Do Dogs Like Pillows For Their Head?

Key Findings Details
Comfort and Security Dogs find pillows a soft and comforting surface to rest their heads. Their owner's scent on a pillow provides additional security.
Closeness to Their Human Pillows being located near a person's head allows dogs to feel closer and more connected to their human companions.
Preference for Neck Support Like humans, dogs may prefer neck support while sleeping. Pillows can help provide that.
Individual Preferences Not all dogs prefer pillows. Observing your dog's behaviour can help provide them with comfortable sleeping options.

Ever observed your canine companion settling down for a nap, their head comfortably propped up on a pillow? The sight might have led you to ponder, do dogs like pillows for their head?

To help you understand your four-legged friend’s sleeping preferences, we delve into why dogs may prefer using pillows for their head.

But before we move forward, it’s crucial to remember that not all dogs may share this liking as preferences can vary greatly among individual dogs.

Did you know? During the Middle Ages in Europe, pillows were deemed a luxury item and were banned. Only pregnant women were exempt from this rule under King Henry VIII's reign.

Comfort and Security

Dogs, like humans, seek out comfortable spots to rest and rejuvenate. Pillows provide a soft and comfortable surface for dogs to rest their heads on. The plushness of a pillow mimics the sensation of their mother’s fur from their puppy days, thus triggering a feeling of comfort and security.

The scent on the pillow, especially if it belongs to their owner, can also provide a sense of security and make them feel more relaxed.

Feeling safe is an essential element of a good night’s sleep for your furry friend, just as it is for us humans.

Closeness to Their Human

Just like they’re wired to be part of a pack in the wild, dogs are social animals that bond closely with their human families in domestic settings.

Sleeping on or near a person’s head, which is often where pillows are located, allows them to feel closer to their human companions and more connected.

Indeed, the bond between a dog and their human is a strong one, and your dog resting their head on your pillow could just be a display of their love and trust for you.

Preference for Neck Support

Just like we enjoy a pillow under our head and neck for a comfortable night’s sleep, some dogs may prefer having some kind of neck support while sleeping. Pillows can provide that support and help them maintain a comfortable sleeping position.

However, it’s important to choose the right pillow for your canine companion. A pillow that’s too high or too hard might not provide the desired comfort and could even lead to stiffness or discomfort.

Individual Preferences

As we’ve seen, several factors could explain why dogs might enjoy resting their heads on pillows. However, individual preferences play a significant role. Some dogs may prefer other sleeping surfaces or positions. For example, certain breeds enjoy burrowing and might prefer a soft blanket over a pillow.

Health Benefits Of Dogs Sleeping On Pillows

While your furry friend taking over your favourite pillow might occasionally be a nuisance, it’s not without benefits. In fact, there are several health benefits associated with dogs sleeping on pillows. Here are a few of them:

Comfort and Relaxation

One of the main benefits of a pillow is the comfort and relaxation it offers. With a pillow providing a cosy spot to lay their heads, dogs can experience improved sleep quality.

Good sleep is vital for dogs, just as it is for humans. It aids in their overall health and well-being, helping them stay active and alert during the day.

So, by providing a comfortable sleeping environment with a soft pillow, you can help your dog achieve a more relaxing and healthier sleep.

A dog sleeping on a square dog bed in a well lit room

Joint Support

When it comes to older dogs or dogs with joint pain or arthritis, a specially designed orthopedic pillow can be a game-changer. These pillows are created to provide optimal joint support, reducing discomfort and ensuring your canine companion gets a good night’s sleep.

Even if your dog is not currently experiencing joint problems, providing an orthopedic pillow can be an excellent preventative measure, especially for breeds predisposed to joint issues.

Reduced Anxiety

Your scent on a pillow can provide your dog with a sense of security. This familiarity can reduce anxiety levels in dogs, especially those that experience separation anxiety or other types of anxiety.

Having a familiar scent nearby while sleeping can significantly comfort them, helping to promote a peaceful sleep and happier wakeful hours.

Improved Bonding

Your dog sleeping on a pillow near you not only gives them comfort but also strengthens the bond between you and your pet. This closeness can improve the bond between you, leading to a happier and more harmonious living environment.

In conclusion, pillows aren’t just about comfort; they can significantly contribute to the physical and emotional well-being of your four-legged friend. So, the next time you find your dog napping on a pillow, remember it’s not just because they’re taking over your space – they’re enjoying some important health benefits too!

