simply kicking your dog off the bed and expecting it to find a new place to sleep, consider providing it with a more suitable bed.
A dog bed can be placed on the floor next to your bed if your pet prefers to sleep in the same room. You can even give your dog its very own blanket if it enjoys snuggling up with one. Use a blanket you don’t mind getting chewed up or dirty if you plan on using this method.
Give Rewards and Praise
Put your dog down in the new sleeping area once it has been prepared. Show your appreciation by showering your dog with compliments and rewarding it with tasty treats. Giving your dog its favorite toy may also help it associate the area with sleep.
Choose a Word
Pick a word that signifies bedtime for your pet. Bed, sleep, lay down, go to sleep, and similar expressions can be used. Please use only one word or phrase at a time. Keep at it for as long as you feel it’s necessary.
Frequently Asked Questions
Dogs like to go under the blanket to seek warmth and comfort, especially near their owner.
Dogs have a higher baseline body temperature than humans, so keep that in mind when letting your dog snuggle up under blankets.
Dogs sleep next to their owner as a sign of affection and comfort.
Conclusion for “Can Dogs Breathe Under Blankets”
It’s not uncommon for dogs to have quirky habits like curling up with a blanket on the bed. There is usually nothing to worry about if you can ignore it. The warmth and protection of your bed will make your dog feel right at home.
If you find this guide, “Can Dogs Breathe Under Blankets,” helpful check out:
- Best Pet Hair Resistant Blanket – Top 8 Picks! (2023)
- Why Does My Dog Scratch My Bed Sheets? (2023)
- The 8 Best Dog Steps for a Bed in 2023!
Learn more by watching “Why Does My Dog Sleep Under The Covers? (10 Reasons)” down below:
Garrett loves animals and is a huge advocate for all Doodle dog breeds. He owns his own Goldendoodle named Kona. In addition, he volunteers at the Humane Society of Silicon Valley, where he fosters dogs and helps animals. Garrett enjoys writing about Doodles and believes that dogs can teach humans more about how to live than humans can teach a dog.
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