Why Does My Dog Go Into The Closet: The Dark Truth

Cats act like they have the patent on bizarre behavior, but they aren’t the only pets who mystify us with quirky activities. Ask any dog owner, and they’ll tell you that plenty of pups are doing downright confusing things.

The good news is that, after more than ten thousand years of cohabitating, some humans have studies doggy behavior and decoded most of what makes us scratch our heads. You just have to know who to ask. That’s where I come in, questioning experts and researching details, so you don’t have to.

Why does my dog go into the closet? Dogs who suddenly start spending time in your closet are seeking out extra comfort. A warm, dark place to sleep reminds them of their puppy days and their ancestral roots at the same time. However, keep an eye on them if it starts suddenly since not all comfort-seeking behavior is healthy. 

Reasons Why Dogs Go Into the Closet:

Here are the ten most common reasons why dogs seek out closets.

  1. Comfort- A calm, dark, warm place like your closet is perfect for a dog to relax and unwind from their doggy day.
  2. Puppies- If you have a pregnant dog, she may seek out the den-like habitat of your closet to have her babies. It’s a safe place where she can keep them relatively contained.
  3. Noise Pollution- Whether it’s New Year’s Eve, or just loud around the house, some dogs need a quiet place to nap. Your closet is insulated and much less loud.
  4. Illness- Dogs who are sick need a place to go where no one will see them feeling bad. It’s in their doggy nature to hide sickness, so the pack doesn’t demote them.
  5. Injury- Like illness, an injured dog may slink off to lick their wounds and avoid notice. A quiet closet is an excellent place to heal.
  6. Stress & Anxiety- When you pack to go on vacation or bring a new pet to your home, it can freak out your favorite Fido. Anything that makes them feel overwrought might be a reason to hide in the closet.
  7. Fear- Sadly, pups with a history of trauma sometimes seek out a closet hideaway. It feels safer and more defensible than being in the open where they might get attacked or snuck up on in their sleep.
  8. Depression- No one likes feeling blue, and just like their humans, dogs can get depressed. If your pooch is hiding in your closet, they may have a problem they can’t express except by feeling down.
  9. Guilt- If your canine companion caused some trouble, they might want to hide from the consequences of their actions. Dogs feel guilt.
  10. Aging- Older dogs like the warmth, but an old dog may also seek out a quiet, out of the way place to pass away when their time comes.

As you can see, dogs seeking out closet space don’t always have the same reason. Like snowflakes and people, each pup is different. They have individual personalities and motivations. However, sick, injured, and traumatized dogs often hide out, so be aware of your pooches’ mood and health if they start napping in unusual spots.

Should You Let Dogs Stay in the Closet

There’s a big difference between a dog who goes in the closet for a nap, and one who uses it as a toilet. If your dog is going potty when they make their little forrays into your bedroom clothing storage, you need to stop them right away.

Alternately, a dog who is sleeping, otherwise seeking comfort in your closet, is doing no harm. You can opt to let them hang out inside. As long as you keep an eye on their health and wellbeing, there’s nothing wrong with allowing Rover to chill where it smells like fresh linen.

Burrowers & Cuddlers

Dogs who are naturally inclined to cuddle or burrow are more likely to seek out your closet to chill out. It feels cozy to them. There’s no reason to worry about a dog who’s motivation is finding a pile of laundry and burying themselves inside to nap with your smell when you aren’t around.

As long as they’re eating healthy, behaving normally and not hurt, this is just fine. However, for canines who also tend to snack on shoes, socks, or underwear, this can be a bad plan. When it comes to cuddly burrowers who aren’t welcome in your closet, there are some simple alternatives.

Get a dog bed designed for burrowers like the Snoozer Orthopedic Cozy Cave Pet Bed on Amazon. When you cater to your pets’ instinctive needs, they feel loved. Furthermore, they don’t have the same urgent desire to seek their own alternatives. You can get a cuddly cave bed for your favorite Fido when you click here

When Should You Worry About a Dog In The Closet

Anytime a dog has a sudden behavior change, like going in your closet more than usual, you should pay attention. Your pet can’t always tell you there’s something wrong with them. Especially when you’re a canine owner, it’s vital to understand that your pooch may try to avoid showing there’s a problem.

