Watching Chihuahuas snuggle and burrow under a blanket is the most adorable thing!
This is normal behavior for the breed.
In general, there is nothing to be concerned about.
But as a curious paw parent, you might wonder why they do this.
In this article, you’ll discover:
- 10 reasons why Chihuahuas burrow.
- When you should be concerned about burrowing.
- Whether it is safe for Chihuahuas to sleep under a blanket.
- And many more…
Why do Chihuahuas burrow?
Chihuahuas like to burrow under blankets mainly out of instinct. Burrowing guarantees your Chihuahua a warm and comfortable place to curl up. Other reasons include feelings of discomfort, anxiety, sickness, pregnancy, pseudopregnancy, or seeking affection.
Note: Burrowing is a natural behavior and completely harmless. But if you notice your Chihuahua burrowing in an excessive manner, it is best to consult with your vet.
Top 10 reasons why Chihuahuas burrow (under blankets)
#1: Chihuahuas have a strong instinct to burrow
Chihuahuas are one of the common breeds that have a strong instinct for burrowing.
It comes naturally to them to make a den to sleep in. This is so they can feel safe and secure.
The canine’s ancestors were accustomed to living in dark and small spaces.
They do this to safeguard themselves from predators and harsh conditions.
And the closest experience they have to this at your home is through a pile of blankets on the bed.
So let that little pup snuggle with you!
But did you know that Chihuahuas aren’t the only breed that likes to burrow?
Dog breeds that are most likely to burrow are:
#2: Chihuahuas burrow to maintain their body temperature
Chihuahuas are tiny dog breeds with little body mass and thin coats.
Short-haired Chihuahuas do not have a double coat like other breeds.
This is why they get cold easily. And will shiver in certain temperatures. And even though long-haired Chis have a double coat, they still need extra warmth.
In this case, your Chi may choose to burrow under a blanket to keep themselves warm.
Fun fact: The Chihuahua’s origin is from Mexico where the climate is usually hot.
That’s why providing extra attention to your pooch during wintertime is a must!
Following some of these ideas will help keep them warm:
- Buy a dog sweater.
- Provide a pillow for extra warmth.
- Provide blankets to snuggle and burrow.
- Provide a self-warming dog bed or heating pad.
- Keep consistent temperatures inside your house.
#3: Chihuahuas burrow to feel comfortable
Do you ever look for your Chihuahua and don’t know where to find them?
Your pooch is probably nestled under a blanket snuggled somewhere.
Chihuahuas like to tuck themselves in a small and warm space to feel comfortable.
Before they sleep, they like to burrow into pillows and blankets. And they look so cute doing it!
“But why doesn’t my Chi sleep in their bed?”
Many fur parents still make one big (literally) mistake. They buy their little pooch a large open bed.
Don’t do it! Large beds may leave them feeling exposed and vulnerable. Plus, small beds make Chis feel cozy.
#4: Chihuahuas burrow to feel safe
Many Chihuahuas can get easily frightened of strangers.
Anything unfamiliar that enters your home can make them feel unsafe.
So when it comes to safety, Chihuahuas will often find a small quiet space to burrow.
This makes them feel like it would be harder for predators to get them.
Aside from strangers, here are other common things that dogs are scared of:
- Other dogs.
- Loud noises.
- Going outside.
It is common to find them burrowed away during these situations.
You will still need to work with them and help them understand that there is nothing to be afraid of.
Applying counter-conditioning and desensitization will help dogs overcome their fear of strangers.
Keep in mind though that it is not good to push a dog who is fearful beyond his comfort zone.
Here are common telltale signs that your dog is afraid:
- Ears back.
- Tail tucked.
- Showing teeth.
- Trembling or shivering.
- Fur standing up on the neck.
- Hunched body with head down.
- Cowering close to their human.
When it comes to training, always exercise patience.
And keep encouraging your Chihuahua as they learn to be more confident.
Check out this article: 7 Weird Reasons Why Chihuahuas Like To Be Held + 5 Signs
#5: Your Chihuahua is prone to anxiety
Many Chihuahuas dig themselves under blankets because it is in their nature.
But others do it because they are anxious.
Have you seen your little pup suddenly run and hide for the covers?
Chihuahuas have a reputation for being an anxious breed. This is because of their nervous and shaky tendencies.
But a study shows that more than 70% of dogs display anxiety.
Not only small breeds but also different kinds of dog breeds experience anxiety.
“How would I know if my Chi is anxious?”
To know if your pooch has anxiety, here are common signs to look out for:
- Running away.
- Barking non-stop.
- Avoiding interaction.
- Destructive behavior.
- Shaking or trembling.
- Urinating in the house.
In cases where your dog seems to be unusually anxious about everything, it is best to contact a vet.
According to PetMD, these are common reasons that make a dog scared of everything:
- Lack of socialization.
- Genetic predisposition.
- Traumatic experiences.
#6: Your Chihuahua needs affection
Chihuahuas are extremely clingy dogs and would often need affection.
They are also commonly known to be attached and affectionate towards one person.
Do you often see your Chi following you around?
You have been chosen.
Chihuahuas chose their favorite person for several reasons.
But if your Chi is accustomed to just seeing you, they are more likely to reject new people.
This is why they get a bad reputation for being mean and often get misunderstood.
So it is highly advisable to train Chihuahuas while they are young.
To prevent aggression to strangers and other dogs, here are some tips to help your Chi socialize:
- Take your dog on daily walks at public parks.
- Expose your pooch to a variety of people and dogs.
- Give treats whenever your dog has a positive interaction.
