Why do dogs turn their beds upside down?

Whether your dog is a large Golden Retriever or a small Yorkie, it's likely that at some point you've come home to find your pet has turned its bed upside down. But have you, as dog owners, ever stopped to ask yourselves why dogs do this? The real reason behind this behavior may surprise you.

Do you have a curious dog that likes to flip its bed over?

Dogs are known for their quirky behavior, and bed flipping is one of the most common behaviors. But why do they do it? There’s no one answer to that question, as each dog has its reasons.

Maybe your dog does it because they like the feeling of being on top, or maybe they think it will make them more comfortable and feel protected. No matter the reason, it’s always interesting to learn about our furry friends’ quirks!

Dogs like to have a clean sleeping area

One reason your dog flips their bed over is to ensure that they have a clean sleeping area to sleep in. Dogs are very clean creatures, and they like to make sure their sleeping area is free of dirt and debris.

If your dog’s bed is on the floor, over time it will likely collect dust, hair, and other things that your dog doesn’t want to sleep in. Flipping the bed over allows them to start with a clean slate.

Ways to keep your dog's sleeping area clean:

  • Vacuum regularly

  • Wash their bedding frequently

  • Keep them away from areas that are dirty or dusty

  • Keep their toys and food in a separate area

They’re feeling bored, anxious, or stressed

If your pooch is normally calm and well-behaved, but suddenly starts flipping its bed over, it's possible that they're feeling bored, anxious, stressed, or may be experiencing separation anxiety. If there have been changes in your home, like a new baby or pet, your dog or your pup's behavior may feel insecure and turn their beds over as a way to cope with the stress.

There are a few things you can do to make sure your dog doesn't feel anxious or stressed in your home.

  • Dogs love to play especially puppies. Provide them with plenty of toys and chewable to keep them occupied

  • Make sure they have a consistent routine so they know what to expect each day

  • Spend some extra time playing and cuddling with them to show them how much you love them

They’re not getting enough exercise

If your indoor dog isn’t getting enough exercise, it may start to act out in various ways, one of which is flipping its bed over. Dogs or puppies are highly energy creatures that need to burn off energy, and if they’re not getting enough opportunity to do so, bed flipping might be the way.

To ensure your dog is getting enough exercise, here are some ways to help with their physical stimulation.

  • Provide physical activity like taking them on a daily walk or run

  • Play fetch or other active games with them

  • Enroll them in a dog sport or agility class

  • Take them to a dog park where they can socialize and run around

Sign of dominance or aggression

When dogs flip their bed over and it has been a regular habit, it's often seen as a sign of dominance or aggression. This is especially true if the dog has never shown any signs of aggression before.

Here are some signs to look for that may indicate your dog or your pup's behavior is feeling dominant or aggressive:

  • Growling or barking when you approach their sleeping place

  • Flipping over beds in multiple homes

  • Stiff body posture

  • Hackles (hair on the back of the neck) raised

  • Ears perked up or laid back

  • Showing teeth

  • Snarling lips

While a bed flip may just be your dog’s way of claiming their own bed or space, if you see any strange things or habits of aggression and learned behavior, it’s best to speak with a professional.

A sign of an underlying health issue

If your dog is experiencing pain or discomfort, they may start flipping their bedding over as a way to relieve the pressure on their joints or muscles when they sleep. This is especially true for older dogs that may be suffering from back problems, arthritis, or other health conditions. If your dog is young, it could be a sign of an ear infection or dental problems.

It’s best to take them to the vet for a check-up if you're concerned about their health. Only a professional can properly diagnose and treat any underlying health conditions.

Dogs may flip their beds over if they don't feel comfortable

If your dog is used to sleeping in a crate and your dog flip it, they may feel more comfortable with the top of the bed turned over so that it feels more like their crate. Some dogs also prefer to sleep on harder surfaces, so if their bed is too soft, they may turn it over to sleep on the other side.

Ways to keep your furry friend's bed comfortable:

  • Give them a bed that's the right size for them to sleep on

  • Choose a doggy bed that's firm, but not too hard for them to rest

  • Consider their sleeping arrangements and needs when choosing a bed

  • Add some blankets or pillows for extra comfort and to feel secure in their sleeping place

  • Place their beds in a quiet, low-traffic area of your home and give them alone time to rest

They're trying to cool off

Dogs' sweat glands are located in their paw pads and around their nose, so dogs don’t sweat as humans do, so they have to find other ways to stay cool in the heat. Turning their bed overexposes the cooler underside of the bed to them, and lying on it helps them regulate their body heat or body temperature.

How to keep your dog stay cool and not feel warm in the heat:

  • Provide them with plenty of fresh water to drink

  • Add ice cubes to their water bowl

  • Give them a cool bath

  • Take them for shorter walks during the hottest part of the day

Dogs are checking for dangers

Your pooch loves to feel protected when sleeping. They might often have to deal with nasty surprises that are lurking underneath. To feel safe, this is especially true if their doggy bed is located near a window or door in your house. If you think this might be the case, try moving their bed to another location in the house where they can't see outside. This will help your indoor dogs feel more secure and have a peaceful rest in your house.