It’s normal for dogs to show their best face to the world. A show of vitality and strength is how they’d keep their place in the pecking order in nature. On a deep intuitive level, dogs hide signs of weakness to avoid more problems. Don’t take it personally.

Some signs are all too apparent. When your dog makes upset noises, whines, whimpers, or howls in fear, you can tell there’s trouble right away. The same goes for dogs you already know have health problems. Things like blood, vomit, or diarrhea are hard to miss.

Unfortunately, it’s not always so simple to see when something is wrong. Pet parents who work a lot, or have busy, and full houses can miss the hints their pets drop. Never play a guessing game. If your dog is ‘off’ or ‘being weird,’ take them to see a vet ASAP.

Anxiety & Fear Closet Hounds

When fear and anxiety are the apparent cause of your dog’s trips to the closet, you can do a lot to comfort them. Spending more time with them is a fantastic way to bond and relieve their stress. It’s okay for you to climb in the closet and hang out if they don’t want to face the world just yet.

You can talk to your vet about anxiety medicine. They may be able to prescribe something for the trouble. Alternately, there are OTC anti-anxiety herbal remedies for pets, as well. Some pet owners strongly prefer to avoid chemical intervention whenever possible. There’s a fix for that too luckily.

Try a ThunderShirt Polo Dog Anxiety Jacket. It might not make sense to you how a shirt can calm a dog, ask a vet, or a prenatal nurse about the soothing effects of swaddling. Think of it like giving your dog a hug that doesn’t go away. Learn more about this amazingly effective option when you click here.  

Closet Alternatives for Dogs

Whatever the reason for your dog going in the closet, many pet owners aren’t comfortable letting their pets join the clean laundry all day. While it’s not harmful to allow dogs to sleep in your closet, it’s also not necessary. Your dog will be just fine if you shut the closet door. However, you shouldn’t leave them with no alternatives.

For their comfort, some dogs need their own space. Making a place in your home, that’s not your closet, will help your dog feel safe and loved. Whether it’s out of the way, or in the corner of your bedroom, your canine companion can rest more comfortably in their special chill-zone.

Dog Crates as Closet Alternatives

Even if you don’t believe in kennel training, also known as dog crating, it may be time to consider getting a crate anyhow. You don’t have to shut the door when you go to work. Dogs sleep and travel well in kennels because they often live in dens naturally.

Hopefully, your pet isn’t sick, afraid, or hurting. However, when they need a private sanctuary, an outstanding kennel is one of the best options. I suggest you get the AmazonBasics Folding Soft Dog Crate. It’s portable, and the mesh windows make it easy to check in on your dog at a glance. Toss a sheet or blanket over the top if they don’t like prying eyes. You can get one by clicking right here

Like your closet, a dog crate can feel warm, safe, and cozy to your dog. Sometimes this is a safer alternative if your pooch is sick or hurt. Moreover, it can be a perfect solution for aging or pregnant pups who need a place where you know what’s happening, and they still feel like they have their privacy.

Final Thoughts

Dogs are habitual creatures driven by instinct, and your closet is like a den, but warmer. Keep an eye on the behavior of your pet as they grow and mature. You’ll notice their regular habits and become attuned to problems if they occur.

Being able to anticipate your canine companions’ needs and tell if they’re not themselves is a beautiful thing. As a pet owner, this is one way to show your love and esteem for your dog. They will notice if you bring them a blanket in the closet, or buy them a special bed when you shut them out. More importantly, they’ll appreciate it.

Good or bad, when your dog seeks out a closet, they aren’t just exploring. Make sure you take your pet to the vet right away if going in the closet isn’t typical behavior for your dog.

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