Recently, you’ve noticed your dog ducking into the bathroom. He doesn’t seem sick or injured, but his behavior also doesn’t have any rhyme or reason to it. Without information to guide your inquiries, you are unsure why this behavior has arisen in your beloved canine companion. You’ve heard stories about dogs disappearing so they can die in peace, so you are reasonably concerned. To discover what you should do to address this issue, you ask the internet: why does my dog hide in the bathroom?
Dogs hide in the bathroom to feel safe when they are sick, anxious or seeking a quiet place. Hiding may be a sign that your dog is in pain and needs medical assistance.
In this article, we will explore why your dog hides in the bathroom, whether you should be concerned, and anything you can do to stop the behavior.
Reasons Your Dog Hides In the Bathroom
Dogs hide in the bathroom for a variety of reasons. Below are the most common you’ll see:
He Is Unwell
When dogs are unwell, being either sick or injured, they feel vulnerable, so they hide to protect themselves. It is a profoundly entrenched instinct in dogs and most animals.
In the wild, vulnerable animals which have failed to hide properly are at an increased risk of danger since predators might see them as an easy meal. Even dogs, domesticated for thousands of years, participate in this strange behavior.
If you see your dog displaying other abnormal behavior, such as limping, or if he has developed some outward sickness, he is unwell and needs veterinary attention. Be aware that your dog is in a highly anxious state, so speak softly and be gentle.
He Is Anxious
If a dog feels nervous, he will try to get away from the danger and into a safe place, which is the bathroom in this case. Often, anxiety is caused by loud sounds, such as thunderstorms, fireworks, or a television with the volume turned up.
If you determine that you are inadvertently causing your dog anxiety, stop performing the behavior bothering your dog immediately.
If external factors, like thunderstorms, cause it, comfort your dog with soothing words and a low tone of voice as the anxiety-inducing event is happening. You may also direct him to a new hiding place, such as your bedroom.
He Sees The Bathroom As A Quiet Place
Dogs need a place where they can unwind and relax–and that may be your bathroom! Especially in noisy households (think children, big families, or frequent guests) where there are not many places where the sound level is below explosive, dogs seek out places that people don’t use for social interaction.
If you don’t find this bothersome, there is no harm in allowing your dog to use the bathroom as a refuge. If you find this annoying, then it is essential to establish an alternative for your dog.
It would help if you considered setting a rule with your guests or children that protects your dog when he retreats to a specific place. For instance, you could say, “When Biscuit goes into my room, no one may bother him.”
If you spot your dog hiding in the bathroom, remove him gently and place him in the new refuge place. Over time, your dog will retreat to this new space instead of the bathroom.
Your Dog Is Disgusted By Something
Dogs’ hypersensitive noses can be disturbed by pungent odors, and in this case, he will avoid the smell by hiding in the bathroom.
If you notice your dog disappearing when you open up a can of sardines, or cut an onion, or pull out a wheel of gorgonzola, he’s trying to escape the smell unobtrusively. Is it possible to do without the stinky item? If so, you should stop using it to ensure your dog is always comfortable.
The Dog Was Abused
If your dog was abused, the bathroom might have been a place of refuge for him in the past.
Abused animals are more skittish than non-abused animals, so they are more likely to experience anxiety in even calm situations. An abused dog may hide in the bathroom as a coping mechanism for everyday life.
He Likes To Drink From The Toilet
If you leave the toilet lid up and discover your dog with a wet muzzle, he drinks from the toilet. Dogs drink from the toilet because the water is constantly available, and it tastes cool and fresh to them.
It is essential to give your dog plenty of fresh water; change his water at least once a day. Some pet owners recommend pet fountains, which run water all day so it’s fresh and cold whenever your pet might want it.
Toilet water is not dangerous for dogs, although cleaners and bleaches used to disinfect toilets can cause health problems. Leave the toilet lid down and make sure your dog has access to clean water at all times.
Is It Normal For Dogs To Hide
Many dogs hide when they feel the need to establish a safe place for themselves, but it is not necessarily “normal” behavior. If your dog has suddenly started hiding in the bathroom, you should determine the cause of his behavior. It may not be something to be concerned about, but any shift in behavior is noteworthy for pets in general.
If you believe your pet’s behavior is due to an illness or excessive stress/anxiety, or if you cannot determine the cause of your dog’s behavior, it is always a good idea to take him to the vet.
Professionals can test your dog for illnesses or injuries as well as prescribe medication if necessary. Ultimately, they are the most reliable source of advice.
