Why Your Dog Sleeps on the Floor Instead of Her Bed

So you spent decent money on a bed for your dog, but when you go to check on her during the night, she is on the floor instead of her bed. Does she just not like the bed? Is there something wrong with the bed? These are questions that dog owners will be asking themselves, and we want to point out a few reasons why your dog may prefer to be on the floor rather than the bed.

1. The Floor Might be Cooler

Your dog probably likes a cool place to sleep. If you notice that your dog shifts positions and move to a new location from time to time, that is probably because her current location is too warm from her body heat, and she just wants someplace that is cooler to lie down.

The bed is naturally going to be warmer than the floor, and some dogs simply prefer someplace cool for their bedtime. In other words, there may not be anything you can do about it. Your dog simply has a preference for a cool sleeping spot, and the floor will win out over the bed every time, if that is the case.

2. Your Dog May Like Tight Spaces

Many dogs prefer to be in den-like areas to sleep, probably due to the way their ancestors slept in dens to keep them safe and to provide shelter from the elements. So, you may notice your dog sleeping on the floor under your bed rather than in a doggy bed. That’s because the confined space under the bed may be reminiscent of a den.

Puppy asleep in a small dog house

You can accommodate your dog’s desire for a partially enclosed space for sleeping by giving her an extra-large dog crate that is comfortable and cozy. If you live in a colder environment, then you may want an insulated doghouse or heated dog bed for your pet, whereas people in warmer climates may want to look for one that can stay cool and provide their dog with a cool place to sleep. Give your dog the option of curling up with a blanket in case she likes to stay warm.

Young dogs especially like den-like areas to sleep. If your house is too hot, a doghouse could be a great alternative, giving your dog a cool place to sleep that feels comfortably secure for her. Just be careful about getting a crate that’s too small just to satisfy the drive for sleeping in a confined space. Your dog needs enough room to comfortably turn around inside, otherwise, she is not likely to want to use it often.

3. The Bed is the Wrong Size

Whether you buy a bed that’s too big or too small, you can end up with a dog that refuses to use it or that uses it sporadically.

Big red spotted pet bed with small puppy

Bed Too Big For Your Dog

A bed that’s too big may go counter to the same kind of natural urges we talked about already, that your dog likes confined spaces and a sense of shelter. An overly large bed can just feel like too much expansive space, and your dog may reject it.

Bed Too Small For Your Dog

A bed that’s too small will not be comfortable, of course, and your dog may try to use it but not enjoy the difference in heat and coolness between the floor and the bed. There needs to be enough space for your dog to put all of her body on the bed and to turn around as well.

A good size for a dog bed is about twice as big as your furry friend. That way, it’s not too spacious or constricting.

4. The Bed isn’t Soft Enough

Some dog beds are simply not very comfortable. They are rigid or made with materials that don’t have very much give to them. These may be very durable and cheap, but your dog probably won’t like them very much.

Therefore, if you want your dog to be comfortable and want to use the bed, then make sure it is soft enough for her. If you are buying the bed online, you can’t feel it for yourself to see how soft it is, but you can read user reviews. Only buy a bed that has some user reviews for it, so you can get other people’s perspective on the bed and how it worked for their dog.

Cot-style beds are going to be uncomfortable for most dogs, but they could be ideal for long-haired dogs. These dogs tend to overheat easily, so the cot-style bed gives them room to spread out.

This is a different kind of bed to the standard doggy bed that encourages snuggling and that can lead to overheating in some dogs. Consider the kind of dog you have and what kind of bed might be suitable for its needs, because there are many different kinds of dogs and many different kinds of doggy beds.

5. Your Dog Might be Protective

Many dogs make it their duty to protect their home and their family, which includes you. They may want a place to sleep that isn’t overly comfortable and that doesn’t cause them to go into a very deep sleep. 

Protective puppy sleeping on the floor

A soft, fluffy dog bed could be making them fall into a deep sleep and keep them from providing the protection and oversight that they want to. Often, dogs’ abnormal behavior links back to an instinctive and rational feeling or fear of the bed because of that.

Where you placed the bed may keep it from being in an advantageous position for the dog. Your dog may want an elevated area like the steps to sleep so that she can monitor what is happening and see threats before they get too close.

Your dog may also want to sleep on the floor to feel vibrations that warn her of incoming movement. A dog bed would hinder her ability to sense some threats.

Final Thoughts

Try not to be disappointed when your dog chooses to sleep on the floor instead of the bed. You don’t have to take it personally. You just have to understand what your dog’s preferences are.

Did we miss any reasons why your dog sleeps on the floor instead of its bed? Let us know in the comments below! 

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