Are your dog’s bedtime habits crazy or normal?

dog nests in several blankets

A dog snuggled in a blanket can be one of the cutest things a pet parent can find. But what’s up with our puppies craving to surround themselves with our favorite comforter or drape themselves on our best pillows? Drilling into soft material could mean your dog is building a nest. But don’t panic. While nesting is a behavior we usually associate with dogs (and people!) about to give birth, it doesn’t necessarily mean your dog is pregnant.

Nesting for dogs: what is it?

The nesting or nesting instinct is often defined as the maternal drive of a pregnant dog to prepare a safe place to raise her puppy. This might mean dragging the blanket to a new place, rearranging the pillows, or putting some laundry in the back of the closet.

We also sometimes see the nesting instinct in humans, who might get a burst of energy to clean the house (or their desk) a few days before giving birth.It’s just that when dogs build nests, they may United NationsInstead, declutter your home.

Dog nesting can take many different forms, says Aliceen Tracey, MD, of Den Herder Veterinary Hospital in Waterloo, Iowa. But the main motivation is comfort – whether the dog is pregnant or not.

“Any dog ​​can exhibit nesting behavior,” Tracy said. “Many people’s dogs, for example, feel the need to spin in circles, paw on the quilt, and even have blankets to help them fall asleep.”

Why is my dog ​​building a nest?

Pregnancy or “pseudo-pregnancy” are two common reasons a dog may exhibit more nesting behavior than usual.

RELATED: How Long Is a Dog Pregnant?Check out what’s going on every week

A false pregnancy simply mimics the symptoms of pregnancy in unneutered bitches who are in heat but not pregnant. This may trigger the nesting instinct, but it will not create a new kennel.

Other times, your puppy, female or male, may just be uncomfortable and needs to rearrange the environment. In the current situation, they may feel too hot, too cold or too crowded.

“A lot of dogs have a den at bedtime – it’s normal!” Tracy said.

dog nesting sign

For whatever reason, when she (or he!) is nesting, your dog is probably doing a few things.

  • repeat cycle
  • collect blankets
  • tear paper
  • rearrange toys or pillows
  • scratching on sofa cushions or quilts
  • hide in a closet or other small space

What should you do when your dog is building a nest?

Nesting is usually nothing to worry about, but Tracey says any sudden uptick in nesting behavior should be discussed with your veterinarian. If your puppy is a small woman rather than a small man, you will want to confirm or rule out a pregnancy.

Related: 5 Signs Your Dog May Be Pregnant

“Especially if the dog isn’t neutered and suddenly exhibits excessive nesting behavior, it’s best to see a veterinarian to make sure she’s not pregnant,” says Tracy.

If the nesting behavior is new, but you’re not sure whether to characterize it as excessive, wait a few days. If nesting is taking over your dog’s routine and interrupting important activities like dinner or playtime, it might be worth mentioning.

You may also want to provide your dog with soft material that you don’t mind her using as a den. If she pulls down the couch cushion or drags your comforter off the bed in the first place, keep some old blankets, towels, or pillows within easy reach and encourage her to use them instead.

What if my dog ​​is pregnant?

If you and your veterinarian suspect pregnancy, your veterinarian will perform blood tests or perform an ultrasound to confirm or rule it out. While an unexpected dog pregnancy may not be on your calendar, don’t panic. Your trusted veterinarian can advise you on your dog’s distance and what steps to take next.

After your puppies are born, keep an eye on mom to make sure she’s adjusting well to motherhood and can care for the puppies until they’re old enough to be adopted.

At the end of the day, nesting is normal — whether it’s pregnancy-related or not. After all, we all like to be comfortable before saying goodnight! But as with all new behaviors, keep your veterinarian informed of any sudden changes in the way your dog is behaving.

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