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7 Reasons Your Dog Brings Toys to Bed: And What It Means

Last Updated: December 10, 2023

Dogs are affectionate creatures that often display their love and loyalty to their owners in unique ways. One such behavior is when dogs bring their toys to bed. While it may seem like a harmless habit, there are several reasons why dogs engage in this behavior, and understanding them can give you insight into your dog’s emotions and needs.

From seeking comfort and security and satisfying their instincts to playfulness and bonding, retrieving instinct, and mental stimulation, there are various reasons why dogs bring toys to bed.

This article will explore the motivations behind this behavior and what they could mean for your furry friend.

By understanding your dog’s behavior, you can strengthen the bond between you and your canine companion and provide them with the care and attention they need.

Why Does My Dog Bring a Toy To Bed? A cute Dachshund in bed with a cuddly toy.

Why Does My Dog Bring a Toy To Bed?

1. Comfort Object

Some dogs seem to have a special attachment to certain toys. They carry them everywhere, cuddle, and even sleep with them. 

It turns out that this is because some dogs use their toys as comfort objects. Bringing the toy to bed provides them with a sense of security and comfort, almost like a security blanket for a child.

I’ve always found it endearing when my dog brings her favorite toy to bed. 

It’s a sign that she feels safe and comfortable in our home and that her toy provides her with familiarity and security. 

“Seeing how our furry friends can form such deep connections with objects and find comfort in the simplest things is amazing.” 

Sometimes I can’t help but laugh when I see my dog cuddled up with her favorite toy in bed. It’s like she’s trying to act tough, but deep down, she just wants to feel safe and secure. You’d think she was tougher – being a 90 lb German Shepherd!

It shows how much dogs rely on us for love and affection, even in the form of a well-worn stuffed animal.

And who can blame her? We all have little quirks and comforts that make us feel better, whether it’s a favorite pillow, a cozy blanket, or a comfy bed. 

In fact, speaking of comfy beds…

A clinical study conducted by the University of Pennsylvania found that the Big Barker Bed can reduce joint pain and stiffness, improve joint function and gait, and lead to better nighttime restfulness in large dogs with arthritis. It can also help prevent future mobility issues in all dogs; hence it’s the bed I use.

So not only can a comfort object like a toy provides emotional security for our furry friends, but a comfortable bed like the Big Barker can also help them feel physically better.

2. Playfulness

Dogs bring their toys to bed because they love to play, and it’s their way of inviting you to join in on the fun. 

If you often wake up to find your dog snuggled up next to you with his favorite toy in his mouth, looking up at you with those puppy-dog eyes as if to say, “Come on, let’s play!”

It’s hard to resist such an adorable invitation, and playing with your dog always makes us smile. 

Plus, it’s a great way to bond with your furry friend and get some exercise in the process.

It’s just another reminder that dogs bring so much joy and happiness into our lives, even when we’re groggy in the morning!

Cockapoo In Bed With a Toy

3. Bonding And Trust

I’ve understood how important trust is between a dog and its owner. 

Dogs are social animals and view their owners as part of their pack, which is why bringing their toys to bed is a way for them to bond with you and feel closer to you. 

It’s also a sign of trust since they’re letting you into their safe space and sharing their precious toys.

I always feel honored when my dog brings her toys to bed and snuggles up next to me. 

It’s a reminder that she trusts me and sees me as an important member of her pack. It’s a beautiful thing to experience, and it strengthens the bond between us even more. 

It’s just another example of the incredible connection we can have with our furry friends.

4. Retrieving Instinct

As a dog lover, I’ve come to appreciate dogs’ many different traits and behaviors. 

One such instinct is the retrieving instinct, for which many breeds, such as the adorable Labrador Retriever, were originally bred. It’s no surprise, then, that bringing toys to bed could satisfy your dog’s natural instinct. 

It’s their way of “retrieving” and carrying their toys around, even while they sleep.

Watching my dog bring her toys to bed reminds me of her retrieving instincts. 

It’s fascinating to see how dogs are wired to perform certain tasks, and it’s a testament to the selective breeding that has gone into creating so many different breeds. 

