Your dog is suddenly sleeping on the floor. Meanwhile, their cozy bed is lying empty nearby…
Read on and find out:
- 7 real reasons why your dog is suddenly sleeping on the floor.
- 5 tips on what to do if your dog sleeps on the floor all of a sudden.
- The answer to your question, “Should I be worried if my dog suddenly sleeps on the floor?”
- And this is just the beginning…
Table of contents
Why is my dog suddenly sleeping on the floor?
Your dog is suddenly sleeping on the floor because of the temperature and personal preference. If it’s too hot, laying on the floor dissipates body heat faster. In some cases, dogs simply prefer sleeping on the cold floor than on the bed.
People also ask:
7 reasons why your dog is suddenly sleeping on the floor
#1: It’s too hot or it’s too cold
The temperature drives your dog to seek the most perfect spot. Even if it means your dog laying on a cold floor.
When it’s hot
When you see dogs laying on a cold floor, it’s because they feel hot. The cold floor helps them dissipate body heat faster.
You’ll notice your dog laying flat on their belly on the floor after you take them exercising. And when the weather’s too warm, they take naps on the floor. Not on their bed.
That’s because the cold floor feels nice against their skin.
In addition, a dog bed might hold in excess heat, especially during summer. Your dog will find the floor a cozier choice than their bed.
You may also notice your dog during the night. They don’t stay in the very same spot from night to morning. What they do is change spots, to a cooler spot on the floor.
This dog parent shares on a forum about how his Rottie sleeps half the time on the bed. Then the other half on the floor.
He noticed that the dog overheats easily. Sleeping on the floor is the solution.
When it’s cold
How can your dog choose to lie on the cold floor when it’s cold? There are several reasons.
One, they lie on the floor near the fireplace or heater to stay warm. Or, they lie on the floor where the sun shines to stay warm.
#2: The bed is uncomfortable
Your dog laying on a cold floor may be a simple case of comfort. If they suddenly sleep on the floor, check out what’s going on.
Starting with their bed.
Signs of discomfort
Is the bed worn out? Is there an uncomfortable flat or bunched up spot?
Try to feel the bed with your palm. It might be itchy or slippery.
Or there could be something poking your dog.
For a senior dog, their bed might make it difficult for them to move around. They might not be able to easily stand up, sit, or jump.
The sound the bed makes
Your dog doesn’t like their bed because it’s not comfortable to lie on. It may have to do with the fabric material.
According to this pet owner on a forum, the Oxford waterproof fabric beds make a certain sound when touched. Tough cotton is also noisy. The sound could be amplified because dogs have sensitive hearing.
Take into consideration how dogs usually spin around before lying down. Or sometimes they scratch their bed.
The sound of that might irritate them.
Dogs go outside and then come back inside a lot of times throughout the day. They track dirt all over the place. Including their bed.
In time, their bed becomes gritty with dirt. And a dirty bed might discourage your dog from sleeping on it.
#3: The bed is the wrong size
Size does matter. At least when it comes to a dog bed.
You may have gotten your pooch a bed too small or too big for them. That’s why they suddenly begin sleeping on the floor.
Obviously, a big dog can’t get comfortable in a small bed. They won’t be able to stretch out when they want.
But they can on the floor. It’s as vast as a desert and they can choose where to plonk down.
A small dog, on the other hand, might not enjoy sleeping on a big bed. Because of their small bodies, they can get cold easily.
And a large bed will not provide them the warmth they need.
But, some dogs actually liked sleeping in a bed that’s not theirs. Just like these two:
#4: Dogs are used to sleeping on the floor
A dog bed in the kitchen. Another in the living room, and one in your bedroom.
And yet you see your dog laying on a cold floor. Sleeping like a log.
If this is your dog, it could be because they’re used to the floor.
Perhaps you have an adopted dog, and they slept on the floor in their old house. Maybe they didn’t even have a bed before.
Or, if this is a habit, they’ll stick to it. No matter if their expensive dog bed looks inviting.
That’s what this pet owner observed with his two dogs. Both of them preferred sleeping on the floor.
The owner provided them a blanket to sleep on. The dogs lay down on the blanket, but their heads were on the floor.
#5: Personal preference
Like humans, dogs have preferences. And they’re not the same.
That’s the case with a pet parent’s two Huskies. One prefers the soft plush blanket with a pillow. The other is happy on the cold hard floor.
And even if you’ve taught them to sleep on their bed, they might end up on the floor. It’s just what the dog wants.
