It’s certainly cute to see your Chihuahua burying themselves under the covers to sleep, but why do they do it?
It’s a great question and is often asked, so let’s explain all the reasons behind this interesting behavior.
Not only did we ask our resident veterinarian, but we contacted dog behavior specialists and chihuahuas breeders for the best answers.
In most cases, Chihuahuas like sleeping under the covers for warmth and safety. As Chihuahuas are so small they often struggle to remain warm. Additionally, sleeping under the covers provides a safe resting place.
9 Proven Reasons Why Chihuahuas Sleep Under The Covers
After speaking with many Chihuahua owners, breeders and behaviorists we discovered there’s a few more reasons why sleeping under the covers is so appealing. Let’s run through them below!
- It’s comfortable
- They’re anxious or stressed
- To find a quiet place
- Pain or injury
- They like being near you
- It’s a habit
- They’re pregnanct or in heat
1. It’s comfortable
A simple yet overlooked reason is simply that it’s comfortable. Our little Chihuahua friends don’t boast big fluffy coats, so they need to get their soft bedding from blankets, towels, clothing, and your covers!
It doesn’t take long for owners to realize their Chihuahua loves getting up on your lap, or the sofa to snuggle and lay.
Ultimately, this is oftentimes much cozier than their own bed and certainly the floor!
2. They’re anxious or stressed
If your Chihuahua is overly anxious or stressed, it’s pretty normal for them seek comfort or in their eyes a hiding place.
Snuggling under the covers is one way to avoid any triggers/stressors in the house that may be affecting your Chihuahua negatively.
Being under the covers will be considered by them as a safe “nest or “den”. Allowing them to rest with less nerves or anxiety.
Chihuahuas can get anxious for several reasons including:
- Noisy environment
- Stressful presences in the home
- Too much time alone
- Insufficient exercise
- Lack of attention
- Moving homes
- Loss/addition of another pet or person
- A change to their usual routine
3. To find a quiet place
Although this is technically covered above, it needs it’s own place!
Chihuahuas are very sensitive to their surrounding and they like it to be calm, quiet and relaxed.
If a Chihuahua is in a noisy or hectic environment, they will seek a quiet and “safer” place for them to relax. Under the covers is the perfect spot for this.
This can be caused by either the people in the home or outside noises like building works, traffic, or fireworks.
4. Pain or injury
Chihuahuas suffering from any existing pain or injury may resort to denning and nesting in order to recover. This is common canine behavior seen in the wild.
Your Chihuahua will snuggle under the covers to rest, avoid making their injury worse, and for general recovery.
If your Chihuahua suddenly starts burrowing under the covers and is coupled with a new limp, excessive licking, or whining, then it’s important to check them over!
Chihuahuas find it hard to remain warm. Their small size and extra thin coat results in a lot of lost body heat.
If you live in a cooler region of the world, then this will be an issue during winter, so it’s worth keeping the average temperature in your home at least 20C (70F).
Nothing beats snuggling under the covers to provide some instant warmth and comfort, so don’t be surprised if this is your Chihuahua’s favorite place during cooler months!
Digging under the covers will instantly make your Chihuahua feel safer from any outside threats. There may not actually be any threats, but our little dogs are often much more sensitive than we think.
If your Chihuahua often comes to you throughout the day to lay right beside or even on your lap, it’s often to feel a sense of safety. The same happens when they nest under the covers.
This behavior is very natural with small dogs, as it’s common for them to feel scared and anxious. This is seen in most other tiny breeds.
7. They like being near you
If your Chihuahua only engages in this behavior when you are in bed or using the covers, then it could be just their way of feeling close to their leader.
Chihuahuas usually have no problem giving and receiving affection, being close to you is one simple way to do this.
You’ll know if this is the case because your Chihuahua will only sleep under the covers when you are there.
To know if this is the reason, you can also observe how close your Chihuahua sticks by your side throughout the day.
8. It’s a habit
If sleeping under the covers is something your Chihuahua has done for a long time, it’s likely formed into a habit.
What once may have started due to a temporary reason, like escaping loud noises, can quickly turn into nothing more than a habit.
Your Chihuahua may just view this as their normal resting place.
9. Pregnant or in heat
Pregnant Chihuahuas will reach a stage near the end of their pregnancy where they will engage in nesting behavior. This is to find a warm and safe place to give birth.
If this is the case, then owners should find an alternative place for their Chihuahua to nest. A new bed or corner with soft towels and blankets is advised over being under the covers!
As well as pregnancy, simply being in heat could lead your Chihuahua to snuggle under the covers.
Being in heat can result in many different behaviors, and Chihuahuas may need to feel a little extra safe, warm, and comfortable for these two weeks or so.
Again, for those in heat, it’s advised to create them their own dedicated space away from your bed.
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Should We Let Chihuahuas Sleep Under The Covers?
There’s no reason why we should stop this behavior. If your Chihuahua feels safer, warmer, and more comfortable under the covers then there’s no problem letting it continue.
The only time this behavior should be investigated further is if your Chihuahua is doing it because they’re overly anxious, scared, or in pain.
In that case, owners must find the root cause of the behavior and address it directly.
So long as your Chihuahua is otherwise happy, active, and has no additional negative symptoms, then sleeping under the covers is a behavior owners can let happen.