Why Your Dog Suddenly Sleeps Alone and Won’t Sleep with You Anymore

Disclaimer: The content on MyPetChild.com is for informational purpose only. It is not intended to be a substitute for professional veterinarian advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of a veterinarian when in doubt.

Do you have a dog that suddenly doesn’t want to sleep on the same bed? This can be concerning especially if the dog was sleeping together with you for many months or years. Here are some common reasons that may lead to a dog preferring to sleep alone than with you or other humans in the house.

1. Your Bed is Too Soft

Individual dogs have different sleep surface preferences, just like people do. Some dogs don’t like to sleep on a surface that’s too soft.

2. Your Bed is Too Small

Some dogs prefer to splay out when they sleep, and your bed might not provide them with enough room to do that comfortably.

3. Your Puppy is Lonely, and isn’t Used to You Yet

If your dog is still a young puppy, and you adopted them recently, they may still be used to being around their mother and siblings.

4. Your Dog isn’t Tired at Night

If your dog’s been on their own all day while you were at work, they may not have gotten enough physical exercise, and mental stimulation, to be particularly tired at night when you go to bed. Different breeds have different exercise needs, but most dogs benefit immensely from daily walks and active outdoor play.

5. Your Dog is Excited because it can Sense Something Outside

All kinds of animals come out at night, including possums, rats, raccoons, and more. Dogs have sensitive hearing and a keen sense of smell, and are often able to detect animals outside that humans wouldn’t notice. This can get your dog excited, or make them feel agitated and stressed, keeping them awake.

6. Your Dog is Emotionally Stressed

If you adopted your dog recently, or you’ve moved houses, or some other major event has happened in your dog’s life, they may be suffering from emotional stress. This can make them anxious, and give them trouble sleeping – just like humans who are stressed out.

7. Your Dog has a Physical Health Problem

Pain or itching can keep your dog awake at night. If you notice unusual behaviors like licking at their paws or joints constantly, pacing nervously, retching or coughing, or drooling a lot, your dog may be sick or injured.

8. Your Cats are Sleeping on the Bed

If you have cats as well as a dog, your dog may have been muscled out of your bed by the cats if they’ve already claimed it for themselves.
It’s too hot in your bed.

More bodies generate more heat, and dogs’ normal body temperature is already slightly higher than our own. If sharing your bed with you drives the temperature up too high, your dog might find it uncomfortably hot. Some dogs actually prefer to sleep on a cooler surface, like a hardwood or tile floor.

Should I let my dog sleep in my bed?

According to the American Kennel Club, around 50% of dog owners let their dogs sleep in their beds at night. Co-sleeping with dogs has been studied, and isn’t necessarily harmful to you or your pet.

However, there are a few issues to be aware of. Sleeping next to your dog can aggravate allergies, if you have them. People who sleep with their dogs also tend to report more sleep disturbances than people who don’t, possibly because dog sleep is polyphasic. Dogs go through several sleep-wake cycles during the night, waking up in between.

Sleeping in your bed can also worsen aggressive or territorial behavior in dogs who exhibit those traits. Dogs with resource guarding issues may begin seeing your bed as their own territory, and get defensive over it.

Where should dogs sleep at night?

Different dogs prefer different places to sleep. Some dogs sleep with their owners, while others prefer to sleep in their crate, in a dog bed, or even on the floor. Any of these places are fine for your dog.

Stories from Pet Owners

Here are a few stories of other dog owners who went through the same concern of having their dog sleep alone.

Story #1 – Stopped Sleeping Next to Me

My dog has always slept on his own bed which is located right next to our bed. He seems to like it as it acts like a safe space for him. Recently, he has changed sleeping behavior. He now gets up in the middle of the night and will go sleep in the couch in the room next door. I am scared that this is a sign that he doesn’t want to be around us as much. We haven’t changed anything in the bedroom. Should I be worried? We do miss his presence at night.

Story #2 – Randomly Stops Sleeping on Bed

I have a 11 months old Labrador puppy that has always slept on our bed ever since he was 7 months old. The last few weeks, he refuses to sleep on the bed now and it’s hurting me so much. I struggle with bad anxiety and having him sleep next to me helps a lot. He will lay around the bed for a bit before jumping off and sleeping under a big chair in the corner of the bedroom. Is this something I just have to come to terms with as the dog grows up?

Story #3 – Dog Mad at Me?

My roommate and I are close friends and have lived together for a while. I adopted my dog six years ago when I first started to live with my current roommate. She has always preferred me over her. We both feed the dog and take turns walking the dog. Recently, my dog has started to leave my bedroom at night and go over to my roommate’s bedroom to sleep there. Is there a reason behind the change in behavior? Is the dog mad at me?


  • Michelle Hillier | 06/09/2020

    Hi.My younger sister recently lost her partner with a tragic accident. Their young dog used to cuddle up on bed with the both of them. Their doggie will get on the bed and have cuddles with other close people but not my sister. They obviously love each other! Is this a protective issue on behalf of fur baby?

  • Bonny | 26/06/2022

    We have the same issue as story #1. None of the issues addressed in the above article are anything relative to us. Any other ideas out there?

  • Dog Person | 31/07/2022

    Another possible factor: they’re hot or cold. My dog prefers to sleep on the floor when it’s warm. But I notice that he sleeps on the bed more after he’s been groomed/shorn and he’s not as insulated. I don’t think the posters should be taking this stuff personally. I’ve had many dogs, and sometimes they just go through phases in their sleep preferences.

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