Does my dog need a blanket at night?


Many factors determine whether or not your dog needs to sleep with a blanket. Some dogs just like the feeling of being covered, while others need it because they can’t regulate their body temperature.

In either case, this is a question a lot of new dog owners ask themselves. I’ve had some bring up the topic, so I decided to answer it in a blog post once and for all.

Does my dog need a blanket at night?

Yes, most dogs benefit from having a blanket with them during the night, especially in the winter months. Dogs can suffer from being cold even though their fur provides some warmth, but it’s not always enough. Blankets benefit dogs in other ways too.

Not every dog needs to sleep with a blanket at night, though. Some actually hate having one. Your pooch is unique. He will give you some signs that should let you know whether he likes having a blanket or hates having a blanket.

How to know if your dog needs a blanket at night

There are more than one reasons some dogs need blankets. Blankets provide warmth, comfort and can induce a feeling of security in some dogs.

Shivering

You might notice that your dog is always cold and shivering in his sleep. This is the most obvious sign your pooch could benefit from having a banket. Dogs get cold just like we do.

If your dog is shivering during the night, get him a blanket. Especially if he sleeps in a crate and is in a cooler area of the house.

Crawls Under Covers

If your dog likes to crawl under the covers, there is a reason for it. It is providing him warmth, comfort, and security. If he does this–he likes the feeling. You should have a couple of blankets that are just for him.

Some dogs love to curl up in a bed or on the couch. A blanket is an easy way for them to have some extra warmth while they sleep and feel secure with their owner nearby at night, even if it’s just from across the room.

Climate & Seasonal Changes

If you live in a cold climate or your house runs on the cool side during the night, a blanket is a good idea. Especially if your dog is smaller or doesn’t have a thick coat of fur to insulate him.

If you’re dog sleeps outside, then he will need a blanket to keep him warm. They will likely nestle into it until they have sufficient bedding. It will be needed to protect them from cold weather.

Air Conditioner Is Up High

If you are one of those people that run hot and constantly need to turn on the air conditioner, there’s a chance that your dog may need to be blanketed if it gets too cool during the night.

He might not need to be under the covers the entire time but giving him access to a blanket when he needs it is a good idea.

Different Breeds Different Temperature Needs

Does your dog need a blanket at night? Your dog’s weight, size, and coat type should give you a good idea of how well he can tolerate the cold. Breeds with thick coats, like huskies and Great Pyrenees, can tolerate colder conditions.

Breeds that don’t have thick coats like the chihuahua will need a blanket to stay warm. Take your dog’s breed into consideration when deciding whether or not he should have a blanket during the night.

It’s a good idea to give your dog a blanket at night whether you think he needs one or not. If he doesn’t like having it around, he will avoid it, and it should be easy for you to tell.

6 Reasons To Give Your Dog a Blanket

There are a ton of benefits to keeping a blanket with your dog while he sleeps. Here are some that I can think of off the top of my head.

#1 Blankets provide comfort

Blankets not only protect their skin from the cold but also provides tactile comfort, similar to bedding. A dog bed is often sufficient, but your pooch just might like having a blanket to be able to snuggle up with.

Dogs love to nestle under the covers, and blankets are so comforting. They like to have a blanket that they can crawl under and feel protected.

If your dog sleeps on a hard surface, like inside a crate, then giving him a blanket will make his rest much more enjoyable. Some people use dog beds, but they don’t always mix well during crate training, in my experience.

My Beagle hated having a dog bed in his crate, but he loved having a blanket. I think the blanket was easier for him to customize and position to his liking. He’s frequently burrow himself in it during crate training.

#2 Blankets help regulate body temperature.

Suppose your dog has issues regulating his body temperature or suffers from chronic pain. In that case, it’s helpful for them to have an adequate cover at night to maintain homeostasis (temperature regulation).

There are health conditions that can cause a dog to feel cold. Age can play a role as well. Puppies and elder dogs may have more trouble regulating their temperatures.

#3 Some Dogs Like to Snuggle Under the Covers

Does your dog need a blanket at night to snuggle up under? Many dogs love to snuggle underneath the covers with their owners. I know my Beagle likes to do this. Sometimes it’s hard to sleep near him because he will steal the covers… he’s a cover thief! And a sock thief…but more on that in another post.

