Why Does My Dog Lay On My Stomach? 

Why Does My Dog Lay On My Stomach? 

NotABully.org is reader-supported. We may earn a small commission through products purchased using links on this page.

How are you supposed to get anything done when you have a dog laying on your stomach?  That’s a trick question, you can’t!  

Although it’s charming that your pet wants to relax right on top of you, literally, it’s a good idea to try and figure out why they are doing this.  

So why would your dog lay on your stomach?

Some reasons why your dog is laying on your stomach could be that your dog has separation anxiety, that your dog feels comfortable there, or that your dog is protecting you.  If you’re a woman, this change in behavior could also mean that you might be pregnant!

If you think your dog is laying on your stomach more than usual, stick around to find out why!  Here are some possible explanations for this strange change in behavior.

Reason 1: You Are Pregnant.

Surprise!  Have you ever heard that dogs are able to detect pregnancy?  This is actually a widely agreed upon idea!  Certainly, dogs can tell if their owners are pregnant.  Not only does your stomach grow much larger in pregnancy but many other things in your life change. 

Your hormones change and even your behavior changes when you are pregnant. Smelling your breath or just about any other part of you can reveal a lot of your dog and laying on your stomach is perfect for collecting all kinds of information!

This adorable video shows dogs protecting and laying on the bellies of their pregnant owners.  You can clearly see that these dogs are aware that something has changed!

Some dogs will definitely become more protective of you, and your stomach while you are pregnant!  This will lead to them lying on your stomach, or even falling asleep on it!

While we can clearly see that dogs might lay on a very pregnant belly, what about the stomach of someone who is pregnant but doesn’t know yet?  Could your dog be predicting your pregnancy even before you can?

Although this experiment hasn’t been scientifically proven, it has been proven that dogs can smell changes in hormones of their owners.  So, your scent changes very slightly when you are pregnant, and your dog’s nose is sensitive enough to recognize this change

Even if you and your dog don’t know it yet, this might be why your dog keeps laying on your stomach. 

Reason 2: Your Dog Is Protecting You.

Your stomach is a very vulnerable part of your body!  The abdomen contains many vital organs and has very little protection

Dogs are very intuitive, and in truth they really are animals!  They can sense strength and weakness, smell sickness, and follow their instincts.   It’s not such a crazy concept to think that dogs can sense our weak spots, like our stomachs.  Your dog may be laying over your stomach to act as a protector or guardian. 

Back in the day many dogs had jobs.  Dogs were bred for jobs like herding, hunting, and guarding families or properties.  German Shepherds, Rottweilers, and Doberman Pinschers are just a few examples of dogs that were bred to be protective.

If your dog was historically bred to be a protector, they might still take that job very seriously.

By laying on you, your dog is able to rest easy while also ensuring that you and your vulnerable parts (like your stomach) are safe! Some dogs may even fall asleep on your stomach if they take their jobs to heart! 

Laying on your stomach makes your dog feel like they are keeping you safe.

Other dogs may take a different approach and lay by the door or strategically position themselves with you behind them but it’s often all related to the same instincts to protect.

Reason 3: Your Dog Could Have Separation Anxiety.

Another reason your dog is laying on your stomach could be that your dog has anxiety.

Just like people have anxiety, dogs do too. Separation anxiety is the most common anxiety disorder that dogs develop.  So why would separation anxiety lead to your dog laying on your stomach?

Well, one way that dogs are comforted is through physical touch.  A perfect example is the way that puppies lay with one another after they are born.  Even if puppies are in a warm environment, they will still choose to lay in a ‘puppy pile.”  If you’ve never seen a puppy pile before, check this video out to see what we mean!

You can see that the puppies all stay very close together!  This is comforting, calming and safe to them.

Your dog can also get this sort of calming effect by laying on you.  If your dog has separation anxiety, and worries about you leaving, a very natural response is to lay right on your stomach, so you can’t leave.  Not only does this relax your furry friend, but it also assures them that you are not going anywhere soon! 

Reason 4: It’s Just Comfortable!

We say this with love, but maybe your tummy is just comfy!  

Most people put on a little extra weight when they started working from home a few years ago.  If you’re one of these people you may have just created a super comfortable new spot for your dog to lay on, so congrats!

Think about it, your stomach really might be the softest part of your body!  If you’re sitting on the couch or laying in bed and your dog wants to be next to you, they probably don’t want to get cozy on a leg or elbow. 

Of course, some dogs don’t care and they’ll lay on just about any part of you- including your face! But comfort loving pups will be after your stomach!  It’s a large, soft, and warm area that many dogs enjoy laying on.  So don’t worry, if your dog keeps laying on your stomach, the most simple reason for that could just be that they like to lay on your stomach!  And this is because your stomach is a nice place for them to rest their head. 

What’s The Takeaway Here?

There are a few different reasons that your dog could be laying on your stomach.  If this behavior started recently, it might be a good idea to take a look at any recent changes to your life.  Did your schedule change, do you need to leave home more often, could you be pregnant?

Hopefully, this habit that your dog has formed makes you feel loved and not smothered!

Your Dog Probably Isn’t Acting Aggressively Towards You.

Don’t worry about it if you think that your dog is showing aggressive behavior by laying on your stomach.  Growling, baring teeth, standing stiff and making direct eye contact are normal signs of aggression in dogs.  If they’re just laying their head on your stomach, this doesn’t have anything to do with aggression.

Did your dog knock you to the ground to get on you?  Is your dog growling while also laying on your stomach?  That might be a reason to worry!

Probably,  your dog isn’t trying to be aggressive towards you by just laying on top of you.  Even though the weight of a whole dog can feel intimidating (especially on your stomach), that is not what they’re trying to do to you!

Should You Worry About Your Dog Laying On Your Stomach?

The easy answer here is, no!  You don’t need to worry if your pup wants to spend time on your tummy. The same is true for dogs that want to lay on any other part of you too!

However, if you are worried that your dog is laying on you because they have separation anxiety, that is a disorder that could escalate.  Anxiety can quickly escalate from laying on you to more destructive behaviors.

Maintaining a predictable schedule, giving your dog exercise and attention can help with anxiety.  Proper training can also be a huge help!  This video shows an example of a dog with severe separation anxiety and what her owner did to help.

And if you still feel like your dog is suffering from anxiety, it’s never a bad idea to make a visit to the veterinarian!

If you have a feeling that your dog is laying on your stomach because you could be pregnant, we suggest you find a more reliable test than your pup’s nose!

All In All?

After considering all of these factors, we hope you figured out why your dog is laying on your stomach!  Most of the things that could cause this change in your pup aren’t alarming.  Your dog could be feeling nervous, protective, or comfortable.  They could also be sensing a change in hormones from pregnancy.  

Whatever the case is, make sure you enjoy the cuddles your furry friend gives you, and remember they might just be saying, “I love you.”