Why Do Chihuahuas Like to Sleep Under the Covers? 10 Surprising Reasons

Why do Chihuahuas like to sleep under the covers?

You’ve probably asked yourself this when you thought your pup was missing, but later found them snuggling up under a mound of blankets.

The most obvious reason why is to get warm. Chihuahuas have short fur and low body fat, so they don’t have a lot of insulation against the cold.

But there are many other reasons why your Chihuahua likes to sleep under the covers so don’t forget to check before you sit down unless you want to turn your puppy into a pancake.

Chihuahuas love sleeping under the covers! They are known for being curious and active dogs, but can nap like a hibernating bear once they find that perfect cozy spot.

You can usually find our Chihuahua burrowed under blankets on the couch. He loves to get cozy and warm by burrowing under the covers.

Keep reading to find out all the reasons behind why do Chihuahuas like to sleep under the covers and why this behavior is so common among Chihuahuas.

why do chihuahuas sleep under the covers? a black chihuahua under a tan blanket with his head peeking out

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Why Do Chihuahuas Like to Sleep Under the Covers?

Chihuahuas are not the only breed of dog that enjoys burrowing under blankets, but they are one of the most well-known for this behavior. Chihuahuas burrow for many reasons such as to stay warm or to hide, for a sense of security, or due to a health issue.

Chihuahuas are known for enjoying cozy spots, and what could be more comfortable than a pile of soft blankets?

1. To Stay Warm

a tan chihuahua sleeping under the covers and burrowing
Leo burrows his head into a cozy blanket

Chihuahuas come from Mexico which has a warm climate so they tend to burrow in order to retain heat.

They are not well suited to cold weather due to their high metabolism and thinner coat. This is why Chihuahuas should not be outdoor dogs, especially in cold climates.

One of the main reasons why your Chihuahua enjoys burrowing under the covers or blankets is because they are trying to keep themselves warm by creating a cozy nest.

This gives them a layer of protection from chilly air, and the extra warmth helps them to maintain their body temperature. Chihuahuas will start shivering when the temperature is around 60 degrees Fahrenheit or below.

Chihuahuas have a knack for finding the warmest spot in the room, which is often in between your legs or under the blankets. They also love sunbathing to warm up.

During the winter, our Chihuahua loves sleeping under the covers of our bed at night. He burrows his way in and ends up taking up a good part of the bed!

Next time you can’t find your Chihuahua in your house, be sure to check under all the blankets and even piles of clothes, especially if they just came out of the dryer.

2. To Feel Safe

a tan chihuahua burrowing his face into a light green blanket

Sleeping under the covers can provide a sense of security for your Chihuahua.

If your dog curls up under the covers near you, that means they feel secure and trust you.

They might even begin snoring!

When buried under a pile of blankets, dogs feel hidden and safe from any potential threats like a form of cozy camouflage.

Chihuahuas can get startled and scared easily, so this behavior may also be a way for them to cope.

If there is a loud noise outside or something that scares them, they may seek refuge under the safety of the covers.

This instinct is especially strong in small breeds like Chihuahuas, who may naturally feel vulnerable due to their size.

3. It’s Comfy

a tan chihuahua wearing a blue striped shirt burrows his face into the covers of the bed
Leo the Chihuahua burrows his face into the covers

Why do Chihuahuas sleep under blankets? 

Dogs are known for enjoying cozy spots, and what could be more comfortable than a pile of blankets?

Doubly so when they are fresh from the warm dryer.

This is likely one of the reasons why your Chihuahua enjoys sleeping under the covers.

Provide your Chihuahuas with some soft blankets like fleece or flannel to take their sleeping experience to the next level.

Blankets aren’t the only thing that your Chihuahua may burrow under.

You might even find your Chihuahua in unusual spots like under the clothes in laundry baskets or inside backpacks or suitcases.

They will find any little space to curl up in!

We often find our Chihuahua snuggled up under a blanket on the couch, so we have to make sure we check before we sit down or we might get a surprise.

Just be sure that the blankets are not too heavy or bulky, as this can make it difficult for your Chihuahua to move around.

4. Illness or Injury

Another reason why Chihuahuas burrow under the covers is because they could be sick or hurt.

Dogs tend to hide based on instinct when they are feeling ill or injured.

A blanket makes a great place for a Chihuahua to hide if they are feeling under the weather.

