Why Does My Dog Sleep On My Pillow? How to End This Habit

The primary reason your dog sleeps on your pillow is because they find it comfortable. Although it’s true that dogs like to be around anything that has the scent of their owner, that’s probably not why they’re sleeping on your pillow. It just means they find your pillow more comfortable than their bed.

You just bought Fido an expensive, orthopedic memory foam dog bed. After all, they deserve the best, right? The only problem is that when bedtime comes around, they still find a way to snuggle on your pillow instead of their new (expensive) bed.

It’s normal for dogs to sleep on their owner’s pillows. The good news is this habit can be easily fixed. Here are five reasons your dog may prefer sleeping on your pillow and what you can do about it.

5 Reasons Your Dog Sleeps On Your Pillow

1) Comfort and Security

Dogs are known to be man’s best friend. A best friend that never wants to leave your side no matter the situation.

Your pillow is somewhere you rest your head every night. It is a place filled with YOUR scent. Your scent can be calming and provide your dog with a sense of comfort and security.

This behavior may be more common if you have an anxious dog or have left them alone for an extended time.

Apart from that, the answer may be just as simple as your dog finding your pillow more comfortable than his/hers. If that’s the case, getting the same exact pillow for them is an easy fix!

2) Protection

Sleeping is one of life’s most vulnerable actions. Dogs are pack animals and sleep in groups.

Instinctively, they know the leader (alpha) will be in their most vulnerable state. Your dog sleeping on your pillow or near you can be their way of saying they will protect you.

Some studies claim dogs will check on their owner’s breathing as they sleep and keep a close eye on them in case danger occurs. If that doesn’t make you love dogs even more, I don’t know what will!

3) Territorial

Your pillow is an object. If you have a territorial or possessive dog, they may try to assert his/her dominance over you by claiming the entire bed as theirs. Yes, this means your pillow as well. You know the good ole saying, “What’s yours is mine, and what’s mine is ours.”

This territorial behavior can also be triggered if you have others living in your household, including other pets, a partner, or children.

Instead of claiming the pillow as his/her property, their instinct is to claim you by spreading their scent across your items.

If you find this behavior to be a problem, you must set some boundaries with your dog. By creating boundaries through training, you will be able to teach him to either stay off the bed or only be allowed on with permission.

4) Attention/Playtime

If you’ve scolded your dog for being on your pillow a couple of times, they know this is not correct behavior. Dogs will act on behaviors they know are frowned upon if they are yearning for your attention or wanting to play.

This can result in repeating actions they should not do, such as chewing on a slipper or snuggling against your prized pillow.

5) Imitation

Imitation can be annoying when humans do it to each other, but consider it a compliment if your four-legged friend copies you.

While it may seem like they are following you wherever you go, they are watching your actions. They are watching how you sit, walk, dance, talk, and sleep.

In the process of creating this close-knit bond, don’t be surprised if your dog dances when you dance, sits when you sit, and lays their head on your pillow when you lay down for bed.

Getting Your Dog to Stop Sleeping On Your Pillow

If you don’t want your dog to sleep on your pillow, boundaries are essential. This goes for all areas of your home.

Your dog needs to understand that you are the pack leader and that the pillow is your item. If this has already become a pre-established routine, wean them off your pillow gradually.

If your dog is seeking comfort, you can start by providing them with something else that may have your scent, such as your clothes, socks, small blanket, etc.

You can put these items in their crate or where they usually sleep during bedtime or when you are away. If your dog just really likes your pillow, you can also buy your dog the same exact pillow you rest your head on.

If your dog is seeking attention or wanting to play, try investing in interactive toys to keep them entertained.

You can also try tiring them out by taking them on long walks or playing with them. An exhausted dog won’t feel the need to constantly year for your attention.

Should You Allow Your Dog to Sleep On Your Pillow?

Many dog owners do not mind having their dog nestled up in bed with them. By sharing the same bed with your furry, you create a stronger bond with them.

It can also relieve any stress or anxiety for both parties. Naturally, within packs, wolves and dogs sleep very close to each other. You can also imitate the feeling of a mother sleeping with her litter by sleeping with your dog.

We do not recommend sleeping with your dog if you have insomnia or have allergies involving your dog.

If you are a light sleeper, this can disrupt your sleep. Even though it’s tempting to snuggle and cuddle with your furry friend all night, some dogs may move more throughout the night, causing poor sleep quality.

Dogs may also carry dirt and bacteria on their fur and paws that can irritate your skin and cause you to become sick.

At the end of the day, it’s a personal decision. As long as your dog is well-groomed and doesn’t keep you up at night, allowing them to sleep in your bed is completely fine.

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