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Do Dogs Like Pillows? Preferences & Benefits

Written by: Nicole Cosgrove

Last Updated on June 21, 2024 by Dogster Team

beagle dog sleeping on pillow

Do Dogs Like Pillows? Preferences & Benefits

Do dogs like pillows? While it’s unclear whether every pup enjoys being cuddled up in a soft, fluffy pillow, there is evidence that many dogs do like pillows. Dogs that are placed in comfortable surroundings—such as lying on a bed of pillows—tend to become happier and more relaxed. Additionally, pillows may help reduce inflammation and pain in dog joints.

Dogs can enjoy a good pillow, but there’s one important caveat: Not all pillows are made for dogs. If your dog tries to eat or chew on a pillow, it could be dangerous and lead to intestinal blockages. Before you give your dog a new pillow, make sure to read the reviews and compare the dimensions of different models to ensure that it’s the right fit for your pet.

divider-dog paw

Should My Dog Sleep on a Pillow?

There are a few things to consider when answering this question. The first is what kind of dog you have. Dogs that are prone to sleeping on their sides or those with shorter snouts may be more comfortable sleeping on a pillow.

The next consideration is the size of the dog. A large dog may take up too much space on a small pillow, making it difficult for them to get comfortable. Some people believe that it is harmful to a dog to sleep on a pillow because it can cause them to develop orthopedic problems, while others argue that sleeping on a soft surface can be beneficial for dogs with joint pain or other health issues.

Ultimately, the decision of whether or not to let your dog sleep on a pillow is up to you and your veterinarian.

Brown Dog Lying on Throw Pillow
Image By: EnriqueHoyos, Pexels

Why Does My Dog Love to Sleep on My Pillows?

If your dog jumps on your bed at night and tries to hog your pillows, you might find it annoying and a hassle. Slightly under half of all dog owners allow their pets to sleep with them. Occasionally, this behavior can be annoying, but there are several reasons why your dog keeps using your pillow as a small bed. It’s relaxing to sleep on your pillow, and it’s also a way for them to protect you!

One reason could be that they are seeking out comfort and security. Dogs often see their humans as their pack leaders, and by sleeping next to you or inhaling your scent, they are subconsciously trying to be as close to you as possible. Another possibility is that your dog is trying to get comfortable. Dogs often like to have something soft and fluffy to rest their head on, and your pillows fit the bill perfectly!

1. Craving Security

Like humans, dogs have certain smells that make them feel safe. We may enjoy the smell of lavender or even freshly cut grass. Smells tell our brains everything is going to be okay. When dogs smell their owners, they feel safe. Studies show that the canine brain reacts more strongly to the owner’s odor than to other smells. Your odor is your dog’s comfort and this is helpful for anxious dogs to feel close to you. It’s common for dogs to sleep on your pillow when you aren’t around. Even if you aren’t currently in your bed, they consider you to be a safe place and trust you to protect them.

pet owner sleeping with dog on her bed
Image By: Daniel Myjones, Shutterstock

2. Protecting You

Even though the pillow is a safe place, your dog might be doing more than just wanting to feel safe. No matter their size, dogs are extremely protective of their owners. Sleeping on your pillow lets them check on you at night. Many dogs even check on their owners’ breathing to make sure everything is okay. As pack animals, they want everyone around them to remain safe.

In sleep, your vulnerability to danger is at its highest. You can think of them as your guardian angels, keeping you from harm. This behavior is more common in guarding breeds. When your child is a baby, they might want to sleep in their room. This is because they understand that a baby is the smallest and needs the most protection.

3. Marking Their Territory

It’s possible your dog thinks they’re in charge. Are there any dominant displays over you or even other people in your house? Does your dog act aggressively towards others or bully them away from activities? This is a sign that your dog needs more training and does not see you as a respected member of the pack. Your pillow is marked with their scent when they sleep on it. This is a sign to other people that this spot is exclusively theirs. This kind of behavior is unacceptable and needs to be corrected before it worsens. Marking will not only happen on pillows. Your dog may become territorial over seats on the couch, places in the house, food dishes, and even locations in your yard.

Woman and dog sleeping
Image Credit: meruyert gonullu, Pexels

4. Bonding With You

Many people believe that dogs enjoy sleeping on pillows because it allows them to feel closer to their human companions. This is likely due to the fact that dogs are social animals that bond closely with their families, and spending time on or near a person’s head allows them to feel more connected and comfortable.

5. Copying

“Monkey see, monkey do,” right? Your dog is most likely copying your actions. Pack leaders guide their dogs on what to do and what is best for the pack. Your dog follows you because you’re the leader of the pack. If you’re going to sleep, your dog wants to sleep next to you. The pillow is comfortable, so they snuggle up with it. Remember that imitation is the highest form of flattery!

dog staring at his sleeping master
Image By: Daxiao Productions, Shutterstock



In conclusion, while it is still up for debate whether or not dogs like pillows, there is no denying the comfort and convenience they provide. Dogs are known to enjoy burrowing and nesting, so they likely appreciate the coziness of a pillow. If you’re thinking of getting your dog a pillow, be sure to choose one that is both comfortable and easy to clean. And most importantly, make sure your pup approves of it first!

While it may be hard to say definitively whether dogs like pillows, there is certainly evidence that they enjoy being around them. This may be because they provide some level of comfort and security for the animals. If you are considering getting a dog, it may be worth investing in a few pillows to keep your pet comfortable and happy.

Featured Image Credit: Przemek Iciak, Shutterstock

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