Why is My Dog Laying in the Bathtub? [11 Reasons]

Zack Keithy, our author, is a certified veterinarian technician (UC Blue Ash) for over 6 years (contact him here). The articles written here are based on his expertise and experience, combined with a review by our expert vet reviewers including Dr M. Tarantino. Learn more about us here.

Did you just walk into your bathroom and found your furry friend lounging in the bathtub?

I remember that I laughed out loud when I first saw it, but then it got me thinking if there is any explanation behind this behavior.

However, maybe you’re worried that your dog is sick or experiencing discomfort, or perhaps you’re just curious about their behavior.

So why is my dog laying in the bathtub?

In most cases, your dog is simply seeking comfort on the cool surface of the bathtub, being curious about a new place it found, or perhaps it wants to have a bath with you. In most cases, the reasons are benign and nothing to be too worried about.

Well, whatever the reason, I’m here to help you understand why your dog is doing so and put your mind at ease.

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Dear Dog Owner

12 Reasons Why Your Dog Lays in the Bathtub?

Reasons Why Your Dog Lays in the Bathtub?

1. Comfort

The bathtub has a cool, smooth surface with a quiet atmosphere that gives your dog a calming and comfortable peace.

Dogs might be playful and noisy at times, but they still crave a cozy and comfortable haven they can burrow into.

2. Anxiety or fear

Dogs are great protectors. But it doesn’t mean they don’t feel any anxiety or fear from time to time.

Recognize the triggers that make your doggy anxious and scared. 

It could be the clap of thunder, the rumbling of vehicles, the barking of another dog, or even the presence of a new person.

Your dog’s separation anxiety is also sometimes triggered when he is left alone at home.

When your dog encounters any of these triggers, his first reaction is to find a safe and secure place for him to hide.

Your bathtub is that place since it’s small and surrounded by low walls that act as a shield for your doggy against his fears and anxiety.

3. Wants to cool down

via GIPHY

With all the fur that your doggy has, it’s no surprise that he’ll feel overheated on hot and sunny days.

Bathtubs are usually made from ceramic materials, which creates a cooler surface that’s why bathtubs offer your dog a cooler option to cool down.

Lying on your couch is too warm, and the carpet seems uncomfortable, so where else would your doggy go?

To the bathtub where it’s cooler!

4. Wants a bath

Have you always given your doggy his bath in the bathtub?

If that’s the case, it’s your dog’s way of telling you he wants a bath if he keeps lying in the bathtub.

Dogs can feel it when they are becoming dirty. Hence, your dog can sense when he already needs to take a bath.

Since he can’t do it himself, he’ll keep sending you signals of what he needs, and lying in the bathtub is one of those.

5. Dog’s bed is not comfortable

If your dog has been sleeping and lying in the bathtub instead of his bed, it’s high time to assume that his bed isn’t comfortable for him.

The bed might be too small or too big for him and it just so happens that the bathtub is the perfect fit for his size.

It’s also possible that your dog doesn’t like the place where his bed is placed so he chooses the bathtub which is inside a more quiet area.

6. Health or skin issues

If your dog is sick with a fever he’ll seek the cool comfort of the bathtub. It’s also a more peaceful area where no one will easily disturb him.

Your dog will also think that the cold surface of the bathtub will lower his hot body temperature caused by his fever.

Skin issues like dry skin and fungal infections that cause your dog’s skin to itch can also be soothed by the cold surrounding of the bathtub.

Thus, your doggy will most likely rest in it.

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Doggy says, you might be keen to read this too: My dog wants to stay inside all the time!

7. Boredom or curiosity

Not everything your dog does is cryptic.

Sometimes he does something just because he is bored or his great curiosity has pushed him to it.

When your fur baby finds a smooth and cool spot inside your home, his natural instinct is to get curious about it.

At first, your dog will just sniff around the bathtub. Later when he feels the smooth and cold surface of it, he’ll start lying down.

8. Too noisy elsewhere

The bathtub is placed inside the bathroom where noises from the outside are muffled.

When your dog wants someplace quiet, he’ll choose to stay in the bathtub to stay away from the noises that disrupt him.

Loud noises cause stress to your dog, so you can’t really blame him for seeking silence in the four walls of your bathroom.

9. Behavioral issues

I have discussed a few behavioral issues above such as anxiety and fear, but in another way, being territorial can also be one too.

Dogs are naturally territorial animals, and they might see the bathtub as their own personal space.

This is especially true if your dog is exhibiting other territorial behaviors, such as guarding toys or food.

10. Accidental encouragement

Perhaps you’ve played with your doggy in the bathtub before?

