Why Does My Dog Hide Under The Bed?

Sometimes, you just need to get away from it all. For you, that could mean a trip to the spa or a relaxing vacation. Your pup can't travel by himself, though, let alone purchase a plane ticket, so he'll probably just head to the most appealing spot he can find when he wants to take a break. There, he can get a little peace and quiet, along with a rejuvenating nap, especially if he's stressed out. As unusual as it may sound, that relaxing getaway spot may just be under your bed.

terrier dog hiding under a bed.
credit: Vanessa Van Ryzin, Mindful Motion Photography/Moment/GettyImages

Your dog's afraid of something

You might notice that when there's a thunderstorm outside, your dog immediately makes a beeline under the bed. Or maybe when company comes over, your pup scampers away and heads for her under-bed hiding spot. That's because when your dog is afraid, she goes off to a spot she considers safe. In this case, that safe spot is under your bed.

To curb this behavior, you can use counter-conditioning and desensitization techniques to get your pup comfortable with whatever may be scaring her recommends the Animal Humane Society. For example, if it's thunder that's prompting her to hide under the bed, play soft recordings of thunder while giving her treats, and lots of praise when she sits calmly with you. Slowly increase the volume until she doesn't react to the sound anymore.

If strangers and guests scare your pup, you can change that behavior by having your guests feed yummy treats to her on their next visit. Your dog will soon associate strangers with good things — namely treats — and won't run off when company comes over.

Your dog feels sick

If your dog suddenly starts hiding under the bed, it could be because he feels ill, according to Vetinfo. When dogs are sick or depressed, they tend to hide because they feel so yucky. This is could be the case if you notice other symptoms; for example, your dog is lethargic, a little grouchy, or he's not eating well. He may be ill if he's otherwise housebroken, but eliminating in the house or vomiting due to gastrointestinal upset.

For dogs who have recently started hiding under the bed, it's best to take them to a veterinarian for a checkup. Your vet can run tests to determine if anything is wrong and treat any medical conditions. Once your dog feels better, he probably won't want to hide under the bed anymore.

Your dog needs a relaxing vacation

Your pup may hang out under the bed because she sees it as a nice, relaxing spot to snooze. Dogs are den animals, and she may view the area under your bed as a big cave where she can snuggle up. In this case, it's best to leave her alone when she hangs out under the bed.

You could also provide your dog with an alternative to her under-the-bed lair by giving her a crate, recommends the Humane Society of the United States. Crates simulate a den, and you can place them anywhere you want. They are great if you want to keep your pup out of your bedroom, especially if your dog's loud snoring is keeping you from getting a good night's sleep.

Your dog is stressed out

When your dog is under stress, he may head under the bed to deal with his anxiety. Perhaps a new pet is bothering him, or he's recently had a traumatic experience. Your dog could be anxious because of a recent move to a new house, or there's been a new addition to your family. The loss of a family member, whether two-or-four legged, can also cause anxiety in your dog.

You may need to give your dog some time to adjust to whatever is bothering him. Consult with your veterinarian if your pup is hiding under the bed all the time. Your vet can prescribe medication to treat your dog's anxiety.

Your dog is hiding treasures

Your pup may hide under the bed because that's where she stashes her most prized possessions, including favorite toys and possibly your slippers. Just as a dog might bury a bone outside to chomp on later, she might also stash a bone under your bed. Some pups hoard their stuff in spots they consider safe, according to Cesar's Way. And your pup may just have chosen under the bed as that safe spot.