Being wrapped up in a warm, cozy blanket during the cold winter nights sounds blissful right? It provides you with a sense of comfort and safety.
Your furry friends are no different. Burrowing is a habit that comes naturally to them. So you will often find them digging on their bed or trying to sneak a place under your blankets.
Have you wondered, though, why do dogs bury their nose in blankets? Is it safe for dogs to do so? As their human parent, should you be concerned about their burrowing habit? Let us dive into the article and get some answers.
- 6 Reasons Why Do Dogs Bury Their Nose in Blankets?
- Is Burrowing a Safe Habit for Dogs?
- What to Do When Dogs Bury Their Nose in Blankets?
- What to Do When the Dog Burrows Excessively?
- Are Certain Dog Breeds Prone to Burrowing?
6 Reasons Why Do Dogs Bury Their Nose in Blankets?
Your dog may bury its nose in blankets or play hide and seek with you by completely putting its body under a pile of blankets. The reasons for this may vary from them trying to seek comfort or trying to soothe their anxiety.
Here are six possible reasons why your furry friend buries its nose in blankets.
1. Instinctive Behavior
Burrowing is a habit that you will find in most animals. Earlier, animals would dig to create a safe space for the newborns, keeping them away from predators. The burrow would also serve as a place to store food and remain warm during cold weather.
There is no need for pets like dogs to follow this behavior anymore, but it is a habit that has remained ingrained in them.
Some dog breeds are more inclined to burrow than others. So, you will often find your dog trying to get under your covers, your armpit, or cozy up on your lap.
2. Seeking Comfort
You sure are familiar with the cozy feeling of being wrapped in a thick blanket. It does keep you warm, but it is the sense of security that feels the best. It is like your personal safe haven.
Putting their nose, face, or body under the blanket provides dogs with a similar sense of comfort and security. In addition, most dogs prefer the company of people and other dogs. So, it is natural for them to curl up beside you.
You can also use this habit as a bonding experience with the dog. Being buried under a blanket beside the person they love is a happy feeling for the dogs. The space helps them relax, unwind and feel loved.
3. Sleeping Ritual
Traditionally, dogs are pack animals. They have evolved in the company of their littermates. They would sleep curled up against other dogs. This brought them warmth and safety.
For dogs, today, you are their pack members, their human family. So it will try to mimic the sleeping behavior with you. Like humans, some dogs like sleeping under the warmth of a blanket. That is just how they sleep.
Ensure the blanket is not heavy for the dog. They should be able to breathe unhindered, even with their nose under the covers.
4. They May Be Anxious
In times of distress, the familiar helps us calm down. After a long, tiring day, going home sounds like the perfect idea. The same goes for your pets.
If your pup or dog is anxious, scared, or depressed, they might seek solace under the blanket. The blanket is their safe haven. It makes them feel comfortable. The experience is familiar to them. So, when they are anxious or scared, they might run to the safety of the blanket.
You can let the dog bury their nose in a blanket to calm down. But, it would help if you also addressed the cause of this reaction. For example, why is your dog anxious or fearful in its own home? A visit to the vet’s clinic can be helpful.
5. Trying to Get Warm
Why do dogs bury their nose in blankets? Well, one of the most obvious reasons could be that they are trying to stay warm. You might think that because dogs have fur, they are well protected against the cold weather. However, a dog’s fur may not be enough to keep them warm.
If you have a small dog or a dog with a thin layer of fur, they might not be able to generate adequate body heat during winters. If the dog is curled up into a ball, refusing to leave its bed, these are signs they are cold.
It is best to have an extra blanket around for the dog in such cases. Ensure the blanket is soft and sturdy.
Bonus Read: How to Make Dog Fur Soft: 6 Easy Tips!
6. They Like the Scent
Smell is an important sense that dogs rely on. They use smell to know and familiarize themselves with people and their surroundings.
Dogs are attracted to the smell of their human parents. According to researchers, the scent of a familiar person can activate the area in the dog’s brain associated with positive expectations.
