Dog Suddenly Wants to Sleep Alone

small dog sleeping

Does your dog typically enjoy sleeping close to you at night, only to suddenly become distant? If your puppy or dog usually sleeps in your bed or a dog bed in the same room, then unexpectedly wants to sleep alone, there are several underlying causes for this behavior. This change may be due to a significant change in your home, health conditions, or other reasons.

While your dog’s sleeping habits are usually consistent, certain factors can change your pet’s sleep pattern for a few nights or long term.

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Is Co-Sleeping With a Dog Safe?

Many pet parents safely and comfortably sleep with their dog at night without harming you or your furry friend. There are several reasons why co-sleeping can be an issue. Sometimes, dogs and other pets can cause an allergic reaction or aggravate them further.

Dogs also experience several sleep cycles during the night, known as polyphasic, which commonly causes sleep disturbances for their owners.

Generally, resting with your pet is comforting and safe. Unless your pup wakes up frequently and begins pacing or howling, they’ll make great sleeping companions.

What Are the Most Common Reasons Dogs Unexpectedly Sleep Alone?

Pets often feel close to their owners, whether you adopt puppies or have an older dog. It may be due to a new work routine, guests, environmental changes, or a medical problem when they suddenly change their sleeping habits.

The following are the most common reasons why your furry friends suddenly sleep in the living room or another location in your home.

pug and owner in bed
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New Family Members or Guests in Your Home

If you invite guests over for the weekend, you may notice a change in your dog’s behavior. When there are new, unfamiliar humans in the house, your dog may feel the need to guard your home or investigate your guests, which may temporarily change sleeping habits.

While your dog’s regular sleep pattern is likely to resume when your family or friends leave, permanent addition to the family or a new roommate may cause more long-term changes in where your dog sleeps. Eventually, as your pet adapts to the new arrangement, they will like to settle back into their previous sleeping routine.

Your Puppy or Dog Is Getting Adjusted to a New Home

If you adopt a puppy, they may want to sleep close for warmth and comfort, especially if they feel anxious or lonely. In time, they might change where they sleep once they become comfortable with a new dog bed or find another place in your home to rest.

In some cases, a nervous puppy or dog may display destructive behavior due to unfamiliar surroundings, especially if they are scared or curious.

Changes in Temperature and Weather

During the summer months or a sudden increase in temperature, your dog may get overheated in your bed and look for a cooler place to sleep. Co-sleeping with your pet, especially in a warm or hot climate, can make your dog uncomfortable, and they may prefer to rest on a cooler surface or location, like a hardwood floor, basement, or another room in your home.

Your Dog Doesn’t Get Tired at Night

If your dog doesn’t get enough exercise during the day or mental stimulation, they may sleep less or not throughout the night.

The level of physical exercise, attention, and socialization your pet needs often depends on the breed. Taking your dog for walks once or twice daily, playing, and engaging with your pup regularly will help them relax and sleep better at night.

A Change in Bedding or Lack of Comfort

Did you replace your bed or add too soft blankets or bedding? This can become uncomfortable for your pet, especially for an older dog accustomed to a specific bedding style.

Your dog may look for another bed or space that’s easier to relax so they can sleep for the night. A smaller bed may not adequately accommodate your dog, which is another reason they might move elsewhere to sleep.

Your Dog is Alerted to Noise or Something Outside

Many animals are nocturnal, whether nearby wildlife or the neighbor’s pet, which can alert your dog if they hear or sense them outside. These animals include raccoons, possums, and rats, which may pique your pet’s interest and keep them awake.

Your dog may wander towards the window to catch a glimpse of any movement or respond to an unfamiliar noise. In some situations, persistent or unusual noise may cause your pup to become agitated or protective, causing them to pace or move to another location in the house.

dog sleeping on chair
Photo Credit: Pexels

Physical Health Problem

If your dog is sick or injured, it may choose to sleep alone for a while until it can heal or recover from the ailment. This is common for many household pets to sleep separately, especially if they need more space or a quiet, secluded area to relax.

Emotional Distress

A sudden change in your life or home can cause your dog distress, especially if you have a senior dog accustomed to a particular environment or a puppy experiencing separation anxiety. Like humans, dogs can feel emotional distress, impacting how they sleep and where they rest.

Cats Sleep in the Same Bed

If you have cats that enjoy sharing the bed, another possible reason for your dog’s change in sleeping location may be your other pets taking over this space.

Over time, you may notice changes occur every so often, significantly if your cats also change their sleeping pattern, which may cause your dog to return to co-sleeping.


Co-sleeping with your dog is a harmless way to get a good night’s rest with your pet, provided they can find comfort in this arrangement. It’s also important to consider whether your pet’s sleeping habits impact your ability to rest; if so, your dog has other options.

Many pet owners prefer that their puppies or dogs sleep in a crate, in another room, or in a dog bed. While these options are great for pets and their owners, many people try several methods to find out which suits them best.

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