On the other hand, some dogs’ quirks of personalities could be to blame. If your dog has done this since you brought him home, it may be a habit that he has learned and reinforced over time.
Overall, the sudden appearance of behavior is far more concerning than behavior that has been present all along. In any case, if you are worried that your dog may be injured or ill, you should take him to the vet.
Why Do Dogs Suddenly Start Hiding
Dogs suddenly start hiding for many reasons, such as sickness, injury, or stress. It is essential to pay attention to your dog’s triggers to determine what brought on the new behavior.
If your dog has started hiding and you can’t determine a pattern to his behavior, then he might be suffering from an illness or injury. Many animals will hide from people when they are sick or injured because they believe it is safer to do so.
When this seems to be the case, it is crucial to take your dog to a veterinarian since they will be able to determine whether he is injured or ill and the extent of the damage.
Dogs also hide when stressed, so it is vital to keep track of when your dog disappears into the bathroom. Is it when visitors come over? Or is it during a specific time of day? Does he retreat when thunderstorms roll? Once you discover the source of your dog’s stress, you can take steps to minimize and contain the stress. Make sure your dog always has a quiet room that they can retreat to when they are stressed. Otherwise, the problem will only worsen until your dog feels threatened enough to lash out with a nip.
Do Dogs Hide When They Are Dying
Some dogs hide when they are dying because they feel weakened. Weak animals make easy prey in the wild, so if a dog feels weak, he also feels threatened and will seek a safe place.
However, dogs hide for many other reasons, so if your dog has suddenly started to hide in the bathroom, don’t jump to the conclusion that he is dying. It is a good idea to take him to the vet for a check-up to make sure that he isn’t sick or injured and also to put your mind at rest.
Do Dogs Hide When They Are Sick
Some dogs hide when they are sick because they feel threatened by their own weakness. In the wild, sick animals are easily attacked since they cannot fight back, so a dog will find a safe place–such as the bathroom–to hide and wait out the cold.
If your dog has started hiding suddenly and seems to be experiencing other physical symptoms, you should bring him to a veterinarian to make sure that it is nothing serious.
How To Stop A Dog From Hiding In The Bathroom
Before you stop your dog from hiding in the bathroom, it is crucial to determine why he is hiding in the bathroom.
If it only happens when there are stressful circumstances (think: many people, loud noises, etc.), then it is crucial to minimize the effect of those circumstances. If the behavior has suddenly begun, then it is essential to bring your dog to a vet so you can gain a complete understanding of the issue.
Once you address the root cause of the issue (treating the illness/injury, telling guests to keep their voices lowered, etc.), you can begin to train your dog out of the habit. Because hiding in the bathroom is a sign that your dog is seeking a safe place, creating a safe place for your dog is essential.
This area should have low foot traffic, be quiet, accessible, and, if possible, have access to water. Bedrooms are a good choice because they tend to be unused for the majority of the day.
When your dog retreats into the bathroom, gently lead him into his new safe place. You may want to put some comforting items in the new safe place as well, such as his bed or a beloved toy, to encourage the shift.
Once your dog has associated the new place with safety, consider closingthe bathroom door. Over time, your dog will see this new room as his safe place and will retreat there instead.
It should also be noted that a dog hiding in the bathroom is not necessarily a problem. If it bothers you, then your dog’s hiding habits are indeed a problem, but if they don’t bother you, then you don’t need to worry about training the habit out of him.
However, it is essential to understand why he hides because it could signify stress or pain.
Overall, a dog hides because of one core reason–he’s retreating. He may feel threatened by an injury or some illness or by circumstances, but he is seeking a safe place, which happens to be your bathroom.
Your first step should be inspecting your dog for any other symptoms that may indicate illness or injury. If you are worried about his health, bring him to the vet.
Next, if you believe his retreating behavior has to do with stress in his environment, you should take steps to eliminate or lessen that stress. For instance, if your dog has social anxiety, tell guests to keep their voices down and allow them to retreat without following after him.
Finally, determine whether or not his bathroom-hiding habits are genuinely a problem for you. If they aren’t, then there is no issue with your dog’s continuing behavior. If they are, you can take simple steps to train your dog out of them.
Find a new safe place in your house, which should be quiet and accessible to your dog (in other words, if your dog has trouble climbing the stairs, then the room should be on the first floor), and lead your dog there whenever he retreats into the bathroom.
Once he has started to associate safety with the new room, you may start closing the bathroom door to discourage his behavior.