Why Does My Dog Flip His Bed Over?

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Bed flipping is one of the classic, yet strange behavior that has confused pet owners for years.  It’s most often seen right before your dog goes to sleep. Do you know any of the common reasons behind it? 

We’ve compiled a few causes behind bed flipping to help you understand this odd behavior. From comfort to pheromones, the reason your dog is flipping his bed could be anything!

Why Does My Dog Flip His Bed Over?

Here are 17 common reasons why your dog may be flipping his bed over.


Cute Dog Lying on a Dog Bed at Home

Dogs that are prone to generalize or separation anxiety may flip their bed over as they are drifting off to sleep.

If your dog is showing signs of anxiety, such as defecating or urinating inside the house, barking, or chewing, it’s possible that your dog is flipping the bed to cope with anxiety.

Much like how we bite our nails or jiggle our nails, flipping the bed could just be a nervous habit. 

Doesn’t Like The Fabric

Do you have some materials that you absolutely love? Maybe you adore woolen blankets or cotton sheets. Similarly, dogs also have certain fabrics that they love & certain fabrics that they hate. 

So, it’s possible that if your dog keeps flipping the bed, he’s trying to become a bit more comfortable before he sleeps. Maybe the bottom of the bed is a more preferable fabric for your furry friend.

Imitating your Behavior

Labrador Dog Sleeping with Owner in Bed

Have you noticed that your dog sometimes does exactly what you do? Perhaps he follows how you go to the bathroom every morning. Similarly, if he sees you flipping your pillow over to the cool side every morning, he might try to imitate that behavior.

If you notice that he does this right before you also go to sleep, he might be trying to be your canine shadow. 

Getting comfortable

Some dogs need a lot of changes to their bedding to get comfortable. For example, they may change the position of the bed, change the location, or move the bedding around. Whatever it is, flipping the bed somehow makes it a lot more comfortable for our furry friends.

Try adding some extra blankets or changing the bed style to make your pooch more cozy & relaxed.

Checking for dangers

Close your eyes & go back to the times when dogs were living in dens & hunting to survive. Back then, it would have been pretty common to get stung by a spider or bit by a snake in your bedding!

So, dogs still have this evolutionary behavior that would have helped them survive in the wild. By flipping the bed, they are ensuring that there aren’t any creepy crawlies lurking in the corners so that they can enjoy a peaceful rest. 

Changing the Temperature

Leonberger dog sleeping on her dog bed

If only our dogs knew how to work the thermostat! Just like how we flip the pillow to get to the cool side, our dogs might want to flip their beds. Usually, if you have linoleum or tile floors, the bottom of the bed will be cool to the touch, which is great for overheating pooches.

Consider investing in a cooling dog bed, so that your dog can rest easy without wishing he could take all that extra fur off!


Sometimes, our dogs just get plain old bored! In this case, they will play with their bed like a toy to get rid of all that extra pent-up energy. You must make sure that you are giving your pup plenty of exercise throughout the day.

The old saying “A tired dog is a good dog” rings true even nowadays. Dogs are really energetic creatures, and you need to give them regular exercise throughout the day to get rid of extra energy throughout the night, or they may end up super energetic at night. Let your cat bring a toy to bed to soothe them.


Your dog may also want a bit of his own personal space. By flipping their bed, they could be trying to send a signal that they will be going to sleep & they don’t want to be bothered. So, refrain from petting them & just leave them to their own devices! They’ll be snoozing off in no time.

Being Territorial

Large Dog Resting on Pet Bed

Bed flipping may actually be a territorial behavior in some cases. Some dogs are very possessive of their toys, their food, and even their bed!

So, they might be flipping the bed in order to show you that it is off-limits as it belongs to him. 

Make sure that you don’t promote any aggressive territorial behaviors like barking or growling.

Looking for attention

If you have a dog, you know how hard it is to get some alone time. Dogs will follow you around everywhere, hoping to get some attention. One of the ways they may try is by flipping their bed.

If you notice that your dog is playing around with his bed by flipping it, dragging it near you, and shaking it with his teeth, then he is likely waiting for your attention. 


Female dogs that have reached child-rearing age might actually be flipping their beds as a form of nesting. Nesting is an age-old behavior that helps support the health of the bitch and the litter.

Basically, while the bitch is pregnant, she will look for the best place to have her litter. You might have seen a pregnant dog fussing around with the blankets in her whelping box as well; it’s an evolutionary behavior that can help keep your animal safe. 

If your pup is pregnant, then nesting might be a reason behind the bed flipping.


Cute puppy yawning in dog bed

If your furry friend isn’t getting enough mental stimulation throughout the day, this could lead to a lot of energy at night.

Dogs don’t know how to unwind in a healthy & normal way. So, they might turn to destructive behaviors like flipping the bed or roughhousing. To help your pooch get plenty of rest, make sure he’s getting ample exercise throughout the day.

Also, make sure you give him enough time to unwind about an hour before bedtime. Make sure that he doesn’t play during this time, so you don’t rile him up. Instead, give him plenty of pets & cuddles!

Thinks the Bed Is A Toy

This is really common with larger dogs. They might think that their bed is just an oversized squeaky toy! If you find that your dog isn’t really sleeping on the bed, but is always chewing on it or tossing it around, he probably thinks it’s a toy.

Feels Unsafe

It’s possible that your dog feels threatened or unsafe when he is sleeping. Just like hanging his head off the bed, flipping the bed could be a nervous habit that helps soothe his nerves.

Changing the Location

Chihuahua humping on her dog bed

Some areas in the house just have better ventilation or a better vantage point to observe all the squirrels. Your pup may be moving the bed to place it in the perfect spot. 

If you notice that your pup took the bed right in front of the window or the heater, he may just be flipping & moving the bed for temperature reasons. 

Spreading their Scent

 Dogs are in love with their own smell! That’s why they love to scratch their beds; scratching & licking their beds helps to spread pheromones, which makes your pup much more comfortable as they sleep. 


In conclusion, there are tons of reasons why your dog might be flipping his bed.

Most of the time it isn’t a negative behavior; so, there really isn’t a need to correct it. Try to understand when he does it to see if you can make your dog’s night a little more comfortable by changing the bed, the material, or the location!

If you found this article interesting, please leave a comment down below.

Thanks for reading!

Meet our writer

Anoushka’s love for animals began with taking care of the cows & chickens on her family farm. As she grew older, this love transformed into a love for dogs. She volunteers in a dog shelter, so she is well-versed in the care and comfort of all breeds of dogs.

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