The more important factor is that they get enough sleep.
This study looked into the sleep duration and behaviors of dogs aged 12 months and below.
The authors found out that 16-week-old dogs sleep longer during the day. However, they sleep for less time during the night compared to dogs aged 12 months.
Another finding was that puppies aged 16 weeks mostly slept in their crate. Dogs aged 12 months most often slept in a dog bed.
This is one challenge when your dog is old. If you find your dog laying on a cold floor, it’s a cause for concern.
One issue could be pain. Old and senior dogs suffer from joint problems and arthritis. Moving around can be painful for them.
Imagine if their bed is upstairs. Or far from where they are. They might choose to sleep on the floor than crossing the room or climbing up the stairs.
Caution: Sleeping on the cold floor can worsen arthritis and hip problems.
The harsh reality of aging is this:
It comes with a lot of health problems.
For one, they are not as spritely as before. Even jumping up on their bed is a huge chore.
In addition, they could be losing their sight. Whether it’s day or night, they might not be able to find their bed.
This was the problem that a pet owner relates to on a forum. He didn’t know his dog had vision problems. What he noticed was his dog stopped getting on his bed.
5 tips on what to do if your dog is suddenly sleeping on the floor
#1: Place the bed into your dog’s favorite spot
Make your dog use their bed by placing it in their favorite spot.
You see, dogs have their favorite spot around the house. Maybe yours love to sleep by the front door.
For small and senior dogs that easily get cold, place their bed in a warm spot. Avoid drafty areas. As well as the cold areas during winter and the hot areas during summer.
#2: Add a blanket to the bed
Consider adding a blanket on top of their bed. See if your dog likes it. There are dogs that love to burrow or make a little nest on their bed.
If your dog is old or suffers from arthritis, make sure their bed has sufficient padding. It will make all the difference.
Or pile some old blankets so they have something soft to sleep on.
#3: Make the dog bed comfortable
Dogs sleep an average of 10.1 hours a day, according to this study. It can vary between 7.7 hours to 16 hours.
The study also says that sleep occurs mostly between 9 pm and 6 am. Then there are periods of rest in the afternoon.
Your dog will be able to get a satisfying sleep with the help of a comfortable bed.
Examine your dog’s bed. Can your dog be comfortable sleeping on it?
If the bed is thin and worn out, invest in a new one. But if the bed is still okay, then it probably needs washing and cleaning.
In addition, make sure the bed is the right size for your dog. For large breeds, get something where they can stretch.
For small to medium-sized dogs, they might like nest beds. These have sufficient padding for warmth.
I know I said get a bed the right size for your dog. But this West Highland Terrier surely loves her own huge bed!
#4: Make the bed accessible
Make the bed accessible to your dog when they want to sleep.
This is especially important for senior dogs. So bring the bed to them, so to speak.
Ensure they sleep on the bed and not on the floor. The cold floor can exacerbate their hip problems or arthritis.
For dogs that love being near you, consider putting their bed by the foot of your bed. Or by the door of your bedroom. This way, they sleep on their own bed but still be close to you.
#5: Let sleeping dogs lie
Sometimes you just have to leave your dog laying on a cold floor. There’s nothing wrong with it, particularly if they are healthy.
Maybe it’s just too hot and the cold floor makes them feel better.
Don’t worry, though. Your dog will voluntarily sleep on the bed when they want to.
What other pet parents are saying
Pet parent #1
A pet parent shares on one forum about why his dog suddenly slept on the floor. The incident happened a few times so he decided to investigate.
What happened was that his dog couldn’t pee when she wanted to. She had difficulty getting out.
She wouldn’t pee on the carpet or on the floor. So she peed on the bed.
And because the bed smelled of urine, she wouldn’t sleep on it. She chose to sleep on the floor away from the bed.
The pet parent washed the bed and put a Kong toy in it. The dog started sleeping on the bed again.
Pet parent #2
This dog parent has a Border Collie mix that’s very fluffy. At night, her dog prefers the floor more than her bed.
It’s no wonder since they live in Alabama, where it’s hot and humid. Especially on hot days, the dog prefers the tiled floor over the wood floors.
Pet parent #3
One pet owner’s three dogs are proof that it’s a matter of personal preference. He owns two Goldies and an Indian Pariah.
On chilly nights the dogs prefer to sleep with their owner. But when it’s hot, they love to lay on the cold floor. And they have their favorite spots.
One loves to sleep on the bathroom floor. The other by the balcony door. And the last one sleeps below a fan.