There are lots of reasons why Chihuahuas sleep so much, but if your Chihuahua suddenly starts sleeping under the covers more often than usual, this could be a sign of illness or injury.

If you notice this change in behavior, take your dog to the vet for a check-up and be sure to give them lots of boo boo kisses.

5. Anxiety or Fear

a tan chihuahua burrows his face into a stuffed koala animal
Leo burrows his face into a stuffed animal

Why do Chihuahuas burrow under covers? Well, it could be due to anxiety.

Chihuahuas tend to be clingy dogs that love following their owners around.

They were bred to be companions. As a result, they may experience separation anxiety when left alone.

Other causes of anxiety include fear, aging, and past trauma.

Chihuahuas can be afraid of loud noises, certain people, other dogs, balloons, car rides, flies, brooms, etc., which can trigger their anxiety.

Older dogs may suffer from anxiety due to cognitive decline.

Burrowing into a nest of blankets can provide a feeling of comfort and the small space can help ease their fears. You can try out a weighted dog blanket for a calming effect.

Another option is a hooded burrowing cave bed or soft tent to help your Chihuahua feel more secure.

This burrowing donut bed comes with an attached blanket and mimics the feeling of being in a den, which can help to alleviate anxiety and promote relaxation.

It’s an excellent choice for a Chihuahua burrow bed!

For more cozy options, check out our post about the best Chihuahua beds.

6. To Hide From Noises or People

Why do Chihuahuas burrow under blankets?

Well, if your Chihuahua is afraid of loud noises or strangers, then burrowing under blankets can help to muffle the sound and make them feel hidden.

When your Chihuahua exhibits this behavior, it’s important to help them feel secure in their environment and not force them out from under the blankets.

If you’re having a lot of people over or there is construction happening near your home, try to provide a quiet, safe space for your Chihuahua to retreat to.

This could be a crate or dog pen filled with cozy blankets and some of their favorite toys like a stuffed Kong or a lick mat.

This confined space will keep your Chihuahua away from the noise and strangers and help your Chihuahua feel safe.

7. To Make a Den

a tan chihuahua is burrowed into a light green blanket
Leo the Chihuahua made a den with his blankets

Another reason why your Chihuahua sleeps under the covers is to make a den.

Dogs are denning animals and natural-born diggers, so burrowing under the covers gives them a chance to live out this instinct.

Denning animals feel safe and secure in small, enclosed spaces.

A den is where they go to sleep, relax, and feel protected, especially if they are ill.

Before, during, and after whelping, mothers will often take refuge in a den.

Puppies spend their first few weeks in a den snuggled up with their mother and littermates.

By sleeping under the covers, your Chihuahua is fulfilling their instinctual need to make a den.

If your dog is digging under the covers to make a den, provide them with a small, cozy space of their own, like a crate or dog bed with blankets, to help satisfy this instinct.

8. Trait From Puppyhood

a tan chihuahua is burrowed under the covers of a bed with his face peeking out
Leo burrowed into the covers on our bed

Why do Chihuahuas sleep under covers? Because puppies are born with a natural instinct to burrow.

This behavior is often seen in littermates who will snuggle together and up against their mother for warmth and security.

Dogs are also denning animals, meaning they like to sleep in small, enclosed spaces.

This instinct is strong in puppies and can carry into adulthood.

For dogs like Chihuahuas, this behavior usually persists into adulthood, and they will continue to seek out cozy spots to sleep in.

9. Pregnancy

Why do Chihuahuas burrow? If your intact female Chihuahua is burrowing, this could be a sign she is pregnant and looking for a place to give birth.

During pregnancy, your dog’s nesting instinct will kick in and she will start looking for a safe, enclosed space to have her puppies.

She might also develop floppy ears while pregnant, which will resolve after giving birth.

If you think your Chihuahua is pregnant, take her to the vet for a check-up.

They will be able to confirm the pregnancy and give you guidance on how to care for your pregnant dog.

Provide your pregnant Chihuahua with a comfortable, safe place to nest, like a crate or donut dog bed with blankets.

10. False Pregnancy

Female dogs can experience false pregnancy, or pseudopregnancy, which is when they show signs of pregnancy but are not actually pregnant.

A dog’s body thinks she is pregnant and her maternal instincts will kick in

Typically, this occurs 4-9 weeks after the last heat cycle.

