You spent good money on a nice dog bed. Only the best for your dog, right? Unfortunately, you’re finding that your dog would prefer to sleep in your bed or maybe even on the cold, hard floor. How insulting!
There are many possible reasons as to why your dog may suddenly not want to sleep in his own bed. Some dogs simply outgrow their beds as they get older, whereas other dogs may be deterred from their beds because of loud noises nearby or even interference from another pet. By getting to the bottom of the reason why your dog won’t sleep in his own bed, you can start working on solutions and help your dog (and you!) get a more restful night of sleep.
Why does my dog suddenly hate his bed?
Begin by identifying the reason (or reasons) that your dog no longer wants to sleep in his own bed. There are many possibilities to consider, but these are some of the most common reasons below.
He’s Found a Better Place to Sleep
Maybe your dog seemed happy in his bed for some time. However, now you’re beginning to find him sleeping in strange places, such as your bathtub or even under your bed. If this is the case, it is possible that your dog was simply experimenting with different places to sleep and found one that he liked better than his own bed. If this is the case, then getting your dog to sleep in his own bed again will ultimately be a matter of making his bed more enticing and comfortable than the alternative.
In some cases, you may even need to make the other area “off-limits” to your dog. For example, if you keep finding your dog sleeping in your shower, then you may want to try shutting the bathroom door so that your dog can’t access the shower. This could be enough to encourage your dog to go back to sleeping in his own bed.
The Dog Bed is Not Comfortable
If your dog has been using the same bed for many years, there’s also a chance that the bed is simply no longer comfortable enough for your dog. Materials can begin to lose their shape and support over time, and aging dogs may also be more prone to discomfort from a bed that is not supportive enough.
If your dog seems to have a hard time getting comfortable in his bed, it may simply be time to upgrade to a new bed. This is especially true if your dog’s bed is more than a few years old. If your dog still seems to be uncomfortable, you might also want to consult with your vet to make sure there isn’t something more serious going on—such as an underlying arthritis diagnosis or another physical ailment.
The Area Around the Bed is Too Loud/Bright
Sometimes, the issue is not with the bed itself, but with the area around the bed. If you have recently moved your dog’s bed, this could explain why your dog is suddenly reluctant to sleep there. The area around the bed may be too noisy or even too bright if it is located close to a window or door. Likewise, you may want to consider whether the area around the bed may be too warm or too cold.
For example, if your dog’s bed is located next to an air register in your home, your dog may be getting cold or hot air blown on him while he’s trying to sleep. Getting your dog to sleep in his bed again may simply be a matter of moving the bed to a different location that is quieter and cozier!
Your Dog Has Outgrown His Bed
If you got your dog a bed while he was still a puppy or younger dog, there is a chance that he has actually outgrown his original bed and needs something larger. If this is the case, you may find that when your dog tries to get to his bed, he attempts many different positions to get comfortable before abandoning the idea and sleeping somewhere else.
Another Pet Has “Claimed” the Bed
If there is another pet in the house and your dog has very suddenly stopped sleeping in hs own bed, it is possible that the other pet slept in the bed or even “marked” the bed with its own scent. This, in turn, may deter your dog from wanting to sleep there.
If you think this may have happened, you can try laundering your dog’s bed (if possible) to remove any scent from the other pet. From there, you’ll also want to keep an eye out for the other pet and discourage him or her from using your dog’s bed. Dogs are often very territorial creatures (especially when it comes to where they sleep), so they can be finicky about other pets sleeping in their beds.
How to get my dog to sleep in its bed?
If you’re struggling to get your dog to sleep in his own bed, there are some things you can try.
Start With the Right Bed
Begin by making sure you have the right bed for your dog. There are many different styles and sizes of dog beds to consider. Take some time to notice how your dog tends to sleep. Is he more of a side sleeper? Does he like to sprawl out? Try a bed that encourages your dog’s natural sleeping position and make sure that the bed is plenty large enough for your dog’s size.
Lead Your Dog to Its Bed When Tired
Many dog owners can gradually train their dogs to sleep in their own beds by noticing when their dogs appear tired and then leading them to their beds at this time. If your dog begins to doze off on the floor, for example, try gently nudging your dog awake and leading him to his own bed. You may have to do this many times before your dog will start to form the association. Eventually, however, it will become second nature for your dog to head to his own bed when he starts to feel tired.
Form a Positive Association
If you’re still having a hard time getting your dog to sleep in his bed, try training him with positive associations. When your dog lays in his bed, for instance, create a positive association by giving him a treat or even sitting down and petting him while he lays in his bed. The stronger the association becomes, the more likely your dog will be to want to spend time in his bed.
Why is my dog refusing to go to bed at night?
Having a dog that keeps you up at all hours of the night can be very frustrating. Fortunately, there are some steps you can take to encourage your dog to sleep more soundly through the night.
Establish (And Stick To) a Routine
Dogs are creatures of habit. If you haven’t done so already, try creating (and sticking with) a nightly “bedtime” routine, which will help your dog understand that it’s time for bed. You might consider, for example, starting your routine by giving your dog a calming treat and setting his favorite toy in his bed. Your routine with your dog can be as complex or as simple as you’d like; the most important thing is that it is something you can repeat each night to help your dog understand when it’s time to go to sleep.
Get Your Dog Enough Exercise
One of the most common reasons dogs have trouble sleeping at night is that they’re simply too wound up and have too much energy. This is often the case for dogs who do not get enough exercise throughout the day. One way to combat this is to get into the habit of taking your dog on a walk or at least making sure he gets to spend some time outdoors before bedtime. A little bit of exercise can go a long way in helping to tire your dog out, which will make it easier for your dog to fall asleep (and stay asleep) when the time comes.
Make Sure Your Dog’s Bed is Comfortable
If your dog refuses to go to bed at night, this could also be a case of a bed that is not comfortable enough or a bed location that is too noisy or bright. Try experimenting with different bed locations to figure out what your pet prefers.
Know When to Speak to a Vet
If you’ve made sure your dog has access to a comfortable bed and have implemented a bedtime routine with your dog but are still having issues, it may be time to consult with your veterinarian for further advice. A physical examination can help to rule out any illnesses or injuries that may be causing discomfort and preventing your dog from sleeping. In some cases, your vet may even be able to prescribe medication to help your dog rest.