Do dogs like being wrapped in blankets?
Why do dogs sleep under the covers? It all comes down to nature
If you’ve ever tossed and turned all night, you know it’s frustrating. Finally finding the perfect sleeping position feels oh-so-good. Both humans and their furry friends can appreciate the bliss of discovering a comfy spot beneath the blankets, though it might not seem as normal for your pup’s sleeping routine. So, why do dogs sleep under the covers?
- Why do dogs sleep under the covers? Here’s what experts say
- Is it dangerous for dogs to sleep under the covers? Should I stop bed-sharing with my pup?
- Some final thoughts on letting your dog sleep under the covers
The reasons behind this adorable behavior may not surprise you, and they’re just as cute as you’d expect. Be careful while you read, though, or you may convince yourself to share your bed more often. Your dog will certainly get behind the idea of sharing a bed, but you might have to get used to having a lot less space while you sleep.
Why do dogs sleep under the covers? Here’s what experts say
You like to believe that your fur baby gets under the blankets just to get closer to you…and you may be partially right. Because dogs are pack animals, feeling the touch of a family member while sleeping can be the ultimate form of comfort and warmth. Your presence lets them know they’re protected and part of the pack, even if they only snuggle up when they feel anxious. This may feel especially comforting for pups who grew up with their siblings—just think about puppy piles.
Snuggling under the covers has instinctual roots, too. Not long ago, dogs and wolves were born, raised, and sheltered in dens or caves, so it’s easy to see why your pup might feel cozy in a small space of their own.
Canine behaviorist Clarissa Fallis explains that certain breeds might be even more likely to burrow. Small hunting breeds like dachshunds and beagles “tend to mimic their innate behavior of flushing out small animals from tunnels by burrowing.” She goes on to explain, “Larger burrowers, like Huskies, live in extreme temperatures that make the instinct to burrow under the snow crucial for staying warm.”
Whether your fur baby is actually cold, anxious, or just used to a routine of denning behavior, burrowing is generally not a cause for concern. Of course, there are a few safety precautions you can take to make it the best experience possible.
Is it dangerous for dogs to sleep under the covers? Should I stop bed-sharing with my pup?
While the act of sleeping under the covers is not inherently dangerous for canines, accidents can happen. A pup may panic if they get too warm and can’t find a way out from beneath the blankets, so make sure not to tuck in your sheets or corner your dog between you and your partner.
Many pet parents worry about their pup suffocating under blankets, but Dr. Malora Roberts of Deepwood Veterinary Clinic assures owners not to stress. Paying attention to a blanket’s material, she notes, is a great way to tell whether a dog may be uncomfortable: if you find it too heavy, your furry friend will too. Suffocating, though, is extremely unlikely. Should your dog become hot or short of breath you can trust that they will react quickly to get themselves out from under the covers.
You might be tempted to find a blanket with large holes to give to your pet, but this may do more harm than good. Not only will your curious puppers be able to claw and chew their blanket, making it much more likely to tear, but small limbs and bodies may get tangled in the fabric, too. Instead, opt for a lightweight blanket if you can, or only let your pup under the top layer of your bedsheets.
Lastly, it’s understandable why you’d feel concerned if you only notice your dog burrowing when they feel anxious. This isn’t a harmful way of coping — in fact, it’s probably very helpful — but showing excessive symptoms of anxiety can be dangerous in its own way. Long-term stress has a variety of consequences, after all, though a vet visit or two can get you well on your way to solving your pup’s troubles.
Some final thoughts on letting your dog sleep under the covers
Overall, it can be great for your dog to share the bed with you, whether or not they decide to burrow under the covers. Getting cozy has both physical and emotional benefits for your beloved fur baby — so what are you waiting for? Let the snuggles begin.
If it’s not for you, your pup can sleep in a crate or dog bed instead.
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The Best Puppy Blankets for a Snuggly Snooze
There’s nothing cuter than a snoozing puppy right? Puppies just love being tucked up cosy and warm in a puppy blanket, I mean who doesn’t? They’ve had their mother and littermates to snuggle up with until now. But do puppies really need puppy blankets, or will a regular puppy bed do?
Here at Zigzag, we like to answer all of your burning questions, so we thought we’d tell you all you need to know about puppy blankets and puppy comfort blankets. We’ll fill you in on:
- Why we think puppy blankets are essential.
- What you should look for when choosing a comfort blanket for your puppy.
- What puppy blankets can be made from.
- Blankets for puppies who might have specific needs.
There’s more to puppy blankets than you thought isn’t there?
Hopefully, our guide will prevent you from getting overwhelmed and help you choose a good one for your puppy. Meanwhile, we have a lot more information in our Zigzag puppy training app, about every aspect of puppy training; be it socialisation, life skills, teaching your puppy to be ok home alone, and we have a dedicated team of puppy coaches available for you 7 days a week to answer any questions. It’s basically like having a dog trainer in your pocket. We look forward to being your bestie. Be it on WhatsApp, email or the good old phone!
