If your dog frequently lays or sleeps on your clothes, reasons for that might be:
- The dog dislikes its own bed – it might be because of its location, comfort level, or other features.
- Your dog feels cold – they might be trying to get warm by snuggling in your clothes.
- Maternal instincts – if your dog is pregnant, it might be preparing a nest for her puppies.
- separation anxiety – your dog might be missing you and looking for your scent as a coping mechanism.
Why Does My Dog Lay on My Clothes?
It is common knowledge that dogs like laying and sleeping on clothes and I never really gave it much thought until recently. My puppy recently started doing just that, and since he is a fluffy one, now I have to deal with removing hair from my clothes on a daily basis. This led me to start asking myself — Why does my dog lay on my clothes in the first place? Cleaning up dog hair is just the tip of the iceberg, however, as the inconveniences go even further than that!
I’ve seen him take out my dirty laundry and arrange it into a nice, comfy bed on the floor. At times, he would even climb into the laundry basket itself! There have also been times when he would steal clothes from my shelves and drawers. As you can imagine, this sort of behavior can get quite problematic.
That got me thinking about what exactly makes dogs like our clothes so much, as well as whether or not there is a safe and effective way to prevent them from doing that. I decided to do some research on the topic, and honestly, I didn’t expect to discover some of the things I did. In the paragraphs below, I will outline the most common answer to the question of why does my dog lay on my clothes?
Our Dog Dislikes Their Bed
Occam’s razor is a philosophical principle that states “The simplest solution is most often the correct one.” If you apply that to our current conundrum, you will most likely reach the following answer — our dog makes their own bed because they don’t want to sleep in the one we’ve provided for them. That doesn’t necessarily make us bad parents, though, as there are many reasons for dogs to dislike their designated beds. Let’s go over some of them.
Perhaps the issue is with the location of the bed. Our dog might be disturbed or scared by what they see, smell, or hear in their sleeping area. To test if that’s the case, we can try moving the bed to another location in our house. In fact, if our dog likes to make their bed at a specific spot, we should place their bed there and see what happens. In case that doesn’t work and they continue sleeping on our clothes, then the issue might be the bed itself.
Lack of Comfort
Our dog might not find the bed comfortable enough or consider it unworthy for some reason. We can fix that by adding more blankets and snuggle materials which would emulate the feel of our clothes. On the other hand, our dog might find the bed unappealing because of its size or smell, or even because of the sounds it makes. In that case, we need to experiment with a different bed.
If, after all that, our dog still insists on sleeping on our clothes, the answer lies elsewhere.
It’s Too Cold for Comfort
Another logical answer to the question of why does my dog lay on my clothes is that they might not be warm enough. Even if it is not freezing cold outside, dogs are sensitive to lower temperatures, especially if their hair is short. They spend most of their time at the floor level, which is usually the coldest place in any room. If we deduce that our dog sleeps in our clothes because of that, there are several things we can do.
First of all, we must check where their usual bed is — is the spot unusually cold? Is there a draft? A nearby window or door can cause temperature drops, which would explain why our dog feels cold. We should try moving the bed next to a radiator or to a place that gets more sun. We can also add more blankets to the bed, or even switch to an enclosed bedding option.
If our dog is female, she might be making a mess out of our clothes for a very specific purpose. Expectant mothers will attempt to build a warm, comfortable nest where they can safely give birth to their puppies. Hoarding and sleeping on our clothes can be a sign of pregnancy in female dogs, along with a lack of appetite and anxiety. If we see our girl exhibiting such behavior, we need to get her to the vet ASAP.
Our clothes, even though warm and comfortable, are far from an ideal option for a birthing ground. Of course, we wouldn’t want our clothes permanently ruined — but there are more serious risks involved. A puppy might get smothered or tangled under piles of heavy clothes, and nobody wants that. That is why we should replace our clothes with large bed sheets or towels, as they will reduce the risk of an accident happening.
One important point we need to make — if we suspect that our dog is pregnant, we shouldn’t take matters into our own hands and take care of her by ourselves. Professional help from a veterinarian is essential, as there might be unexpected issues and complications during and after the pregnancy.
As everyone knows, dogs have an extremely sharp sense of smell. Once they know our scent, they can pick it up even on clothes straight out of the washing machine. That goes double for dirty clothes, as they carry our scent much more prevalently. Also, dogs tend to become emotionally attached to us and get nervous or anxious when we are not around them. Add two and two together, and you will see where I am going with this.
There is a reason dog daycare centers ask us to give them a piece of our clothing when we leave our pets there. Dogs can easily develop separation anxiety while away from us, and having our scent close by brings them comfort. Separation anxiety can have many different forms, and if left unchecked, might spiral out of control. Extreme cases can result in severe depression and property destruction.
If our dog misses us, sleeping on our clothes is an effective coping mechanism. Perhaps we have not been paying them enough attention, or have been frequently away for prolonged periods of time. So, how do we treat this issue in the least stressful way and make sure our dog is happy?
Dealing with Separation Anxiety
The one thing we absolutely SHOULD NOT do is restrict their access to clothes. If we deprive them of their stress relief, they might choose to engage in different, more harmful activities — like destroying furniture, for example. The best way to deal with this is to give our dog a single piece of our clothing — ideally an old shirt. They can keep this item forever, while we take the time to restrict access to all other clothing.
Another thing people try is leaving one of their old pillows in the dog’s designated bed. The smell will help with separation anxiety, and the added comfort can do wonders. We need to experiment with those options and see what works for our dog.
Don’t Hesitate to Seek Professional Help
Unfortunately, sometimes the issues causing separation anxiety in dogs can be much deeper. Perhaps our puppy is missing someone who has passed away or has permanently left the household. Such grief can be hard to overcome in dogs, and we need to help them get through it in any way we can. Time generally heals all wounds, even in dogs, so we need to give them the patience and understanding they deserve.
In some rather extreme cases, behavior therapy and medication might be needed in order to combat separation anxiety. Make sure you consult a vet if the behavior persists or the symptoms worsen.
So, Why Does My Dog Lay on My Clothes?
My extensive research led me to find answers to many questions, including why does my dog lay on my clothes. The answers to this question range from very simple to quite complicated. Dogs can just be unsatisfied with their current bed or feel too cold, which are easily fixable issues. On the other hand, they might be preparing to give birth, in which case we need to seek professional assistance and make preparations. An even more serious case is that of our dog dealing with separation anxiety — a condition that can grow into a serious problem that requires medical attention.
While dog hair on our clothes can be tough to remove, it is a manageable task. I keep a good supply of lint rollers — the easiest way to remove hair, especially if our dogs are of the longer variety. Another quick solution is to go over our clothes with a rubber glove, as rubber is great for catching individual hairs.
We should not get angry at our dogs for doing what they do since there is most likely a good reason for it. We all love our dogs and want what is best for them. So when we see them exhibiting strange behavior, we must take some time to do a bit of detective work and see what the cause may be. I personally feel much better now, knowing what my dog’s mindset might be and why he would find it appropriate to ruin my laundry. Getting to know our dogs and their struggles will go a long way to establishing a good relationship with them.
Hopefully, you can now discover the answer to the question of why does my dog lay on my clothes for yourself!