If you’ve given your dog a fun memory in the bathtub, he’ll most likely go back in there again and again just to experience that fun time.

They can be easily encouraged, and when it once felt that it was okay to stay in the bathtub, then it’ll do it again.

11. Might have done something bad

Dogs sometimes know that they did something bad. They don’t really feel guilty, they just don’t want to get punished.

Your dog must have done something he knows you’ll not approve like breaking a vase or stepping on the floor with muddy paws.

Hence, he’ll hide in the bathtub to avoid being scolded.

12. Wants to bathe with you

If your dog loves playing in the water, he might also want to bathe with you.

He knows that bathing with you means more playtime in the water like splashing here and there. 

If you’ve brought him in the bathtub to bathe with you in the past and he had a great time playing, he will want to do it again.

Doggy says, check this out too: Is your dog skipping when walking?

How to Stop Your Dog From Laying in the Bathtub

How to Stop Your Dog From Laying in the Bathtub

Provide it with a comfortable crate and bed

A comfortable crate or bed where your dog can snuggle or rest in a cozy way will help keep your dog from lying in the bathtub.

I have tried a ton of them and found that the Casper dog bed is the best solution so far.

If your dog has joint or bone problems, an orthopedic bed with a firm surface is the best for him.

Key Benefits

  • Dog bed made with pressure-relieving memory foam and durable support foam
  • Excess material on top for dogs who like to dig and scratch
  • Supportive foam bolsters for a safe space to rest their heads
  • Rip-resistant microfiber material cover

Give it a cooling pad

Giving your dog a cooling pad in his bed will provide him with the cool surface he’d been going after in the bathtub. 

The cooling pad is very helpful when the weather is too hot and your dog is begging for a cooler sensation.

Offer plenty of mental stimulation

Mental stimulations like scent work and playing catch will help distract your dog from going inside the bathroom just to lie in the bathtub.

Providing mental stimulation for your dog is a productive and wise way to cut his odd behavior of lying in the bathtub.

Limit your dog’s access to the bathroom

Will your dog still be able to keep lying in the bathtub if the bathroom has been locked?

Close and lock the bathroom when no one is using it so your dog won’t be able to sneak inside.

Check for any health issues

It’s best to check your dog for any health issue that’s causing him to keep coming back to the bathtub.

Signs of skin irritations will help you decide what medical attention to give him since the most common health issue of a dog seeking cold surfaces is skin issues.

Create a safe space

Create a safe space for your dog inside your house where he won’t feel as exposed when noises and other people are around.

This safe space will serve as his refuge when his surroundings become too overwhelming to deal with.

Redirect your dog

Redirecting your dog involves redirecting their attention to other things around the house that don’t include the bathtub.

You can train him to sit or lie down on his bed instead of the bathtub, and if he does what you said you can give him some treat as a positive reward.

Doggy says, you might be keen to read this too: Why do Chihuahuas sleep so much?

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Why does my dog sleep in the bathroom?

Bathrooms have significantly cooler temperatures than the rest of the house. That’s why your dog sleeps in there. Another reason is that the smaller size of the bathroom resembles that of a den, which makes your dog feel like he’s in his natural habitat.

Why is my dog lying on the bathroom floor?

The cold bathroom floor is a cozy spot for your dog to lie into that’s why he loves it there. 

Why does my dog lay in the bathroom when I shower?

Your dog loves being with you. He’ll follow you as much as he can, even when you are in the bathroom. Dogs are very social and loyal animals that naturally feel obligated to follow those who treat them well.

Why do baths give dogs zoomies?

Most dogs don’t like taking a bath. They become so relieved from finishing a bath that they release their pent-up energy, causing them to do the “dog’s zoomies.”

Do baths stress dogs out?

Dogs have subjective reactions toward baths. Some enjoy playing in the water while taking a bath, while others just put up with it because they’ve got no choice, and that can cause stress

In Conclusion: Why is My Dog Laying in the Bathtub?

Dogs have many behaviors that may confuse or amaze us, and while it may seem odd, there are a variety of reasons why your furry friend might enjoy the bathtub.

If it doesn’t bother or interfere with your or your dog’s life, there’s really not much to do about it, but if you discover that there are deeper problems behind this behavior, you should start taking action.

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Zack Keithy
Zack Keithy

Hey, I'm Zack, the Chief Editor here. I was formerly a Certified Veterinary Technician (CVT) for a good 6 years before moving on to greener pastures. Right now, I am still heavily involved in dog parenting duties, and it is my desire to share all our knowledge with fellow dog owners out there! Connect with me on LinkedIn, or read more about Canine Care Central!

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