Puppy Blankets: are they an essential?
Let’s lay it out here. Yes, we do think puppy blankets are essential. Puppy comfort blankets are necessary for several reasons, actually.
Puppy blankets provide a den like experience
Now, we know dogs were domesticated a long time ago, but puppies still appreciate the den and cocooned like feeling they get from a blanket. When at home your puppy will probably retreat to familiar places like their crate or bed if they feel worried. By having a blanket in that space you can use it as a portable den when you take them out and about.
Puppy blankets provide warmth and security
Dogs like to stay warm, and puppies are no different! When they are with their littermates, they all sleep on top of each other. It’s a phenomenon that is well documented in scientific papers, often called ‘huddling’. It is a way of reducing heat loss and keeping warm.
Sleeping curled up together provides security and comfort and would be essential for survival ‘in the wild’. Even older puppies and dogs will sleep curled up next to each other.
Side note: Did you know a dog’s resting body temperature is 37.8° to 38.9°C – which is a lot warmer than a human’s!
Puppy blankets smell nice
Did you give a blanket to your breeder before you got your puppy to act like a puppy comfort blanket? Or maybe your breeder gave you some blanket material that ‘smelt like Mum’? Whichever it was, that familiar smell will give your new puppy comfort when they’re in their new home and reduce anxiety when they’re older by having ‘their’ blanket when you take them somewhere new.
What to look for in a puppy blanket
When choosing a puppy blanket, there are probably some things you want to look out for. We hope we’ve shared our top tips below, but do get in touch if we’ve missed something! We love getting feedback from our readers.
Is the puppy blanket a good size?
Can you wrap your puppy up in the blanket like a puppy burrito? Just kidding, but your puppy comfort blanket wants to be big enough for them to easily lie down on and scratch up into a nest. Yes, you might see your puppy doing that odd behaviour of circling and digging at their blanket. It’s perfectly normal, don’t worry.
Is the puppy blanket padded?
Who doesn’t love a quilted throw to snuggle up in? So how about a quilted puppy blanket? Blankets that are thicker will be nice and warm for your puppy, especially if they choose to snuggle down underneath them.
Is the blanket fluffy?
Let us tell you, most dogs and puppies love a bit of faux-fur action and fortunately, many faux fur puppy blankets are machine washable these days. If you’re not a fan of faux fur, perhaps you’d consider more of a fluffy puppy blanket?
Is the puppy blanket washable?
Some of the newer wool puppy blankets are designed to be machine washable, but for many puppy blankets, your best bet is a fleece puppy blanket as it’s washable, quick drying and often waterproof too. Oh and use a guppy bag. Not only will this stop microplastics from getting into the environment (marine mammals and oceans say thank you!) but if your puppy sheds, then it saves your washing machine or tumble dryer from having all of your puppy’s fur stuck in the filters.
Most snuggly puppy blankets to choose from
You would not believe the range of materials that puppy comfort blankets come in these days, fleece, velvet, washable, faux fur. Lucky puppies! Let’s take a walk around the puppy blanket department with you.
Fleece puppy blankets
Fleece is commonly used in puppy blankets because it’s cheap, easy to keep clean, quick to dry on a washing line, and soft and warm.
Some of the more eco-conscious readers will know that it’s not wonderful for the environment, and some environmentalists will go so far as to ask us not to use fleece at all. Use a washing bag if you have fleece blankets to stop microplastic from entering the water system.
Waterproof puppy blankets
Many blankets these days have a waterproof membrane that will keep your furniture safe when toilet training your puppy.
Puppy blankets made of recycled materials
It wasn’t an easy find, but take a look at this blanket as one which is made up of recycled materials. We can all try and do our bit for the environment can’t we?
Velvet puppy blankets
Do you own a luxury bitch? Give her (or him!) the finest puppy blanket made of velvet. Because they’re worth it!
Puppy blankets to lower anxiety
These days, many blankets claim to help with your pet’s anxiety, reduce separation anxiety, comfort your puppy when stressed, or provide overall wellness support. Now, we don’t know of any science that says a specific type of blanket will help your puppy cope with being home alone, but sure a comforting shaggy blanket is going to be nice for your puppy to snuggle down into.
Well, we hope you’ve given you some ideas about the kind of puppy blankets that are available and what might be the best puppy comfort blanket for your puppy.
On the subject of sleep, have you checked out our article on how to get your puppy to sleep through the night, or perhaps you’d like to learn more about puppy sleep aids and have considered getting a puppy heartbeat toy?
To jump on the puppy training train, why not download a free trial of the Zigzag puppy training app and get started on your puppy training journey today. Don’t forget to reach out to the puppy coaches and tell them all about your puppy. They love receiving puppy pics too!
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By Petrina Firth, Zigzag Puppy Expert
Fully Qualified COAPE Behaviourist and Registered Training Instructor with The Animal Behaviour and Training Council