Why Does My Dog Lay in the Bathroom? (9 Common Reasons)

Categorized as Why Does My Dog
dog laying in the bathroom

One day, you walk into the bathroom and find your dog lying in the bathtub. You can’t help but chuckle at the sight. You wonder why your dog chose to lay in the bathtub instead of his bed or some other comfortable spot in the house.

Perhaps he was trying to cool off on a hot day, or maybe he just likes the feel of the cool tile. Whatever the reason, you can’t help but love your furry friend for being so quirky.

Here are seven possible explanations for why your dog may be laying in the bathroom:

1. The Bathroom Floor Feels Coller or More Comfortable

If your dog often does this during warmer days, then the reason would be more likely that he is trying to cool off.

The bathroom floor is cooler than most other floors in the house, so it makes sense that your dog would want to spend time there.

The bathroom floor also offers plenty of space for your dog to stretch out and relax. This can help reduce the temperature, especially on hot days.

If your dog’s bed is too small or doesn’t offer much support, the bathroom floor may be a more comfortable option.

2. Their Dog Bed or Room is Uncomfortable

If your dog seems to only lay in the bathroom when he’s tired, it’s possible that his bed or room is uncomfortable.

Your dog’s bed should be big enough for him to stretch out and comfortable enough that he doesn’t mind spending time there.

It’s important to also check your dog’s room for any potential problems. Does the room get too hot or cold? Is the room too noisy or too bright?

3. They May View It as Their Den

Many dogs view the bathroom as their own personal den or safe place. The bathroom is usually a quiet and secluded spot in the house, which can make it the perfect place for your dog to relax.

The bathroom is also usually small enough that your dog can easily defend themselves from potential threats. Dogs in the wild often choose to sleep in small, such as small caves or dens to stay safe from predators.

Although today’s dogs no longer have to worry about predators, thousands of years of evolution have programmed them to instinctively seek out small, safe spaces. So it’s not surprising that your dog may view the bathroom as their own personal den.

4. They’re Stressed or Anxious

Dogs who are stressed or anxious can exhibit a wide range of behaviors, including hiding in all different places.

Some dogs may choose to hide under furniture, while others may choose to hide in a closet. Some dogs may even choose to hide in the bathroom.

To rule out this possibility, it’s important to look for other signs of stress or anxiety. These can include panting, pacing, trembling, excessive barking, and so on.

5. The Bathroom Smells Like You

Another reason why your dog may choose to lay in the bathroom is that the room smells like you.

Dogs have an incredible sense of smell, and they can pick up on your scent from a long distance. As a matter of fact, some scientists believe that dogs can smell up to one hundred thousand times better than humans.

So it’s not surprising that everything in the dog’s world revolves around scent. From marking their territory to recognizing family members, dogs use their sense of smell for just about everything.

If your dog spends a lot of time in the bathroom, it’s possible that he’s trying to smell you. This can be a sign of affection and loyalty.

6. They May Follow You Into the Bathroom

If your dog lay in the bathroom while you’re there, it’s possible that he’s just trying to be close to you.

Many dogs are extremely social animals, and they enjoy being in close proximity to their family members or rather most favorite humans.

7. You’re Encouraging Them to Lay There

Although it may not seem like it, you may be inadvertently encouraging your dog to lay in the bathroom.

If you give your dog attention while they’re in the bathroom, they’ll learn that this is a good place to be. Remember that, whatever you do around your dog, they’re always watching and learning.

Even if you don’t mean to, your dog might think that you’re rewarding them for being in the bathroom. So it’s important to be aware of your actions around your dog.

8. Your Dog May Not Be Feeling Well

Although this is not the most common reason, it’s possible that your dog may be choosing to lay in the bathroom because they’re not feeling well.

If your dog is usually a very active dog but suddenly starts spending more time in the bathroom, you may want to start paying closer attention.

Other signs that your dog may not be feeling well can include lethargy, loss of appetite, and frequent urination.

9. They’re Trying to Get Your attention

Last but not least, it’s possible that your dog is trying to get your attention by laying in the bathroom.

This is especially true if your dog is used to spending a lot of time with you but suddenly finds themselves alone more often.

Dogs are social animals, and they need plenty of attention from their owners. If your dog isn’t getting the attention they need, they may start to act out in different ways.

So, if you’ve been spending less time with your dog lately, try to make a conscious effort to spend more time with them.

When Should You Worry About Your Dog’s Behavior?

While most of the time there’s no need to worry, there are a few instances when you should be worried.

If your dog has never laid in the bathroom before but all of the sudden starts doing it, this sudden change in behavior could be a sign that something is wrong. Look at their body language and see if they’re exhibiting any other signs of stress or anxiety.

Look also at their room or other places in the house. Is there anything different about their environment that could be causing stress or anxiety? For example, is there a new construction project going on outside that’s causing loud noises?

If you can’t find anything, it’s possible that your dog may be sick. Dogs can exhibit a wide range of strange behaviors when they’re not feeling well.

If your dog is suddenly hiding in the bathroom or any other strange place, it’s always best to err on the side of caution and take them to the vet.

What To Do About Your Dog Laying in the Bathroom

If you’ve determined that your dog is laying in the bathroom for one of the reasons listed above, there are a few things you can do to fix the problem.

1. Change or Improve Their Dog Bed

If your dog is choosing to lay in the bathroom because their dog bed is uncomfortable, you may need to invest in a new one.

There are many different types and sizes of dog beds available, so you should be able to find one that’s perfect for your dog. Just make sure to take their size, age, and sleeping habits into consideration before making a purchase.

2. Create a More Comfortable Environment

If your dog is trying to escape a noisy or stressful environment, you may need to make some changes. This could mean moving their dog bed to a quieter or more isolated room.

If their room is too hot or too cold, you may need to adjust the temperature. You can either add an air conditioner or heater to their room.

3. Spend More Time with Your Dog

As we mentioned earlier, dogs need plenty of attention from their owners. If you’re not able to spend as much time with your dog as you’d like, there are a few things you can do.

One option is to hire a dog walker or pet sitter to come and spend time with your dog. You can also enroll them in a daycare program or dog training class so they don’t feel so alone when you’re not home.

4. Don’t Reward the Behavior

If you’ve determined that your dog is laying in the bathroom because you often give them attention when they’re in there, you need to break this cycle of reinforcement.

This means that you should no longer give your dog any attention when they’re in the bathroom. Just walk away and pretend like you don’t notice them.

After a while, your dog will stop associating the bathroom with getting attention from you and will start going there less often.

5. Address Any Medical Issues

If you’ve ruled out all of the other reasons and your dog is still laying in the bathroom, it’s possible that they may have a medical issue.

Dogs can exhibit a wide range of strange behaviors when they’re not feeling well. So, if you’ve tried all of the other solutions and your dog is still having problems, it’s best to take them to the vet.

The vet will be able to determine if there’s a medical reason for your dog’s behavior and will recommend the best course of treatment.

6. Clean the Bathroom Thoroughly

If you’ve determined that your dog is laying in the bathroom because it smells like you, you can either clean the bathroom with a strong-smelling cleaner or you can spray it with a different scent, such as lavender or citrus.

Once the bathroom smells different, your dog might not be as inclined to lay in there.


The reasons why your dog lays in the bathroom can vary. Whatever their reason, it’s important to consider what may be causing it and if there’s anything you can do to help.

If your dog is comfortable and happy, then there’s no need to change anything. However, if you think your dog may be laying in the bathroom for a reason other than comfort, it’s best to consult with your veterinarian. They can help you rule out any health concerns and recommend solutions for behavioral issues.

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.