Dogs love to be comfortable. There is nothing better than a warm bed and a warm blanket. Some dogs will sleep just about anywhere, but most of them prefer to have some form of warmth (blanket or pillow) nearby as they try and get comfy.

#4 Some Dogs Don’t Like Blankets.

A lot of dogs won’t want anything on them when they sleep, but some actually prefer it, and you’ll know your dog’s preference by his reaction! Some don’t like the feeling of pressure from blankets, so that could be why she 

#5 Blankets Provide Security

Some dogs prefer to have a blanket on top of them. It can give dogs a sense of security. They feel more like they are tucked in!

Security blankets, usually used for humans, are named that for a reason. There is something that makes us feel secure when there is a heavy blanket on top of us. t’s something about the pressure that tricks our brains into feeling safe and comfortable.

Some dogs experience this with blankets, but not all of them. Dogs that have had to experience trauma, such as abandonment or abuse from their past owners, might find themselves seeking out a blanket for comfort.

#6 Blankets Help Sick Dogs Feel Better

When he gets sick, you should make him as comfortable as possible. If chicken soup for your pooch’s soul isn’t on the menu, a warm blanket should be.

When your pup feels wimpy or has an upset stomach giving them their own bed and blanket will make sure that they’re nice and cozy while fighting off this nasty bug.

5 Different Kinds of Dog Blankets

There is 5 main category of blankets made for dogs. Each type serves a different purpose, but they all keep dogs warm, except for the cooling blankets. Blankets can attract hair to them, be heated, be weighted, or be indestructible.

#1 Heated blankets for dogs

I didn’t realize they made heated blankets for dogs until I needed to find a way to keep my dog from shivering during the night. I happened to come across an actual electric blanket that was designed just for dogs!

My favorite blanket is the Therma Nap Self Warming Cuddle Bed. Made by Furhaven Pet.

When the cold weather sets in, the Furhaven Self-warming blanket keeps your dog warm and cozy with a snugly soft terry exterior.

This electric blanket is also waterproof for protection from both accidents and spills.

It has a reflective thermal sheet that uses your pet’s natural heat to create a warmer sleep surface.

No wiring or batteries are required to use it. So it’s very safe. It’s heated appropriately and will warm your pooch on contact!

#2 Weighted Blankets for dogs

Weighted blankets are used by people who suffer from sensory disorders such as anxiety, autism, and ADHD. They provide a sense of security for humans and dogs alike!

This can help to soothe your dog during times of anxiety or distress, such as thunderstorms and fireworks. The gentle pressure the blanket provides also has a calming effect on dogs who suffer from separation issues when their owners are away.

I recommend the Canine Coddler, which is the original weighted dog blanket.

We all know dogs need hugs from their family. But when the family isn’t around, and your pooch is all by himself, the Canine Coddler Weighted Dog Anti-Anxiety Blanket may work wonders.

This deep pressure touch has a calming, soothing effect on your dog’s mood and may just work a miracle on a pooch with anxiety!

#3 Indestructible Blankets for dogs

If you’ve hung around YOLO Pooch long enough, you know that many of our canine friends have chewing problems. Some of our dogs and pups will chew just about anything, including their bedding and blankets.

Finding a hard-to-destroy blanket for a dog can be difficult. Any blanket makes from fabric and material has the potential to be destroyed. Dog blanket manufacturers aren’t able to advertise a blanket as indestructible.

If you are looking for an “indestructible blanket for dogs,” then try one that’s specifically designed for canines. It will be made from tougher material. They are built to withstand the rumbling and tumbling that dogs can take their blankets through.

The friends-forever deluxe dog blanket is the one I recommend for our friends who like to chew their bedding. While not advertised as indestructible, it is very durable, and your pooch should have a hard time destroying it!

It’s also very affordable, coming in at $21.99 at the time of this post.

#4 Fleece Blankets For Dogs

Fleece blankets are a GOD-SEND! They serve a double purpose. They keep your dog warm and also attract hair to them. The hair clings to the blanket and not the furniture!

The Furrybaby Premium Fleece Dog Blanket is my recommendation. It’s affordable ($9.99 for the small), durable, and warm!

If you have a dog that sheds a lot, this is the fleece blanket for you.

We all know the struggle that comes with ending up with pet hair on your furniture and clothes, especially if you have a pet who sheds. Make sure that this never happens to you again – get a fleece dog blanket and make any place an enjoyable space for your fur baby!

