Why do dogs hang their heads off their bed?

Why do dogs hang their heads off their bed?

No matter how comfortable our dog’s bed is, they still manage to lay their heads off it. As disturbing as it might seem, they usually have a pretty good reason for this odd behavior, and despite what we might perceive, our dogs are not uncomfortable when they hang their heads off their bed.

Actually, it can be quite the opposite, dogs can lay their heads off their bed because they find it comfortable. But wait, this is just one of the possible reasons, because in fact, as almost every dog behavior does, this one has different possible causes too.

1. To cool down

Everyone’s been there done that: it’s summer, you’re sleeping in bed, you’re not hot enough to sleep without the blankets, but you’re definitely too hot to be all covered up. The one and only solution left is to leave one foot hanging off the bed, right?

Well, the same happens with doggos. They can leave their head hanging off the bed to help them cool down. They don’t want to sleep on the floor, but the bed is a little too warm, so the best solution they can find is leaving their head outside.

So, if you see that your dog is doing this during hot months, then probably this is the reason why. 

2. To relieve pressure from the spinal cord

Have you ever seen your dog stretch their legs after waking up? They do so for the same reason we do: it feels nice. They need to give their muscles a good stretch after having them contracted for a while.

Well, the same happens when they’re lying in bed with their heads hanging off. It helps them relieve tension and weight from their spinal cord, letting it rest properly. 

3. Because they feel comfortable

Dogs who sleep lying on their side usually do so because they are relaxed and feel safe in their surroundings. The same happens when a dog is sleeping on their back with their bellies up in the sky, they feel safe enough to let themselves be vulnerable. 

On the contrary, when a dog is sleeping curled up in a ball it can be either because they’re cold, or because they feel like they need to protect their most vulnerable spots. Or when they’re sleeping lying on their belly ready to wake up at the feeling of any possible threat.

4. To keep an eye out

Well, this is quite the opposite of the previous reason why dogs hang their heads off the bed, but they are both equally possible.

Doggos might also do this because they want to keep an eye out on their surroundings. This usually happens with pups that are usually overprotective of their belongings and humans. They’re just trying to take care of you. 

When laying their heads off the bed, they have the possibility to just open their eyes and take a quick scan of the room, if they were lying on their backs, they would have to move and change positions to do so. 

If you are interested in dog's sleeping habits, we recommend you check out this article about where dogs should sleep at night, where we explore the pros and cons of the different places where pups should sleep. 

Deciding where your dog should sleep at night is an especially important subject for pups who suffer from joint pain. 

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