Why Does My Dog Like to Sleep in Between My Legs?
Date Published: 2019-03-08
Date Updated: 2020-02-25
Dogs do lots of mysterious and unusual things: they steal shoelaces, sniff crotches, and walk around in circles before settling down for a nap. Your dog might also like to sleep between your legs. While dogs often like to sleep between their owners’ legs, few of us know why they do this. This seems to be another one of their baffling hobbies.
Dogs are generally friendly and cuddly, and they might try to sleep next to you or your family members. Small dogs generally enjoy sleeping between your legs, although large dogs might do it too, if it’s comfortable for them.
While it’s usually because they want cuddles, sleeping between your legs could also be a symptom of anxiety. Here are a few potential reasons why your dog often sleeps between your legs.
1) Affection and cuddles
In general, dogs are snuggly and affectionate animals – which is one of the reasons why we love them so much!
Remember that dogs are pack animals. Puppies often sleep in groups and cuddle up to one another. This is both for warmth and pack bonding. Your dog sees you as a member of their ‘pack’ just as you see them as a member of your family, and they might want to bond with you.
If your dog sleeps between your legs, it’s a sign that they love you and that you make them feel safe. That’s generally a good sign!
2) Warmth and comfort
Your dog might get snugglier in the winter weather. Don’t we all? If your dog snuggles up to you very often, and particularly when it’s cold, it could be a sign that they’re not warm enough. They might try to ‘spoon’ you, climb into your arms, or sleep back-to-back with you. They could also try to sleep between your legs.
If you think about it, the place between your legs is extra cozy – not only does your body warmth emanate from your legs, but they might feel like they’re being embraced by large, squishy arms.
Most of us don’t mind extra dog cuddles in winter, but if you don’t want your dog sleeping on your bed, or if it’s uncomfortable for you to snuggle them when they sleep, you can try keeping them warmer.
To make them more comfortable, consider getting them a warm doggie jacket, positioning their bed closer to a heater, and adding more blankets to their bed or kennel.
A dog sleeping between their owner’s legs might be struggling with anxiety. If your dog insists on sleeping between your legs and reacts badly if you tell them not to, it might be because they’re anxious. If they view you as their protector, they’ll feel safest in your embrace.
Dogs with separation anxiety often want to be close to their owners, always, even when they’re asleep. Your dog might also insist on snuggling if they’ve had a traumatic experience.
While sleeping between your legs isn’t always caused by anxiety, it could be a sign that your dog needs some special attention – especially if they have a few other symptoms of anxiety.
Some other signs of anxiety in dogs include:
- Reduced activities
- Tucking their tails between their legs
- Running away (either from your home or from a room in your home)
- Urinating inside, despite training
- Licking or biting their own skin
- Fear of strangers
- Having a fearful reaction to loud noises
- Unexplained phobias
Traumatic events could also lead to your dog avoiding things that remind them of the fear. If they were hit by a car, for example, the sound of traffic might terrify them and they might not want to walk in the street. If they hate their collar and leash, they might have been tied up outside or hurt with a leash. To your dog, those things remind them of danger, and they avoid it to protect themselves.
Anxiety doesn’t just affect your dog’s mood. It can also cause behavioral issues, harm their digestive system, and affect their sleep. If their phobias prevent them from exercising, eating, or being groomed, this can impact their general health.
Fortunately, there are many treatments for anxiety in dogs. You can talk to your veterinarian about the best treatment options for your pet.
One natural treatment for anxiety in dogs is CBD oil. CBD is derived from plants of the Cannabis genus. CBD is used to treat a range of conditions in humans, and can be used on dogs too. This is because dogs, like humans, have an endocannabinoid system, an intricate system that affects tissues all over the body.
endocannabinoid system can affect:
- Skin and hair
- Salivary glands
- Mood and brain function
- Pain perception
It’s known that CBD can effectively treat anxiety in humans – but the latest research reveals that it can also treat anxiety in dogs.
Plenty of dog owners have shared anecdotal evidence about how CBD has improved their dogs’ anxiety. A recent survey of US veterinarians revealed that many vets recommend CBD for treating anxiety in dogs, with 77,1% of veterinarians rating it as either ‘very helpful’ or ‘somewhat helpful’ for anxiety. The study concluded that most vets believe it to be a safe, effective treatment for multiple conditions, including sleeplessness, epilepsy, skin conditions, inflammation, and pain. The most commonly reported side effect was sleepiness.
Many studies have proven that CBD oil for dogs is a safe treatment for dogs. It cannot get your dog high, because it doesn’t contain THC, which is the part of cannabis that intoxicates humans when they consume cannabis.
There are many different ways to give your dog CBD oil. This includes dropping oil directly into their mouths or on their food. You can also purchase CBD dog treats, or make your own CBD-infused dog biscuits.
Be sure to give your dog the correct dosage of CBD oil. If you’re not sure how much CBD oil to give your dog, take a look at our dosage chart. As always, it’s a good idea to chat to your veterinarian about giving your dog CBD oil. They can recommend a good brand of CBD oil, and they can help you figure out how much CBD oil to give your dog.
CBD oil can promote your dog’s overall health, reduce their anxiety, and help them get a good night’s sleep – whether they’re between your legs or not!