It’s lightweight and easy to carry around

Available in three sizes 

Suppresses unwanted pet fur from furniture, keeping it clean 

Warmth will comfort your pooch

#5 Cooling blankets for dogs

What if your dog is too hot? This often happens during the summer months. Large breed dogs, especially, don’t like the heat. Thankfully there are cooling mats that stay cooler than the air around them.

Cooling blankets for dogs aren’t much of a thing. A blanket would go over your dog, insulating him even more.

You want a cooling mat for your dog, not a blanket.

Cooling mats are usually made of durable material because the inside is filled with gel. The gel is what retains the cool temperature.

The best cooling mat for dogs, in my opinion, is the one made by The Green Pet Shop. They start at $24 for the medium.

The Green Pet Shop is the original manufacturer of self-cooling gel pet pads activated by your pets’ weight or laying on it.

The gel inside the cooling mat automatically recharges after 15-20 minutes of non-use, making this cool pad perfect for dogs and cats as well.

It’s also a must-have item if you live in a climate with hot summers when most days might be a bit warm for your canine companion to sit comfortably.

Related Questions:

How can I keep my dog warm at night?

The best way to keep your dog warm at night is to give them a blanket too. A nice, fluffy one that smells like you!

There are a lot of blankets that are specifically made for dogs. These blankets each provide different functions, but all of them should keep him nice and warm.

Do dogs like blankets over them?

Many dogs like to sleep under the covers. You can wrap your pooch up yourself or allow him to nestle under a blanket himself. Some don’t prefer to sleep on top of their blankers and get underneath them if the temperature becomes cold during the night.

Do dogs get cold at night?

Yes, dogs get cold at night. Especially dogs that don’t have a thick coat. Any dog can become cold if the temperature drops too low. Different breeds have different temperature thresholds.

If your dog is sleeping outside during the colder months, he will likely get cold at some point during the night. That’s why blankets are such a necessity. 

Dogs that sleep indoors will get cold if you let the temperature drop at night. This can be during the winter or even the summer if you set your air conditioner low.

Dogs have a different temperature threshold than humans do. I like to think of it as a 5-10 degree difference. If I am feeling cold, chances are my dog is feeling fine. But if the temperature drops 5 to 10 degrees below my comfortability level–it’s a good sign my dog will need a blanket.

Do dogs prefer hard or soft beds?

Dogs like as much cushion and comfort as possible. Laying on a hard surface for too long can cause them pain and back issues. Some dogs don’t like super soft beds and prefer to sleep on a folded-up blanket on the floor.

When it comes to dog beds, I’ve noticed that many dogs have a hard time getting comfortable with them. My dog likes to customize his bed and having a loose blanket that he lays on gives him the opportunity to burrow himself and cover himself with it if he wants to.

Do dogs really need a dog bed?

No, but they do need something insulating to lay on. They will do just fine with a blanket on the floor or in their crate. You should provide some form of cushioning and protection from the coldness of the floor, especially in the winter months.

If the weather is hot, your dog might actually prefer the hard floor. Hard floors are cooler than the temperature inside. If your dog gets hot, he will probably like the floor by itself.

You can also consider getting a cooling pad, as mentioned, for the summer months.

Should dogs wear sweaters to bed?

No, a sweater is not needed for a dog if he will be sleeping indoors and has a blanket or a bed. A dog’s fur provides plenty of warmth. A sweater could make them too hot at night. A blanket is better since they get out from underneath it if they start to feel too hot.

Sweaters are good for dogs when the weather drops below freezing, like in the winter months.

However, if you have a hairless dog breed, a sweater could be beneficial to them even when it’s above freezing. It would protect them from cold drafts of wind. I don’t know if I’d put it on them before bed, though. What if he overheats?

Final Thoughts

So, you started off this post wondering, “does my dog need a blanket.” Now you know how to decide whether he does or doesn’t.

Not all dogs do well with blankets, but it wouldn’t hurt to get one and see how he likes it.

Until next time.

Andrew

Andrew

I am a dog trainer and passionate about canine health and behavior problems. I train dogs of all ages but specialize in training dogs with behavioral issues such as aggression or anxiety. My favorite part of my job is watching the transformation that takes place when an owner starts to understand their pet’s needs and how to meet them.

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