Have you ever come home expecting to see your dog greet as you walk in the door, but they were nowhere to be seen? It can be a common behavior to find your dog hiding under a bed, beneath a blanket, or in a vacant room.
A dog that’s hiding may be in fear of something, feeling ill, or simply want some alone time. No matter the case, we will further explore some of the reasons why your dog is hiding, what they are hiding from, and how you can get them out from their hiding spot.
Is It Normal for Dogs to Hide?
Generally, hiding is normal behavior for dogs. Whether they are hiding from an external factor that might be causing fear, feeling ill, or enjoying alone time, dogs hiding are perfectly natural.
Sometimes a dog can feel overwhelmed or nervous and may need to find a space of familiarity and comfort. Since dogs are such territorial creatures, this behavior makes sense and is not typically cause for concern unless it becomes excessive.
Normal vs. Excessive Hiding
If your dog usually hides during periods of relaxation, such as hiding under the bed at night or under a blanket, this behavior is considered normal. However, it becomes excessive hiding when your dog’s routine begins to change.
For example, if you start to notice that your pup steers away from activities they normally enjoy, such as going for a walk, playtime, or eating a snack, hiding may be a reason for concern.
Why is My Dog Hiding?
There are many reasons why your dog may be hiding. The most common being that your dog is seeking a safe space. Although they could be sneaking around out of fear, your dog could be also be hiding due to feeling sad, stressed, or simply wanting some alone time.
Aside from feeling overwhelmed, your dog could also hide because they stashed away a toy or snack they don’t want you to find. Your furry friend could even be playing a game of hide-and-seek!
Your Dog is Scared of Something
A natural response to fear is cowering away and hiding. Several things can cause fear in dogs, such as loud noises, new environments, meeting new people, and many others. Things such as fireworks or loud music can cause your dog to seek safety. Other symptoms of fear include:
- Inability to settle down
They’re Experiencing Stress or Anxiety
In addition to feeling fear, your dog may also experience intense feelings of stress or anxiety and may decide to hide away as a result. Things such as being in an unfamiliar environment, experiencing separation anxiety, and staying in the dark can all contribute to a dog’s hiding.
Each dog experiences stress and anxiety differently and may prefer certain forms of comfort over others. Sometimes your dog may want a bit of space, and other times it might want you to comfort them. It all depends on the specific situation and what factors are causing the stress.
Other common signs your dog is feeling stressed out may include:
- Attempting to escape
- Destroying furniture
- Excessive licking or chewing
Another reason your dog is hiding might be that they are feeling under the weather. When animals feel sick, it is common for them to hide away to not show their illness or pain. When dogs hide to avoid showing you their sickness, they practice their innate behavior of hiding their health from potential predators.
If you notice your dog is acting strange and you sense that they may be feeling ill, the best thing to do is to ensure that they only have mild symptoms and let them get their rest. Sometimes all your dog may need is a quick nap to feel better.
However, several other symptoms may be concerning if your dog’s illness persists:
- Loss of appetite
- Difficulty urinating or defecating
- Runny eyes or nose
- Stiff limbs
- Vomiting, sneezing, or coughing
They’re in a Safe Place Where They Can Relax
Many times when your dog is out in the living room or around humans, they may feel like they can’t relax as well when compared to being alone. Because of this, dogs may want to find a space where they can feel safe and relax away from all the normal raucous around the house.
Sometimes dogs want to feel a sense of control, and having their own hiding spot is just what they need to feel empowered. This is one reason why crate training your pup is beneficial. If your dog already has a space to call its own, this will give a sense of control and safety.
Your Dog is Hiding Their Goodies!
One potential reason your dog sneaks away is that they may be hiding something they don’t want you to find. Dogs can be very possessive over things such as treats, toys, and other goodies. So their instinct is to hide away and make sure no one else can find their treasure.
