Why Do Dogs Sleep on the Floor Instead of their Dog Beds?

Dogs love having different options for sleeping. Their favorite sleeping spaces typically include your bed, their bed, furniture, and, surprisingly, the floor. Ever wondered why your dog would choose the floor over something more comfortable — like that luxurious faux fur pet bed you bought him?

Why Do Dogs Sleep on the Floor?

Why do you fall asleep in a chair? Sometimes really tired dogs just crash wherever they happen to be (like you in that comfortable chair after a long, hard day). Other times, your dog may be avoiding that carefully chosen bed because it's uncomfortable or he just doesn't like it for some reason. Keep reading to find out why dogs sometimes prefer the floor over their beds.

Why Isn't My Dog Using His Dog Bed?

It turns out that there are many reasons why dogs sleep on the floor rather than on their cozy dog beds, ranging from not feeling comfortable in it to wanting to protect their family.

12 reasons your dog may prefer sleeping on the floor:

  1. The bed doesn't match his preferred sleeping style. Dogs that like to sleep stretched out generally prefer floor pillows while dogs that curl up to sleep usually like bolsters or donut-shaped beds.
  2. His bed is too small, lumpy, or dirty and he feels claustrophobic or uncomfortable in it.
  3. You've recently moved his bed and he doesn't like the new location.
  4. He's too hot and is trying to regulate his body temperature by lying on a cool tile or wood surface. Or he might be searching for a less drafty sleeping spot. Try moving the bed to a more temperature-friendly area.
  5. He's sick or in pain. If he's whimpering, acting strangely, or exhibiting signs of distress, it's definitely time for a vet visit!
  6. A dog suffering from arthritis or joint pain will instinctively seek out a hard surface over one that is too soft and exacerbates his pain. He'll definitely appreciate the firmness of an orthopedic dog bed made with high-quality memory foam.
  7. A solid, hard surface often feels good to a hard-working dog's sore, tense muscles. Another great reason to get an orthopedic dog bed for your favorite hiking buddy!
  8. Another animal has been on his bed. This is particularly off-putting if the other animal is new or one your dog doesn't like. Your dog may feel unsafe on his bed after it was 'invaded' — washing it may help.
  9. You have multiple dogs that like sleeping in a 'dogpile' and the bed you currently have isn't big enough for everybody.
  10. He's suffering from age-related problems like blindness or dementia that can leave him feeling disoriented. A faux fur dog bed might be easier for him to recognize. Adding something with a familiar scent on it (like socks or a shirt you've worn) can also help lure him to it.
  11. Some dogs dislike any change in their routine and will stubbornly choose to sleep on the floor rather than in that nice, new bed you brought home. Time and not pressuring him may eventually lead to him accepting the change.
  12. A dog with strong protective instincts may prefer to sleep on a hard surface because it allows him to sense strange footsteps in the home more easily.

Choosing a Dog Bed That's Comfortable for Your Pup

Always choose a dog bed that's large enough for your pet to sleep in comfortably. This is especially important with dogs who are restless sleepers that change positions frequently. If in doubt about whether a bed is large enough for your dog, go up a size. He'll appreciate the extra room!

Dogs instinctively dig and root in the process of creating the perfect sleeping environment. Adding a comfy dog blanket to his bed will allow him to meet those instinctual needs without damaging his luxurious faux fur dog bed in the process.

Choose a bed that matches his preferred sleeping style (as mentioned at #1 above) and that's in a fabric he loves. And yes, dogs have favorite fabrics! It may be cozy chenille, softly luxurious velvet, or a deliciously snug faux fur pet bed. In any case, matching your dog's size needs and texture preferences will help ensure he picks his new bed over the cold, hard floor.

A dog bed should match your dog's size, sleeping and fabric preferences, any health needs he may have (such as for joint protection), and your own sense of style. Fortunately, there are dog bed options available that will meet any and all of these requirements.

FAQs

With patience and training, most dogs will learn to love sleeping in their dog bed. It may take a while, but treats, praise, favorite toys, or an item of clothing with your scent on it can all encourage your dog to try out his new bed. If all else fails, try getting in the bed first. After all, if it's good enough for his favorite human, he may decide it's good enough for him!

Should dogs sleep on the floor?

Regularly sleeping on the floor isn't ideal for your pet. He can develop structural issues from sleeping on such a hard surface. Rapidly growing puppies and elderly dogs especially need the soft, yet firm, support of an orthopedic dog bed that will protect their bones and joints.

Do dogs usually like dog beds?

Most dogs enjoy a good dog bed, as long as it matches their sleeping style and is large enough for them to doze comfortably.

Does my dog need a different type of dog bed?

If you've done a good job of matching your dog's size and sleeping preferences when choosing a bed, and have put it in a location where he feels safe and comfortable, your dog probably doesn't need a different type of bed. However, if your dog is getting older and stiffer, it's definitely time to upgrade to an orthopedic dog bed if you don't have one already.

Other reasons to try a different type of bed include:

  • Getting a larger bed if your dog has a new best bud he's happy to dogpile with.
  • Put a comfy bed outdoors if your growing pup is spending more time in the backyard.
  • Your style preferences have changed. You may have been happy with a sleek, minimalist-style dog bed before but now want to up the style with a faux fur pet bed or a bed in a fun animal print.

At Animal Matters, dogs are very important to us. Ensuring that they get adequate rest in a well-designed, attractive, safe, and comfortable bed is equally important. Whether your choice is a sturdy and durable outdoor bed or a luxuriously soft and fluffy faux fur dog bed, we want your pet to have a bed that he'll pick over the floor every time! Contact us for more information on picking the perfect bed for your pampered pooch.

Also in Pet Education

woman talking to her dog and wondering can a dog understand human speech

How Well Can A Dog Understand What You're Saying?

We all speak to our dogs, but how well can a dog understand the words? Learn how training, tone, and personality play a part in what dogs understand.
Read More
@marlowe_blue_frenchie resting in an Animals Matter luxury dog bed placed inside the dog crate

How to Get Your Dog to Love Their Dog Crate

Crate training your new pup can be a challenge. Follow these tips so you choose the right dog crate and help your dog love spending time in it.
Read More
Dog hiding under the bed with it's nose poking outside of the blanket due to a thunderstorm

How to Comfort Your Dog During Thunderstorms

Knowing the right way to comfort your dog during thunderstorms can keep them calm or reduce their fear. Check out this guide to get started.
Read More