You’re lying in bed. The next thing you know, Frido’s beside you burying his head in your pillows. Is there a reason he’s doing that, or is he just weird?
To be perfectly honest, my dog can be a weirdo at times so I wouldn’t rule out that last one. However, after doing some research, I found out that my pooch isn’t the only one that does this. A few scrolls on Quora and I realized rather quickly: I’m not alone. There are other pet owners out there dealing with the same issue. Not that it’s an issue exactly, but it’s nice to know your dog’s not doing something totally out of whack.
Wondering why your dog buries his head in pillows too? Here are a few reasons I discovered after carrying out extensive research.
Think about it. When you’re cold, what do you do? You snuggle, right? Since your dog probably isn’t allowed or isn’t also able to climb under your sheets, he buries his head in your pillows in an attempt to stay warm.
Short-haired dog breeds such as pugs, chihuahuas, and bulldogs are prone to getting cold quickly. These dogs are especially likely to bury their heads in pillows to boost their body temperature. If you see him doing this and you suspect he’s cold, cover him with a blanket, give him a cuddle, or turn up the AC so that he’s nice and warm!
Obviously if it’s summer and he’s still doing it, it is unlikely that body temperature has anything to do with it. Keep scrolling to figure out what else could be triggering this habit.
Your Scent Makes Him Feel Safe
According to a dog owner on Quora, your dog’s probably burying his head in your pillow because it “smells of you.”
You know how dogs are. They have extremely strong and powerful senses. Just like they can sniff out a bone from a mile off, they’re also more than accustomed to your own personal scent. For your dog, your scent is something that instantly makes him feel comfortable and safe. See it as a sign he adores you! It’s actually quite sweet when you think about it.
This reason definitely makes sense. Often in the mornings when I get up to make a coffee, I come back to find my dog snuggled under my pillows. For me, it’s an excuse to get back in bed and cuddle with my best bud! While enjoying my coffee, of course!
He Feels Threatened
Many dogs burrow their head in pillows when they are scared or feel threatened in some way or another. Curling up, for some reason, makes them feel more at ease and less in danger. You’ll see this particularly in smaller breeds as they are more likely to get anxious over little things like noises and people or things that are larger than them. Although, dogs of all sizes can do it. Small dog owners – you know what I mean!
Examples of when he might do this include hearing loud noises, in the presence of larger dogs, or when groups of guests come over to your house. Whenever Frido feels scared, he’ll instantly look for a place where he can feel safe. Since your pillow is warm, fluffy, and smells like you, it’s the perfect place for him to find refuge.
If you suspect he’s burying his head in your pillows because he feels threatened, reassure him that he’s safe by speaking to him in a soothing voice and stroking his head. You could also try giving him a little treat to make him feel better. And of course, try removing the thing that’s making him feel threatened in the first place (noise, groups of guests, other dogs, etc.).
He’s Just Being Playful
Sometimes, dogs do things without a solid reason. For instance, he could be burying his head in pillows just to be silly and playful. Dogs like to have fun – especially young dogs. So let him play and have his fun! You’ll know he’s doing it out of playfulness if the weather is warm, there’s nothing around for him to be afraid of, and he’s wagging his tail while he’s doing it.
Encourage the behavior by praising him, cuddling him, and giving him treats. If it’s something he simply enjoys doing, there’s nothing at all to be concerned about.
He’s in Pain
Often, when dogs are in pain or hurt in some way, they hide away. In fact, they’re pretty much experts at hiding pain. So if he’s burying his head in your pillows and you can’t distinguish the reason behind it, consider his overall wellbeing. Did he recently get hurt or injured? Could he have hurt himself when you weren’t watching?
Dogs hide when they’re in pain so that they can deal with the discomfort in peace. If he’s displaying signs of discomfort, such as crying, not eating, or not acting like his usual self, it could be a sign he’s hurt.
Get him checked at the vet’s to make sure he’s okay. It’s important to rule out any injuries or potential illnesses.
He Was Born to Burrow
It turns out, your dog might be born to burrow. Certain small-prey hunters like terriers burrow out of instinct. It’s an innate behavior that he’s practically born to do. Although it is an instinct that’s present in many dogs. Hence, the reason they like digging and burying their bones. In other words, your pillows are the closest resemblance to their wild environment!
You don’t need to discourage this behavior if you don’t want to. It’s not really a bad thing. It’s just your dog being a dog. However, if you’re not cool with it, try to keep him off your bed or keep your bedroom door closed at all times to keep him away from your pillows!
He’s Blocking Light
Another reason your dog might be burying his head under your pillows is because the room is too brightly lit. Are your lights turned out? Are they fairly bright? They could simply be too bright for your pet pooch.
In an attempt to block out the light and fall asleep, your dog may bury his face in your pillows. Besides making him feel more comfortable, it will allow him to get a better sleep.
You can help your dog by dimming the lights or getting him to sleep in a darker room.
He’s Found Gold
Okay, so not gold exactly, but something he likes at least. Maybe the last time you two played together, something ended up under your pillows and now he’s trying to find it and get it back. Or maybe you hid something under there intentionally and forgot about it. And now your four-legged bestie is sniffing it out!