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Why Does My Dog Take Up the Whole Bed? 4 Vet Reviewed Reasons & Solutions

Written by: Ashley Bates

Last Updated on May 9, 2024 by Dogster Team

Happy ginger mixed breed dog in luxurious bright colors scandinavian style bedroom with king-size bed

Why Does My Dog Take Up the Whole Bed? 4 Vet Reviewed Reasons & Solutions


Dr. Alice Athow-Frost Photo


Dr. Alice Athow-Frost

BVM BVS MRCVS (Veterinarian)

The information is current and up-to-date in accordance with the latest veterinarian research.

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It seems like our dogs are constantly looking for ways to get closer to us. And how much closer could they be than piled up on top of us in our beds? But you might miss your personal space, and it can be hard to sleep if your dog is taking up all the room and you can’t stretch out.

Why exactly does your dog do this? Is there a particular meaning behind this action or do they just love being that close to their human companion? Here are some reasons why dogs might take up the whole bed and what you can do about it.

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The 4 Reasons Your Dog Takes Up the Whole Bed

1. It’s a Bonding Thing

Dogs are very social creatures that enjoy being very close to those they consider their family. If you’ve wormed your way into the heart of a dog, you certainly fall into the family category. What is better than cuddling close to your human counterpart when it’s time for sleep?

According to your dog, not much. They just want this opportunity to be able to be as close with you as possible so they can feel that connection. Anyone who’s ever spent time around dogs can attest to the fact that they are almost as social as human beings.

Because of that, they require a lot of interaction, even when they’re sleeping.

baby and pitbull dog in bed
Image Credit: Antonio Hitado Orden, Shutterstock

2. It May Be a Childlike Feeling for Them

Being cuddled up close to humans can make your dog feel like they are with their littermates again. The closeness that the dog feels with its mother can be replicated with you.

On the flip side, if your dog is protective of you, they might feel like they are protecting you by lying as close to you as possible. It depends on the overall dynamic, but the underlying concept is the same.

3. The Dog Does Not Know Their Size

Your dog might not know just how big they really are. After all, they might feel very connected to you, not realizing that you need some space, too.

dog lying on bed
Image Credit: N K, Shutterstock

4. Your Dog Might Be Cold

Some dogs are naturally colder than others. Whether they have a very short coat, low body weight, or they’re a little tater tot, they might just be feeling very chilly. Your nice, warm body heat is enough to make them want to use you as their own personal heating pad. You might be overheating, but they’re probably in heaven.

Some breeds like to be super cozy and seek out heat, whereas others are truly more prone to getting cold.

These breeds include:
  • Chihuahua
  • Yorkshire Terrier
  • French Bulldog
  • Whippet
  • Greyhound
  • Chinese Crested Dog
  • Boston Terrier
  • Miniature Pinscher

So, if you have a breed on this list, it is highly likely that they are just pretty chilly and loving that extra layer of warmth.

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Should Dogs Sleep in Your Bed?

There seem to be many discrepancies surrounding the concept of dogs sharing your bed. Some would say it’s perfectly fine and wouldn’t change it even if you convinced them that it was against their better health. Others are aware of the potential consequences but take the risk anyway.  The final group of people are adamant that dogs should sleep downstairs and nowhere near your bed.

Possible disadvantages of letting your dog sleep in your bed include:

pembroke welsh corgi dog lying on bed
Image Credit: Masarik, Shutterstock

Potential Germ Transmission

Our dogs can pass germs to us in some situations. It’s not like your dog is wearing clothes if you think about it. They have their dirty paws, undercarriages, saliva, and everything else all over your fabrics. It’s bound to spread a few germs from time to time.

If you don’t keep up with regular parasite prevention, you can get some unwelcome guests from your pets, most commonly flea bites. So, it’s always best to make sure that your dog is taking parasite prevention on a routine schedule to prevent them picking up infections..

It May Contribute to Separation Anxiety

If your dog spends every waking moment with you, there’s a chance it could contribute to worsening separation anxiety when you finally leave their side.

Our dogs are creatures of habit, and if they get very used to being around you, even during sleep, they might have a much harder time adjusting when you need to do tasks outside of the house. It will not affect every dog in this way, but it might negatively impact dogs that tend to be more anxious.

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How to Create Boundaries

As much as we might not want to, sometimes we have to assert boundaries with our pups. This can look a lot different depending on your individual situation.

This could mean you’re shutting your dog out of your room at night, looking for creative ways to separate your bed into different spaces, or even getting your dog their very own setup to avoid being in each other’s way.

Get Your Dog Their Own Bed

If your dog is a comfort seeker, maybe you could interest them in a brand-new bed. There are tons of different options, some of which we think your dog would be very interested in. You can get your dog anything from something very basic filled with polyfill to an orthopedic memory foam mattress.

If your dog doesn’t like being away from you, you can try to put it at the foot or side of the bed. If you have a smaller dog, you might even be able to put the bed at the foot of yours so they can still be on the bed without completely invading your space.

labrador retriever dog lying on the bed on the floor
Image Credit: Pixel-Shot, Shutterstock

Teach Your Dog Basic Commands

Sometimes, you have to be able to take control of your dog. It’s a sad tale when they are so snuggly and you’re going to command them to move, but it can be beneficial and really help the sleeping arrangement.

If your dog knows that “down” or “away” signals them to position differently on the bed or get off of the bed, it’s only going to work out for everyone involved. You can even purchase another bed for your dog and command them to go onto it anytime they are making you too hot. Try to be consistent with this and don’t approach it like a punishment.

After all, you wouldn’t want your dog to think that their cuddling with you is making you upset. Tone means a lot and it can really set the mood for these situations. You can be firm but not mean.

Keeping Your Dog in Another Room Overnight

If it becomes way too bothersome and you’re tired of kicking your dog out of your bed every few minutes, you might want to consider putting them in a different room overnight.

Many people find problems with this because it causes excessive barking at night when your dog isn’t used to it. However, with the appropriate introductions and the right tactics, your dog can get used to going in their very own cozy cove at night.

dog sleeping on bolster bed
Image Credit: Iryna Kalamurza, Shutterstock

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Ultimately, our dogs love sharing beds with us. It’s a way to make them feel loved and appreciated, so no wonder they love it.  However, it might not be so comfortable for you, and there are certain risks associated with sharing your bed with your dog.

If you find yourself overheating and it’s more trouble than what it’s worth, you can always try to find another setup that works better for you and your dog. One thing is for sure though, if they can be as close to you as possible, they certainly will.

Featured Image Credit: Prystai, Shutterstock

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