They Found Something They Shouldn’t Have
Along with hiding their possessions, a dog may also hide because they are stashing away something they know they shouldn’t have. Dogs can be very sneaky and know when they are doing something they probably shouldn’t. This includes:
- People food
- Toys that don’t belong to them
- Something they broke/damaged
- A bathroom/sickness accident
How to Get a Dog Out from Hiding
Once you discover your dog hiding, you may want to know how to avoid this behavior from being excessive. It’s always important to recognize the symptoms and ensure no serious issues are tied to this behavior.
If you find that your dog hiding is becoming excessive, you may want to bring your dog to the vet to find possible solutions. Your dog may be dealing with some trauma or tension that you cannot notice on the surface. When dealing with a dog hiding, the most important thing is to be calm and not force them out of hiding, as this can make the situation worse.
Help Alleviate Their Anxiety or Stress
The best way to calm down an anxious or stressed-out pet is to always treat the situation as calmly as possible. Dogs can feel a human’s tension, and your emotions can rub off onto them, possibly making matters worse if you need your pup to stay calm.
One way to help your dog during a stressful episode is to provide a safe space with any toys, treats, blankets, and other familiar items that they can feel comfortable with. Allow your dog to feel whatever emotions they are dealing with, but make sure they know that you are always there for support if needed.
Another way to relieve your dog’s stress is to target whatever factor is causing this behavior and remove it if possible. If a loud noise in the house — such as a fire alarm or a television — begins to make your pup feel anxious, you can easily turn these items off and tend to your dog’s needs. However, other factors are a bit more difficult to control, such as thunderstorms and fireworks.
For instances where it seems like there is not much you can do, providing your dog with CBD may be an excellent way to calm them down. Products such as CBD treats and CBD oil can help alleviate your dog’s tension during a thunderstorm or a fireworks display.
CBD supports receptors that boost your dog’s endocannabinoid system (ECS). The ECS helps regulate various body functions. CBD is known to relax the body and soothe fearful or nervous behaviors. The best part of CBD is that there is no THC which means your dog should not feel any “high” effects.
Healthy Petables has wonderful dog treats and CBD oil available that are made with high-quality organic ingredients made to ease your dog’s stress and anxiousness.
Train Them & Reinforce Positive Behaviors
If you notice your dog is hiding away, at first, give them some space and hope that some time alone is all they need to feel better. But if the hiding becomes too much and your pooch still hasn’t come out from its private place, call the dog by its name and see if it responds. If it does not respond or come out of its hiding place, you may need to find some incentive to get your furry friend out.
Rattling a toy with a distinct sound or asking if your dog wants to go for a walk may do the trick. If your dog knows that there is some reward for coming out of hiding, this may do the trick.
However, this positive reinforcement may be a bit tricky during other instances like thunderstorms or loud fireworks. In these situations, you can train your dog not to be so scared of the thunder by having some treats on hand. Every time you hear thunder boom, give your dog a treat to comfort and distract it from the loud noises.
It’s all a matter of finding out what works for your dog. If your dog is hiding under the bed and does not respond after you call its name, maybe your pet is waiting for a walk or meal. No matter what gets your dog out of its hiding spot, it’s always important to stay calm so your dog can feel calm too.
Play & Engage with Them
Sometimes your dog might not be feeling sick, stressed out, or any other concerning reason to be hiding. Your dog might just be a little bored and needs a little bit of attention, so try playing a game!
Naturally, the game of hide-and-seek is something that dogs love. Whether they are hiding a treat, a toy, or themselves, dogs may be trying to get attention for playtime. Playing with your dog is necessary for its physical health, mental stimulation, and happiness.
Final Thoughts – Why is My Dog Hiding?
If you discover your dog hiding somewhere and you do not know where they are, the best thing to do is to not panic. Sometimes your dog wants to be a little silly and play a game, and other times they need a little break from everyone inside the house.
As long as you can provide your dog with a safe space that they can go to whenever they feel overwhelmed and need some time alone, that is always helpful. Rest assured, this behavior is relatively normal and happens from time to time. If you require a quick solution to keep your dog from hiding, talk to a veterinarian and try out our CBD dog treats made with delicious green apple and peanut butter!