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9 Reasons Why Your Dog Moves From Spot To Spot

Why Does My Dog Move From Spot To Spot

There it is again!

More pacing and deciding where to lie down next…

“Fido, why can’t you pick a spot to sleep?”

You try to ask them as you wanna sleep yourself…

But the real question is…

What’s causing them to move from spot to spot?

Keep reading to discover:

  • 9 reasons why your dog moves from spot to spot.
  • 3 facts about separation anxiety that can contribute to this issue.
  • If you should be worried when your dog moves from one spot to another.
  • And many more…

Why does my dog move from spot to spot?

Your dog moves from spot to spot because they’re uncomfortable. It might have something to do with their position or the temperature. They might also be in heat or they’re sexually frustrated. Other times it’s due to anxiety, energy levels, disturbances, safety issues, or being sick. 

9 reasons why your dog moves from spot to spot

#1: Discomfort

Sometimes, the answer is just that simple…

And you might actually relate to it.

Hear me out…

Your pooch just might be uncomfortable.

Let’s visualize a scenario:

Your pooch settled on their bed first.

But after a while, they decided to ditch that…

They went to lie on the floor next to the foot of your bed.

After a few minutes, they stood up. And they begin pacing as they look for the next spot to lie on…

This time, they chose the mat near your bedroom’s door.

Oh, but they’re still not finished. And they’re not prevailing.

It’s been a few more moves from one spot to another.

Now, your pooch is a healthy one. You can attest to that confidently.

So the only answer might lie in discomfort.

It’s just that…

First, they don’t find their bed cozy anymore.

Then the floor wasn’t any good either.

Plus, the doormat doesn’t do well as a bed as well.

And many other more…

All in all, this is just the equivalent of you stirring at night…

You’ve probably stayed up looking for the perfect position to sleep. Something’s that suitable for your back, but it shouldn’t numb your arms…

The issue is that your fur baby’s going through is like that.

So, cut your pooch some slack. They’ll eventually go to sleep after finding the comfiest arrangement for them.

You might also want to know: How to calm a restless dog at night?

#2: Separation anxiety

Separation Anxiety Causes Your Dog To Move From Spot To Spot

A lot of dog parents complain about disruptive behaviors of their dogs…

And this issue is an underrated problem for the number one answer to those complaints…

So, what’s the reason behind all of those?

It might be the overly-common separation anxiety in dogs.

This one’s more applicable if you let your pup sleep in a different room.

But still, they don’t fail to be disturbing.

You’re able to tell as you hear their nails click against the floor.

Sometimes, you might know by seeing their moving shadows. You can spot them walking from the crack below the bedroom door.

What if they’re already sleeping in the same room as you?

This is still possible…


It’s because your pooch with this condition is overly attached to you.

So, unless they’re really close to you or next to you…


You’re gonna have to continue to deal with this behavior.

They might be moving from one spot to another to get a better look at you. 

As creepy as it might sound, they don’t wanna let you out of their sight.

So, they gotta find the best spot to see you.

Now, how can you confirm this?

ASPCA gives a list of signs that you also need to watch out for. Those are:

  • Pacing.
  • Howling.
  • Trying to escape.
  • Barking constantly.
  • House soiling when no one’s home.
  • Chewing your belongings (ex. socks, your clothes, or blankets).

And for more facts about this, let’s look at this study‘s data:

Fact #1: Among the 215 dogs, 60% of them with separation anxiety are male.

Fact #2: Most of the subjects (82.8%) report other behavioral problems.

Fact #3: Dogs get more attached to a female dog parent. Data shows 14% of the subject parents are women.

Continue reading: Why Does My Dog All Of A Sudden Have (Separation) Anxiety?

#3: Temperature preference

You know, your pooch can really be a picky sleeper…

But it’s understandable for this matter.

Your pupper is still uncomfortable.

However, the reason doesn’t lie in position this time…

Instead, it’s because of the temperature.

For example, they left their bed first again.

That’s because the cushion is likely to store heat. 

