Have you faced an intriguing and confusing situation where your dog, who used to be comfortable in their bed suddenly becomes scared of the bed, runs away from it or begins to act weird when you try to take them to bed?

You must be confused, and wondering what would have caused such a situation, but you don’t have to worry, because this post will help you understand the situation, possible reasons behind your pet’s fear of the bed, as well as steps to help a dog that’s suddenly scared of their bed.

Possible Reasons for a Dog’s Fear of their Bed

The first thing to do is to understand why your dog might be scared of its bed, and this could apply either to a new bed or one that it had been using for a while. Here are some reasons your pet might be scared of his bed.

  • The bed is uncomfortable

If the bed has lumps, is too small, or isn’t comfortable, your dog will hate it, and won’t want to sleep on it. He might also feel claustrophobic because of the bed.

  • The bed has been invaded

Your dog can tell if other animals have been in its bed, and if that has been the case, he might continue to feel unsafe in the bed. If you suspect it is the case, then you need to wash or change the bed.

  • Your dog is sick

If your pet is showing signs of distress or pain such as whimpering when on the bed, he might be sick or in pain. Joint pain and arthritis are two things that can make your pet scared of his bed and prefer a hard surface because the pain might worsen while on the bed.

  • Separation Anxiety

If your dog has been sleeping in your bed for a long time, it might find it difficult to sleep alone on its bed until you train it to feel comfortable being alone.

  • Age-related problems

Aging dogs can suffer from deafness, blindness, and even dementia that leaves them disoriented and feeling unsafe, making it hard to get comfortable in bed. The confusion that comes with these conditions can lead to serious anxiety, especially at night.

Signs That Your Dog is Scared of their Bed

To avoid misreading the signs your dog might be showing you, which could mean something different, here are some telltale signs of a dog being scared of its bed.

  • Avoiding the bed

One very obvious sign is that your pet would do everything to not get on that bed or even be around it, especially at bedtime, no matter where you place the bed or how hard you try to cajole it to do so. Avoidance is often a sign of fear or discomfort.

  • Shaking or trembling

When your dog starts shaking or trembling while it’s on the bed or close to it, it’s a sign that something doesn’t sit right with your pet and it doesn’t want to be on the bed. 

  • Whining or barking

Whining is common among dogs that are either in pain or feeling anxious about being in the bed due to one illness or the other. A dog battling dementia or loss of sight could also bark because it feels threatened and afraid.

  • Pacing or restlessness

If your pet manages to get on the bed but continues to move around restlessly, or pace on the bed instead of lulling off to a peaceful sleep, then it feels fearful, and it could be due to any of the reasons we discussed above.

Steps to Help a Dog That’s Suddenly Scared of their Bed

Your pet needs your help to handle its sudden fear of the bed, and you can do this using several measures, including the use of treats, therapy, scents, and encouragement from you.

  • Rule out medical issues 

The first thing to do is take your pet to the vet to get tested and ensure that there are no underlying issues such as the ones we discussed earlier, causing your dog’s sudden fear. If the doctor says your dog is medically fine, then you move on to the next step. 

  • Use a bedtime treat

Giving your dog a bedtime treat can help it relax into a peaceful slumber when it’s time for bed. When they can relax, they’ll find their beds more comfortable and peaceful.

  • Get a cuddle toy

Buy a cuddle toy for your dog and place it on its bed. This can be very helpful for dogs dealing with separation anxiety and also comforting to them as toys are for kids.

Cuddling up to the toy can help your dog feel less anxious and more secure.

  • Increase exercise 

You can reduce your dog’s nervous energy by increasing its exercise. When your dog is tired before bed, he will naturally fall asleep faster. Exercise also releases serotonin which helps your dog feel good before bed.

  • Scent therapy

If your pet is dealing with stress and anxiety, placing diluted essential oils in a diffuser can release a light smell that comforts your dog and lulls it to sleep. 

For separation anxiety, Violet Leaf, Lavender, and Rose Hydrosol oils can be really helpful. Hops, Cornflour, and Rose otto oils help with nighttime fears, and Hemp, Violet Leaf, and Roman Chamomile are helpful for general anxiety.

  • Ensure that the bed is comfortable

A comfortable bed and environment will help your dog sleep better, and this could be a soft bed with fur for young dogs, or an orthopedic bed for dogs battling arthritis. Look out for anti-anxiety beds if your pet is battling anxiety, and seek expert suggestions as well.

  • Seek professional help if necessary 

If you have tried all the measures available to you and the situation persists, you might need to seek professional help. This is also the case if you found out that your dog’s sudden fear of its bed is connected to medical conditions or past experiences.

Take your dog to see a veterinarian as well as an animal behaviorist for proper assessment. They will let you know if there are medical problems that should be addressed and help you handle the situation or treat your dog.

Preventing Fear of the Bed in Dogs

Preventing an issue is always better than trying to solve it after it has occurred, so if you want to prevent fear of the bed in your dog, then you have made the right decision. Here are some ways to go about it.

  • Socialize your dog from an early age

Teach your dog to feel comfortable sleeping in a bed from a young age, even if it means placing the bed in the same room as you, so you can be close by to provide a sense of security. You can also get a cuddle toy to serve as a bed companion. If your dog gets used to sleeping in a bed very early, chances are that it’ll always find the bed comfortable.

  • Make the bed a positive and rewarding place

Whenever your dog thinks about its bed, it should have only positive thoughts and memories. You can do this by making the bed a positive and rewarding place when you make it very comfortable, and have toys and treats present. That way, whenever it’s bedtime, your dog is excited, not scared.

  • Maintain a consistent routine and environment

Routine can make it easy for your dog to get comfortable with its bed and not hesitate to head to bed when it’s time. Keep your pet’s bed in the same place all the time and ensure that the environment is safe, quiet, and peaceful. Also having a fixed bedtime can help your pet embrace the bed better and head to bed when it’s time


Your dog’s fear of the bed should be taken seriously, and with the tips we have discussed above, you can help your pet feel comfortable in bed again.

First, find out the reasons behind the fear, and then get started on working on them, whether it means purchasing a more comfortable bed, using scent therapy, using cuddle toys, or getting support from a medical doctor.

A dog that gets proper rest and sleep is a happy dog, and your pet deserves to be happy!

Princess Egieya


Princess Egieya is a thriving radio presenter and newscaster with a few years of media experience and many more years penning words to life. The Mass Communication graduate from the University of Benin has a keen interest in current affairs, a knack for communicating, and a skill with words. She loves writing about everything there is to write about, just as much as learning all that there is to learn out there.


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