Signs of false pregnancy include nesting behavior, like burrowing into blankets, as well as collecting and guarding objects.

Physical signs of false pregnancy include:

  • weight gain
  • milk production
  • enlargement of mammary glands
  • loss of appetite
  • fluid retention
  • lethargy

If you think your Chihuahua is experiencing a false pregnancy, take her to the vet for a check-up.

Is It Safe For Chihuahuas to Sleep Under the Covers?

Generally, it is safe for Chihuahuas to sleep under the covers.

You might worry that your Chi will suffocate or overheat, but dogs are pretty good at regulating their body temperature.

If they get too warm underneath, they will simply come out for air.

Our Chihuahua knows when to pop out of the covers even when it’s the middle of the night. The gamble is whether he comes out face first or butt first.

The only time you might not want your Chihuahua to sleep under the covers is if they are pregnant or have a health condition that makes it difficult to regulate their body temperature.

a tan chihuahua is burrowed into a light green blanket

There are a few things to keep in mind if you let your Chihuahua sleep in your bed.

You should stay away from heavy weighted blankets, as these could make it harder for your dog to move around and breathe (looking at you, Mexican tiger blankets).

Stick to lighter, breathable fabrics.

Using a heated electric blanket is probably not a good idea either, as this could cause your dog to overheat.

Should You Let Your Chihuahua Sleep in Your Bed?

a tan chihuahua wearing a blue shirt is tucked into bed with a blanket
Leo sleeping in our bed

If your bed is big enough and you don’t fear squishing your small dog in your sleep, then letting them sleep under the covers with you is perfectly fine.

In fact, many people find it quite cozy and charming to have their furry little friend snuggled up against them at night.

If you are too afraid of rolling over onto your tiny Chi, then a good compromise would be to place a crate next to your bed. If you are looking for a new bed to put in the crate or just want to upgrade, read our post on the best beds for Chihuahuas to find the perfect one.

We choose to use this co-sleeping crib that attaches right against the bed, which is where Leo sleeps until he sneaks into our bed in the middle of the night.

Summary

We hope you got your answer to why do Chihuahuas like to sleep under the covers.

From staying warm to feeling safe to following their natural instincts, your Chihuahua likely has a good reason for wanting to sleep under the covers.

Whichever the reason, it’s clear that many Chihuahuas enjoy sleeping under the covers.

So, if your Chihuahua likes to burrow, there’s no need to worry – it’s perfectly normal.

So, the next time you find your Chihuahua curled up under the covers, take a moment to appreciate this adorable quirk.

FAQ

Why Do Chihuahuas Burrow in the Dirt/Sand?

Chihuahuas burrow in the dirt and sand for a variety of reasons.

They could be trying to find a cool spot to lie down in, since the ground is usually cooler than the air. If it’s a hot summer day, your Chihuahua might be trying to stay cool by burrowing underground.

They could also be trying to make a den to hide from predators or they could simply be following their instinct to dig, which is common in many dogs.

Another reason is they could simply be trying to find a place to bury their favorite toy! Dogs have a natural instinct to bury things, and your Chi might be trying to hide their toy.

If your Chihuahua is burrowing and digging in unwanted areas, you could provide them with a sandbox or designated digging area. This will teach them where it is okay to dig and will keep your garden and yard looking nice.

What Are the Signs Your Chihuahua Is Too Hot or Cold?

If your Chihuahua is shivering, burrowing, or crying they are too cold. Chihuahuas get cold very easily and will curl up into a little ball to try to conserve heat.

They will also try to find warmth by climbing into bed with you or burrowing into blankets. If your Chihuahua is too cold, you should provide them with blankets and have them wear a sweater.

Check out our clothing guide for advice on how to dress your Chihuahua according to the weather.

If your Chihuahua is panting heavily, drooling, and restless they are probably too hot. They will seek a cool spot like tile or hardwood flooring and lie down on their stomach or back with their legs out.

If your Chihuahua is too hot, provide them with a cooling mat to lie on and make sure a fan or air conditioning is on to help them cool down.

Do Chihuahuas Like to Cuddle?

Yes, cuddling is a favorite pastime for Chihuahuas! They are bred as companion dogs, so they typically get attached to one person. They love being close to their human and will often follow them around the house. The second you sit down, your Chihuahua will surely curl right up in your lap to snuggle.

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