With that, they felt that their bed is too warm.

So, they went for the tiled floor.

But now, the issue is that the floor can be a little cold.

So, they move around to find what they’re really looking for…

They’re on the quest for a spot with the perfect temperature.

And whatever they’re aiming for depends on the environmental condition.

So, how can you help them out in this mission?

Setting the right temperature for your dog

Now, surface and air temperature are different from each other.

The surface temp is more likely to be high than the air’s temperature.

With that, let’s look at it both ways.

For your dog, this is what VCA Hospital says:

The normal body temperature of a dog is 101°F (38.3°C) to 102.5°F to (39.2°C).

Then, you must set the surroundings around this range:

68°F (20°C) to 72°F to (22.22°C).

Once you make sure of this, it might lessen Fido’s restlessness.

Instead, stay in one place and get a good night’s sleep. And with that, so will you.

#4: She’s in heat

She's In Heat

When a dog’s in heat, expect her not to be her best…

That’s because she’s going through many changes in her hormone levels.

Plus, she might be uncomfortable in ways she can’t even explain.

And that’s why she moves from spot to spot at night…

She might be trying to find a comfortable arrangement, too.

Or, your pooch is determined to find a male canine. 


Her aim will be to find a potential mate.

And to understand better, let me talk about the heat cycle of dogs…

According to the Merck Vet Manual, it’s called the estrous cycle. 

Typically, dogs will have it twice a year. And when they do, it lasts about 2 to 3 weeks.

Plus, it consists of 4 phases. Those are:

PhaseWhat occurs
Proestrus(7 to days)The dog’s vulva will be swelling and blood flow. She’ll attract male dogs to her, but she won’t allow mating yet.
Estrus(5 to 10 days)Also called the mating period. Blood flow has stopped, and ovulation occurs.
Diestrus(10 to 140 days)The dog is either pregnant or entering the resting phase.
AnestrusThis is the real resting period that’ll end on the next proestrus.

As you can see, it’s only in the estrus phase that she’ll allow mating.

She’ll be looking for a male canine when she enters that period.

With that, they tend to be restless at night…

Warning: Be extra mindful when your dog’s in the estrus phase. As I said, she’ll be looking for a potential mate.

Now, your pooch doesn’t have the same rationality as you…

With that, they’ll be really determined to find a male canine. Then, they might be set on escaping to do so.

Reading tip: 11 Home Remedies For Dogs In Heat (#7 Works Instantly)

#5: Sexual frustration

Now, this goes for both male and female canines now…

They can be moving from spot to spot because they’re sexually frustrated.

As I explained in the previous section, your female pooch might be on her cycle. And to be specific, she’s in the estrus phase…

That’s where she’s actively looking for a mate.

Now, how about a male dog? Do male dogs go in heat?

Moreover, what prompts them to feel sexually frustrated?

Well, male canines feel that way when they smell a nearby female pooch in heat.

How so?

It’s because in-heat dogs have this distinct smell. Moreover, it comes from their discharge that contains pheromones.

That’s the reason behind the male dog’s attraction. Think of it as a go-signal…

With that, they’re attracted to the female in heat.

And as I stated, a female pooch won’t always allow mating. If a male dog dares, she can get aggressive toward the other canine.

Then, the male dog would become frustrated. And such will show through issues like this. Plus, it can take a while to shake off.

You might also be interested in: 11 Weird Reasons Why Dogs Masturbate + 3 Tips To Stop It

#6: They’re being disturbed

Yet another one that you can personally understand…

Your pooch is moving from spot to spot because they’re being disturbed.

And that might come off as surprising for some…

If any, Fido’s the one that might be being a disturbance. That’s because their restlessness might be making you sleepless as well…

All those pacings. And sometimes, it can be accompanied by whining at the quiet of the night.

Before anything else, let’s see it from your dog’s point of view:

You see, the way dogs hear is different from ours.

According to research, there might be mismatches around this topic. They say that dogs don’t exactly hear what you’re trying to tell them.