Whether it’s a stuffed animal or a tennis ball, my dog is always eager to carry her toys around and show off her retrieving skills, even if it’s just in her dreams.

Pug In Bed With Toy

5. Mental Stimulation

I always look for ways to keep my furry friend happy and healthy. That’s why I was interested to learn that bringing toys to bed could be a way for dogs to keep their brains engaged. 

Dogs need mental stimulation to keep their minds sharp and active, just like humans do. 

Having their toys nearby while they sleep could be a way for them to stay mentally stimulated even while they rest.

I’ve noticed that my dog is always eager to play with her toys, even when tired. It’s like they give her a burst of energy and mental stimulation that she craves. 

And now that I know that bringing toys to bed could help her stay mentally engaged even while she sleeps, I’m even more motivated to encourage her playtime and provide her with plenty of toys to keep her brain sharp. 

It’s just another way that dogs are amazing creatures that never stop surprising us with their intelligence and adaptability.

6. Teething

Everyone knows puppies can be a handful, especially during teething. Everything they can get their little teeth on seems fair game, including our shoes, furniture, and even our hands. 

But did you know that bringing toys to bed could be a way for puppies to relieve their discomfort during this challenging time?

It’s almost like puppies have their version of a toothbrush, except it’s a chew toy. 

Bringing their favorite toy to bed can give them something to gnaw on and help relieve the pain and discomfort of teething. 

And who wouldn’t want a comforting toy to snuggle up with after a long day of chewing on everything in sight? It’s a win-win situation for both puppies and their owners.

7. Showing Off

As a dog lover, I’ve seen my fair share of interesting behaviors from furry friends. 

One of the funniest ones I’ve noticed is when my dog brings her toy over to me, only to pull away when I reach for it. 

It’s like she’s playing a game of tug of war, and half the fun is watching me try to get the toy from her. But why do dogs do this? It turns out that showing off might have something to do with it.

Dogs may not care much for material objects, but toys are different. 

Toys are some of the few things they can truly call their own, and when they bring their toys around, they may be a way for them to strut their stuff. It’s like they’re saying, “Look what I have! Aren’t I cool?” 

It’s a humorous and endearing behavior that reminds us of how much our furry friends crave our attention and validation.

Dog In Bed With Toy


Is It Normal For Dogs To Bring Toys To Bed With Them?

Yes, it’s perfectly normal for dogs to bring toys to bed with them. Many dogs view their toys as a source of comfort and security, and having them nearby can help ease anxiety and promote relaxation.

Dogs are social animals that view their owners as part of their pack, so bringing toys to bed can also be a way for them to bond with their owners and feel closer to them. If your dog brings toys to bed, it’s a sign that they trust you and feel safe around you.

Is It Okay To Let My Dog Sleep With His Toys?

Letting your dog sleep with his toys is generally okay. Many dogs find comfort in having their toys nearby while they sleep. Just ensure the toys are safe and not a choking hazard, and supervise your dog while they play with them.

If your dog has a history of destructive chewing, removing toys with small parts or easily-ripped fabric may be best. Overall, as long as the toys are safe and your dog enjoys having them around, it’s perfectly fine to let them sleep with their toys.

Will My Dog Outgrow The Habit Of Bringing Toys To Bed?

It’s possible that your dog may outgrow the habit of bringing toys to bed, but it depends on the individual dog. Some dogs may continue to bring their toys to bed throughout their lives, while others may eventually lose interest or find other ways to seek comfort.

If your dog does outgrow the habit, it’s nothing to be concerned about. Dogs, like humans, go through different phases and develop new habits and preferences over time. If your dog is happy and healthy, there’s no need to worry about their toy-bringing habits.

Sharon Waddington
Sharon Waddington is the founder of World of Dogz. With over 30 years of experience working with dogs, this former Police Officer has seen it all. But it’s her trusty German Shepherd, Willow, who steals the show as the inspiration behind this website. As Sharon’s constant companion Willow has played a pivotal role in shaping her passion for dogs. Recently, Sharon has become deeply passionate about the plight of rescue dogs and is an active advocate for dog rescue, striving to make a difference in the lives of dogs in need.

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