Health BenefitHow Pillows Help
Comfort and RelaxationProvide a cosy spot for sleep, improving overall sleep quality and well-being.
Joint SupportOrthopedic pillows offer optimal joint support, reducing discomfort for dogs with joint issues.
Reduced AnxietyThe familiar scent on a pillow can provide security, reducing anxiety levels in dogs.
Improved BondingSleeping near the owner can strengthen the bond, leading to a happier living environment.

Potential Health Negatives of Dogs Sleeping on Pillows

As we’ve explored the advantages dogs gain from using pillows, it’s essential to remember that there can be a flip side. Yes, there are a few possible health negatives to dogs sleeping on pillows. Here are some potential issues to bear in mind:

Disrupted Sleep

While the idea of sharing your pillow with your furry friend might seem endearing, it can sometimes lead to disrupted sleep. Dogs may toss and turn, occupy too much space, or even snore, leading to sleep disturbances for their owners.

Dogs also have different sleep patterns than humans. They usually sleep more but in shorter spurts. So, your canine companion’s midnight movement could interrupt your deep sleep cycle, leading to less restorative sleep.

Allergies and Hygiene

An often overlooked issue is that dogs can carry allergens such as dander, pollen, or dust mites. These allergens can accumulate on pillows over time and potentially trigger allergies or respiratory issues in sensitive individuals.

Further, our four-legged friends may bring in outdoor elements such as dirt, bacteria, or even parasites into the bed. This could potentially affect hygiene standards, leading to health concerns.

Injury Risk

Dogs, especially those with a larger build or more active behaviour, could pose a risk of injury when sharing a pillow or bed. They may accidentally scratch or bite their owners during sleep, particularly if they have dreams or nightmares.

While these potential negatives exist, they are not reasons to banish your dog from pillows altogether. Instead, consider these points to ensure a safe, comfortable, and healthy sleeping environment for both you and your pet.

Health NegativeExplanation
Disrupted SleepDog’s sleep patterns and movements can disturb the owner’s sleep.
Allergies and HygieneDogs can carry allergens, dirt, bacteria, or parasites, which can affect hygiene and trigger allergies.
Injury RiskDogs may accidentally scratch or bite their owners during sleep, posing an injury risk.


Do dogs need a pillow for their head?

No, dogs don’t need a pillow for their head, but many do appreciate one. Pillows can provide dogs with additional comfort and neck support, especially if they are older or have joint issues.

Why does my dog let me use him as a pillow?

Your dog lets you use them as a pillow as a sign of trust and affection. They enjoy being close to you, and allowing you to rest your head on them strengthens the bond you share.

Why do dogs love pillows so much?

Dogs love pillows due to the comfort they provide. Pillows are soft and often carry the scent of their favourite humans, offering a feeling of security. Additionally, pillows can provide dogs with neck support when they sleep.

Do dogs like head rests?

Yes, many dogs enjoy having a headrest when they sleep. Just as humans find pillows comfortable for neck support and a good night’s sleep, dogs can also benefit from a good headrest.

Why do dogs rest their head on you to sleep?

Dogs rest their heads on you to feel closer and secure. This is a sign of trust, love, and contentment. It’s their way of saying they feel safe and comfortable with you, enhancing the bond you share.


In conclusion, dogs and pillows share a relationship that’s worth examining. Dogs, much like humans, are creatures of comfort. They often seek out soft spaces to rest and relax, and this can quite frequently be your pillow. Whether it’s the physical comfort of a soft surface or the emotional comfort of being near their human companions, dogs derive both pleasure and benefit from using pillows.

However, as we have seen, pillows aren’t always beneficial for our canine friends. They can potentially disrupt our sleep, impact hygiene, or even pose an injury risk in some situations. Therefore, while there are no hard and fast rules about whether dogs should use pillows, it’s vital to consider both the positives and negatives to ensure a safe and comfortable sleeping environment for your furry friend.

The key points we covered in the article are:

  • Reasons why dogs may like pillows for their head
  • Different types of pillows designed specifically for dogs
  • Potential health benefits and negatives of dogs using pillows
  • FAQ responses, shedding light on commonly asked questions about dogs and pillows

You can learn more about the fascinating world of dog sleeping habits, their preferences, and other bedding options at DreamHQ. Some articles that may interest you include our guide on the safety of lavender pillow spray for dogs or how different sleeping positions impact side sleepers.

For further reading from external sources, you can visit Hepper or Pet Keen, where you’ll find a wealth of information on why dogs might prefer to rest their heads on something soft and comfortable.

– Article by Lewis Hugh

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