Moreover, dogs can hear sounds at least 4 times better than you.

With that, they might be hearing something you can’t. 

And whatever it is, it might be disturbing your pooch…

So, it causes them to be restless. Thus making them move from spot to spot.

Some examples of the possible noises are:

  • Footsteps from afar.
  • Buzzing of the refrigerator.
  • Cars pulling up in the driveway.
  • Police cars or ambulances from afar.

#7: Safety concerns

Wait, before you get worrying, hear this out…

This doesn’t mean that you have to panic, okay?

It’s just that your pooch is a natural predator.

With that, they’re prone to be more watchful of their environment.

So, you can expect them to be vigilant. Even when they don’t really need it.

Now, sleep makes your dog vulnerable.

That’s why they gotta pick the safest spot for them to relax.

If not, they believe they’re exposed to other predators.

And yes, your dog isn’t in the wild anymore…

But you can expect innate behaviors like this to show and prevail.

This is also why sick or elderly dogs sleep in another room. Sometimes, you’ll catch them hiding in the bathroom.

That’s because they want to be isolated as much as possible. They can’t defend themself that well anymore.

With that, the answer lies in being safe by picking the right spot.

#8: They have high energy

Dogs are energetic animals…

That’s why you really gotta create an exercise routine for them.

As a dog parent, you have to take them out for walks. 

Then, you should also play and spend time with them….

You can do so at home or in the dog park.

Plus, they also need constant mental stimulation at home.

That’s because they’re gonna regain their energy after a while. With that, they need another outlet for their energy.

But wait, what if you’re not able to provide all that?

For example, today is particularly rainy. So, no walks and play dates for Fido today…

And at home, you got busy with important matters.

With that, you’re now left with a pooch with so much energy.

As of now, it’s showing through what you thought was indecisiveness.

When actually, it’s restlessness because they still got the energy to drain.

But wait, this isn’t final as well…

What if they had their exercise today? 

And yet, here you both are…

Well, did you feed them too close to their bedtime?

If yes, then that might be it…

Their recent meal caused them to regain stamina.

That’s why it isn’t good to feed your dog late at night.

#9: They’re sick

This time, your pooch is still uncomfortable. Then, they’re also looking for a safe place to sleep.

And it might be caused by an underlying issue.

They might’ve gotten injured during the day. And since it’s night, they no longer have any distractions anymore.

With that, the pain that they’re feeling will be more prominent.

Moreover, the same goes for pain caused by an illness.

And a lot of medical issues can make your dog stay up late at night.

Some examples are:

  • Arthritis.
  • Allergies.
  • Dementia.
  • Ear infections.
  • Rashes or hot spots.
  • Gastrointestinal upset.

For further reading: 9 Reasons Why Your Dog Is So Restless At Night + 9 Tips

Should you be worried when your dog moves from spot to spot?

You shouldn’t be worried when your dog moves from spot to spot if they’re healthy. They might just be uncomfortable or feel too cold or too warm. Sometimes, they can be in heat or sexually frustrated.

Now, it isn’t a concern if your pooch is sound and healthy. And only a veterinarian can give that clear.

So, say that they recently had their vet visit, and everything’s fine. But still, they move from spot to spot.

Then, you shouldn’t be that concerned. It might really be just a comfort issue.

Although, you might have to move their dog bed somewhere else. The ideal place is the spot where they likely stay long.

Or, maybe adjust the thermostat in your place.

With those said, when should you worry?

It’s when this behavior shows up all of a sudden. Then, it’s also accompanied by other signs of pain or illness.

Some of the general signs are:

  • Fever.
  • Vomiting.
  • Lethargy.
  • Hair loss.
  • Loss of appetite.
  • Having trouble breathing.
  • Bad gas and loose stools.
  • Sudden weight loss or gain.
  • Increased need to drink water.
  • Hesitating to participate in activities.
  • Needing to urinate or poop more frequently.

If you notice any of these signs along with the behavior, it’s time for a vet consult. And you must bring your pooch as soon as possible.