Your blanket smells like you. So, it is common for dogs to bury their nose under your blanket. It is their way of getting closer to you. If the pet suffers from separation anxiety, the burrowing habit and the familiarity of your smell can help calm them down.
Is Burrowing a Safe Habit for Dogs?
Burrowing is a habit that is instinctive to most pets. It is the animal’s way to relax and get comfortable. Most dogs will get rid of the blanket if they feel hot.
If you have smaller dogs at home, make sure they do not get trapped under the weight of the blankets. If you have a senior dog, ensure they can breathe comfortably even with their nose in a blanket.
Burrowing is by far a safe habit for dogs. However, as a pet parent, you can make the habit safer by keeping weighted and heating blankets away from the dog. Heating blankets and their electrical cords can be a safety hazard.
What to Do When Dogs Bury Their Nose in Blankets?
If your dog enjoys burying their nose in blankets, let them do so. It is how they unwind after a long day and sleep comfortably. It would be best if you encouraged this behavior. It can help develop a stronger bond between you and the pet.
If you do not want the dog to get under the pile of clean laundry or other random places, it is best to give them a blanket of their own. Ensure the blanket is lightweight and washable.
Please do not give them an old blanket that is full of holes or has loose strings dangling. Your pet can get entangled. The dog can pull at the threads. It can be a choking hazard or hinder their breathing.
If anxiety is the reason behind your dog’s burrowing, you need to deal with the cause. If there are triggers in the house that make your dog anxious, do your best to eliminate them.
If your dog gets wild during their sleep time, aggressively handling the blanket, you will have to find ways to release their pent-up energy. For example, take the dog out for walks, running, or a hike. Give them toys to keep them mentally stimulated. If you cannot keep your dog company, enrolling them in doggy daycare would be ideal.
What to Do When the Dog Burrows Excessively?
Burrowing, for the most part, is normal and safe among dogs. However, if your pet excessively seeks the blanket rather than spending time in other parts of the house or outdoors, you need to contact the vet.
Try to understand why the dog does not feel comfortable in its own house. See if there are any changes you can make to turn the house dog-friendly. Explore activities that can help develop a stronger bond with the pet.
Make your home a safe haven for the dog as well. You do not want them to go burrowing in strange places outside. Do not leave the pet alone for longer periods.
If your dog’s burrowing habit still does not improve, please seek professional help from trainers. Consult with the vet to identify and treat any underlying medical condition.
Are Certain Dog Breeds Prone to Burrowing?
Yes, dog breeds such as Dachshunds, Terriers, Miniature Schnauzer, Chihuahuas, Basset Hound, and Beagles will burrow more than other dog breeds.
Bigger dog breeds like Siberian Huskies and Alaskan Malamute are also famous for their digging behavior. These dogs would dig to keep themselves safe during storms and blizzards. During summers, they would dig in the snow to keep themselves cool.
With the change in environment and housing, digging is not necessary, but you will still find these dog breeds burrowing, replacing the snow for your blankets.
You May Also Read: My Dog Won’t Stop Licking The Floor And Coughing! 5 Likely Reasons
Why do dogs bury their nose in blankets? Dogs do so because they like the scent of their human parent. It gives them a sense of comfort and security. They can put their guards down and relax at the end of the day.
Other reasons include trying to get warm during the night, being anxious or scared, or just enjoying some alone time.
Burrowing is also instinctive among dogs. So do not be alarmed by this habit. Instead, invest in their bedding and blankets to create the ultimate ‘den’ experience.
If your dog tends to burrow excessively or is highly anxious, it is best to discuss the case with the vet.
Heather Abraham is an owner of two dogs, one cat, a leopard gecko, and a parrot (who her dad still cannot teach bad words to), and an avid blogger. From the time she was a young girl, she always felt a connection with pets. She brings her love of every type of pet to you, with information on animal nutrition, medication, toys, beds, and everything else in between. Along with newly-on-board veterinarian DVM editor Elena, she puts pups first while offering other various fun tidbits along the way.