Note: Remember to exercise caution when introducing new dogs. Before initiating a meet and sniff, make sure that the other dog is friendly!
Chihuahuas also like being carried and enjoy being snuggled into your lap while they nap.
Do you notice something when you ignore them or forget to show affection?
They may behave negatively or even increase their burrowing habit.
“This blanky smells like mommy!”
Snuggling into your blanket is also one of their ways to show affection.
Other ways they do to show their affection are the following:
- Leaning on you.
- Sleeping next to you.
- Following you around.
- Looking you in the eye.
- Bringing you their toys.
You might also like: Is It Bad If Your Chihuahua Is Sleeping In Your Bed?
#7: Your Chihuahua may be pregnant
One of the reasons that might concern you the most is that your dog might be pregnant.
If your female Chihuahua is burrowing out of the blue, she might be trying to build a nest.
That’s how female dogs often prepare for the birth of their puppies.
They do this by finding a suitable and safe place to give birth and to take care of their puppies.
This is called nesting. And it is a normal instinct for pregnant dogs.
They would often choose spaces that are warm, dry, and isolated. Pet parents usually provide blankets to make the dog and puppies feel comfortable.
“So, how would I know if my Chihuahua is pregnant?”
Aside from nesting behavior, look out for these signs:
- Weight gain.
- Swollen belly.
- Swollen nipples.
- Get tired easily.
- More affectionate.
- Increase in appetite.
Once you find out that your dog is pregnant, it is best to consult an experienced vet. Any odd behavior or symptoms should be brought to their attention.
As a pet parent, there are some ways in which you can help your mama Chi.
Try doing the following for a comfortable dog pregnancy:
- Proper diet.
- Set up a nesting area.
#8: Your Chihuahua is experiencing a pseudopregnancy
Much like humans, female dogs can also experience pseudopregnancy.
“But how is this possible?”
The exact cause of this is unknown. It can also be a side effect of the female dog’s natural hormonal cycle.
Chihuahuas that experience pseudopregnancy may start nesting by burrowing into the bedding.
One study reported that enlarged mammary glands were the most common physical sign of false pregnancy in dogs.
Other symptoms are the following:
- Nest making.
- Collecting toys.
- Decreased appetite
- Loss of interest in physical activity.
Surprisingly, pseudopregnancy is common in unspayed dogs.
And they are most likely to experience this again in the future unless you get them spayed.
Caution: Although symptoms of pseudopregnancy go away on their own, it is still best to consult with a vet.
#9: Your Chihuahua might be sick
A worrisome reason for burrowing under blankets is that your Chihuahua’s sick.
If your dog is sick and feels any kind of pain, they’re likely to burrow. This will be their place to rest.
You may think your dog could simply be taking a nap in the warmth of your blanket.
But hiding too long can be a sign of underlying health problems.
Even if dogs are in no danger inside the comfort of your home, it is part of their instinct to locate a safe hiding place.
The top cause of health problems in Chihuahuas and other small dog breeds is injury.
Since they are such small dogs, they are often prone to injury.
Here are signs to look out for if you think your pup is injured:
- Lack of appetite.
- Difficulty walking.
- Vomiting or diarrhea.
- Changes in normal posture.
- No interest in going outdoors.
If you notice any of these signs, it’s time to schedule an appointment with a vet.
#10: Your Chihuahua is looking for entertainment
Sometimes, Chihuahuas burrow out of boredom and they do it as a way to entertain themselves.
Chihuahuas are energetic in general.
If they get bored, they might attempt to entertain themselves by distractive behavior.
In this case, you need to make sure that they are getting proper exercise and stimulation.
Other signs that your dog needs entertainment are the following:
- Running away.
- Excessive licking.
Keeping your Chihuahua active and engaged will avoid boredom-related behaviors.
Here are a few ways to keep them entertained;
- Make time to play with them.
- Take them on walks every day.
- Spend some quality time with them.
Is it safe for Chihuahuas to burrow under a blanket?
“Can my Chi breathe properly if I let them burrow under my blanket?”
Many pet parents worry about the risk of suffocation while burrowing.
The good news is that there is a very small chance of this happening.
This small breed loves to sleep under a big pile of blankets.
And burrowing helps them to relax and sleep better.
They are also a smart breed that knows when to come out of the blanket to get some air.
They will also bark for help when they need the blankets removed.
In case you are still worried, it is best to replace the blanket with a burrowing bed.
Should you allow your Chihuahua to burrow?
You can now decide whether burrowing is a habit you should allow or not.
The good thing about allowing your Chihuahua to burrow is that it is the cutest thing to watch!
But as with any habit, if it turns to problematic behavior, you should look for ways to control the burrowing.
Here are signs to look out for:
- Becoming aggressive.
- Showing signs of stress and anxiety.
- Becoming possessive over their burrow space.
- Burrowing more than usual on an average a day.
Most Chihuahuas burrow because of their need for a safe space where they can snuggle in to get a good night’s sleep.
It is an instinct that needs to be met that will make your Chi feel happy and secure.
“Can I make a safe burrowing area for my Chihuahua?”
Yes, you definitely can!
The first thing to consider is where to place the burrowing area.
Knowing that Chihuahuas can be clingy, it is best to place the burrowing spot near your bed.
You will also need to pick a good quality burrowing bed.
To make it extra comfortable, you can also add a blanket.
Lastly, make sure that the area is always clean and free from debris.
Willing to spoil your Chi?
Try adding different burrowing spots for your little pooch to choose from.
They will surely love you for it!
Most of all, Chihuahuas enjoy snuggling under the sheets where their fur parents are.
Because the safest place is always beside their family!