They're trying to hide their scent from predators

By flipping their bedding over, they can disguise their smell and make it harder for predators to find them. This is an instinctual behavior from wild animals that dates back to their wild ancestors.

While most pooches nowadays don't have to worry about predators, this dog's behavior may still be ingrained in them.

It's mine!

Dogs, like all animals, are very protective of their things. If you have any other pets who frequently sleep in their bed, your dog flipping its bedding over can be a sign of marking his or her territory. It shows that the bed belongs to them and they don't plan on sharing it with anyone else!

While it may seem your dog is ruining the bed, your pet is marking it to warn intruders to stay away.

They’re trying to get your attention

Sometimes, dogs will flip their beds over as a way to get your attention. If you usually ignore them when they're lying in their bed, they may think that flipping it over is a surefire way to get you to notice them.

To avoid this, make sure you give your dog plenty of attention when they're in their bed. This includes petting them, talking to them, and offering them treats. By doing this, you'll let them know that their bed is a happy and safe place for them to be.

They don't like their dog bed

In some rare cases, it may be a valid reason for your dog flipping its doggy bed upside down. Some dogs have preferences just as humans do. You might be particular about important things such as your clothes, type of shoes or even the fabric of your bed. Your dog's sleeping arrangements may just be one of them!

Your dog is just being a dog!

At the end of the day, your dog's habit may simply be because they’re a dog. Dogs are known for their playful nature, and it makes sense that flipping their bed over may just be your dog's behavior or something they do for fun!

How to flip your dog's bed back over

If you don't want your dog flipping their bed over, there are a few things you can do to stop them:

  • Add a blanket or piece of furniture on top of the bed so it's too heavy for them to flip

  • Give them a toy or treat that's only available when their bed is in the upright position

  • Train them using positive reinforcement

With a little patience and dog training, you can help your dog break this habit. If all else fails, you can always buy them a bed that's too heavy to flip!

The benefits of keeping a clean flipped bed for both you and your pup

Even though it may be a pain to constantly flip your dog's bed back over, there are some benefits to doing so.

  • It helps keep their bed clean and free of dirt, hair, and other debris

  • It protects their bed from wear and tear

  • It prevents the formation of mold or mildew that can occur when their bed is kept in a damp environment.

  • It can help with potty training! Having a clean dry bed will encourage them to use the bathroom outside

  • It's also important to flip the bed over regularly so that your dog doesn't get too comfortable in one position. This can lead to muscle imbalances and joint problems down the road. By flipping their bed, you'll help keep their muscles and joints healthy!

Tips for choosing the right dog bed for your pet

Now that you know why your dog might be flipping their bed over, it's time to choose the right one for them. Here are a few tips to keep in mind:

  1. Size - The bed should be big enough for your dog to stretch out and move around in when they sleep.

  2. Material - Choose a bed that's made from breathable materials like cotton or linen. This will help keep your dog cool in the summer months.

  3. Filling - If your dog has joint pain, choose a bed that's filled with memory foam. This will help relieve pressure on their joints and muscles.

  4. Position - Place the bed in a location where your dog feels safe and secure. This could be in their crate, next to your bed, or in a quiet corner of the house.

By following these tips, you can help your dog find the perfect bed to suit their needs. And with a little luck, they'll stop flipping it over altogether!


Q: Do dogs like flipping their bed over before going to sleep?

A: There are many reasons why dogs do it. Other dogs might just do it for fun or suffer from health-related issues. If you're constantly worrying about why your dog acts out like this or it just, consult with a veterinarian as there could be an underlying health-related issue causing it.

Q: How do you know if my dog flips his bed over too much or not enough?

A: If your male or female dogs are flipping their bed over multiple times a day or multiple times a week, it may be excessive. However, if they only flip their mattress once in a while, it's probably nothing to worry about.

Q: Why do dogs circle their beds after flipping the bed over?

A: This is another behavior that likely has its origins in the wild. In the wild, dog digging and dog circling are a way for other wild dogs to be constantly on the lookout for predators. Circling their bed before lying down would help them keep an eye on their surroundings and make sure that it was safe to settle in for the night. Nowadays, most dogs or animals don't have to worry about predators, but certain breeds still might circle their beds out of habit.

Q: How can I stop my dog from flipping his or her bed upside down?

A: As dog owners, it can be frustrating at first but you can give them a toy or treat that's only available when their bed is in the correct position or you can train them to stop flipping their bed over by using positive reinforcement techniques. By understanding your dog's mind on why they do it and taking some preventive measures, you can help put a stop to the behavior. Remember to always be patient and consistent with training your dog.

Final Thoughts

If you're a dog owner and come home to find your dog’s own bed upside down, don’t be too alarmed. They may just be trying to tell you something! Dogs are such interesting creatures, and we can learn a lot from them if we pay attention to their behavior. While it may be annoying to come home to a flipped-over bed, take comfort in knowing that your furry friend is just being their quirky self!

Now that you already know the most common reasons why it'll be much easier for you to deal with it the next time it happens. Let us know in the comment section if you've ever had this happen to you and how you dealt with it. Until next time, take care of that pup!

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