Why Does My Dog Sleep Under the Covers Next to Me?

As a dog owner, you may have noticed that your furry friend has a peculiar habit of burrowing under the covers and snuggling up next to you during bedtime. 

This behavior may seem adorable and endearing, but have you ever wondered why your dog chooses to sleep in this cozy spot? In this article, we will explore the possible reasons behind this behavior and shed light on the fascinating world of canine sleeping habits.

Seeking Warmth and Security

One of the primary reasons why dogs sleep under the covers next to their owners is the instinctual need for warmth and security. 

Just like their wild ancestors, dogs are den animals, and burrowing into enclosed spaces provides them with a sense of safety and comfort. 

Your dog may find the secure, enclosed environment created by the covers akin to a den, which helps them relax and feel protected while sleeping.

Moreover, dogs are highly sensitive to temperature changes. By snuggling under the covers, they can regulate their body heat and maintain a comfortable temperature throughout the night. 

This behavior is especially common in smaller breeds or those with shorter coats that may feel more susceptible to the cold.

Bonding and Social Connection

Dogs are social animals that thrive on companionship and seek close interaction with their human counterparts. Sleeping under the covers next to you can be their way of reinforcing the bond and expressing their love and affection. 

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Your dog views you as part of their pack and desires to be close to you, even during sleep. In the wild, pack members sleep in close proximity to one another for warmth, protection, and a sense of unity. 

By sleeping under the covers, your dog is essentially trying to recreate this sense of togetherness with you. 

Being near you while sleeping also provides them with reassurance, reducing anxiety and promoting a deeper sense of security.

Scent and Familiarity

Dogs have an acute sense of smell, and your scent is particularly comforting to them. By sleeping under the covers next to you, your dog can surround themselves with your scent, which helps to alleviate stress and separation anxiety. 

The familiar smell of their beloved human acts as a soothing presence, ensuring a more peaceful and restful sleep.

Protection and Guarding Instincts

Another reason why dogs might choose to sleep under the covers next to you is their instinctual desire to protect and guard their pack. 

Dogs have a natural inclination to watch over their loved ones, and by positioning themselves close to you, they can stay vigilant and react to any potential threats, even while asleep.

While domesticated dogs may not face the same dangers as their wild counterparts, this guarding instinct is deeply ingrained in their DNA. 

By sleeping under the covers next to you, your dog assumes the role of a guardian, ensuring that both you and they remain safe throughout the night.


The act of your dog sleeping under the covers next to you is a combination of innate instincts and their desire for companionship and security. 

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Seeking warmth, creating a sense of den-like security, reinforcing the bond with their human pack, surrounding themselves with familiar scents, and even protecting their loved ones are all contributing factors to this behavior.

It is important to understand and respect your dog’s sleeping preferences, as this behavior provides them with comfort and a sense of well-being. 

If you are not comfortable with sharing your bed with your dog, providing them with their own cozy sleeping area nearby can be a good compromise. Ultimately, the decision to allow your dog to sleep under the covers next to you or not is a personal one. 

Just remember that this behavior stems from their natural instincts and their deep love and loyalty towards you. 

Embrace the special bond you share with your canine companion, even during bedtime, and enjoy the warmth and companionship they bring to your life.