Why Do Dogs Bury Their Nose When They Sleep? (9 Common Reasons)

Categorized as Why Does My Dog
dog burying his nose when they sleep

Dogs are interesting creatures and often have behaviors that we can’t quite understand. One common behavior is when dogs bury their nose in blankets or other objects when they sleep. This behavior can be puzzling to dog owners, but there are actually a few different reasons why dogs might do this.

In this article, we’ll explore nine of the most common reasons why dogs bury their nose when they sleep.

1. Dogs May Bury Their Nose To Create a Sense of Security

Dogs are den animals and often feel more secure when they are in a small, enclosed space. When a dog buries their nose in a blanket or other object, it may be because they are trying to recreate the feeling of being in a den.

This behavior can also be a way for dogs to shield themselves from various elements. In the wild, dogs would cover themselves from cold elements by burying their nose while sleeping.

Nowadays, some dogs may still do this to ward off a draft in their home or to stay warm on a cold night.

2. It’s a Comfortable Sleeping Position

For some dogs, burying their nose when sleeping is simply a comfortable position. This position may help the dog feel more secure and relaxed and also makes getting up easier since they can just lift their head up rather than having to turn their whole body around.

3. Some Dogs May Bury Their Nose To Block Out Light

Dogs are highly sensitive to light and some may bury their nose in order to block out any bright lights that might be disturbing their sleep. This is especially common in dogs who are afraid of thunderstorms or fireworks since the flashes of light can be very unsettling.

Check out the room your dog is sleeping in and see if there are any light sources that could be bothering them. If so, you may want to try covering up the light or moving your dog to a different room.

4. Dogs May Bury Their Nose To Conserve Body Heat

Dogs are very efficient at conserving body heat and one way they do this is by curling up into a tight ball. When a dog curls up and covers their nose, they are able to trap their heat and keep warm.

This behavior is most common in cold weather or when a dog is sick since they may be trying to generate additional warmth.

5. Dogs May Bury Their Nose When They’re Nervous or Fearful

Dogs also have a natural instinct to hide when they feel scared or threatened. When a dog is feeling nervous, they may bury their nose in an attempt to cope with the stress.

However, to make sure your dog is actually feeling scared, look for other signs of fear such as shaking, panting, or whining. Once you’ve determined that your dog is scared, the next step is to figure out what is causing the fear and address the issue.

6. Dogs May Learn To Bury Their Nose From Their Mother or Littermates

Many puppies learn to bury their nose from their mother or littermates. If a puppy sees his mother burying her nose, they may start imitating the behavior.

Even if the puppy doesn’t see his mother do it, he may still learn the behavior from his littermates or other older dogs in the home.

7. Dogs May Bury Their Nose if They Have a Cold or Respiratory Infection

If your dog is trying to bury their nose and you notice they have a runny nose or are sneezing more than usual, they may have a cold or respiratory infection.

Dogs will often naturally bury their nose in an attempt to warm up their airways and make breathing easier.

8. Dogs May Also Bury Their Nose if They Are Suffering From Allergies

Aside from cold and respiratory infections, dogs may also bury their nose due to allergies. If your dog is sneezing or has watery eyes, they may be allergic to something in their environment.

Pollen, dust, and mold are all common allergens that can affect dogs. If you think your dog may be allergic to something, try to remove the allergen from their environment and see if their symptoms improve.

9. If a Dog Has a Growth or Tumor in the Nasal Area, They May Bury Their Nose To Try To Relieve Pressure or Pain

If your dog has a growth or tumor in their nasal area, they may bury their nose in an attempt to relieve pressure or pain. If you notice your dog is trying to bury their nose more frequently or seems to be in pain, make an appointment with your veterinarian.

Should You Be Worried If Your Dog Is Bury Their Nose?

Most often, there is no need to be concerned if your dog buries their nose when they sleep.

However, if you notice your dog buries their nose more frequently followed by other symptoms listed above, you may need to start paying closer attention. If the behavior persists or gets worse, make an appointment with your veterinarian to have your dog checked out.

Remember that the reasons why dogs bury their nose can be behavioral or medical, so it’s always best to explore all possibilities.

5 Tips To Stop Your Dog From Burying Their Nose

If you’re concerned about your dog burying their nose and want to put a stop to the behavior, there are a few things you can do.

1. Keep Your Dog’s Sleeping Area Clean and Comfortable

One way to stop your dog from burying their nose is to make sure their sleeping area is clean and comfortable. If your dog’s bed is full of dirt and debris, they may be trying to bury their nose because of allergies from the irritants.

Wash your dog’s bedding regularly and vacuum their sleeping area to help reduce allergens. You can also try switching to a hypoallergenic dog bed.

Depending on the types of allergies your dog has, you may also need to change their food and use products such as air purifiers or HEPA filters.

2. Give Them More Blankets or Insulate Their House

If your dog is trying to bury their nose to stay warm, you can help by giving them more blankets or insulating their house. During colder months, add an extra blanket to your dog’s bed and make sure their house is well-insulated to help keep them warm.

Heating pads can also help your dog warm-up and may stop them from burying their nose. This is a good option if you want to add a little extra warmth without raising the temperature of your home.

3. Take Them to the Vet for a Check-Up

If you’re concerned that your dog is burying their nose due to a medical condition, the best thing you can do is take them to the vet for a check-up. Your veterinarian will be able to determine if there is a medical reason for the behavior and recommend treatment.

4. Try Moving Their Sleeping Area

If your dog is trying to bury their nose because of bright lights or another disturbance, try moving their sleeping area to a different location. If they usually sleep in your bedroom, try moving their bed to another room where it’s darker and quieter.

5. Find The Cause of Their Anxiety and Remove It

If your dog is burying their nose due to stress, you need to find the cause of their stress and remove it. If possible, try to remove the source of their anxiety or create a calm environment for them.

Some vets may also recommend anti-anxiety medication for dogs with severe stress.

Final Thoughts

Dogs bury their nose for a variety of reasons, most of which are normal and not cause for concern. However, if your dog is burying their nose more frequently or seems to be in pain, make an appointment with your veterinarian.

Related Questions

1. Why Does My Dog Lick the Inside of My Nose?

Many people are mystified by the behavior of dogs who lick the inside of their owner’s nose. While there are a few possible explanations, the most likely reason is that it is a natural instinct.

Dogs have evolved to use licking as a way to show affection and groom their packmates. When a dog licks your nose, they are probably trying to show you how much they care about you.

Additionally, licking is often used as a way to get your attention. If you have ever noticed your dog licking your nose when you are trying to concentrate on something else, they are probably just trying to get your attention so you will pet them or give them a treat.

By Andrew Garf

Andrew Garf has loved dogs, especially German Shepherds, since he was 10 years old. Though he also loves burgers, training dogs is his real passion. That's why he created the website TrainYourGSD.com - to help dog owners learn how to properly train, care for, and bond with their German Shepherd dogs.