Summary: In this blog, we discuss whether you should let your dog sleep in your bed! We’ll look at the pros and cons of dogs sleeping in bed and why Fido likes sleeping at the foot of the bed so much too. Read on to find out more about dogs sleeping in bed…
Should I Let My Dog Sleep In My Bed?
We all want to snuggle up to our fur baby. They’re warm, soft, and very comforting – who wouldn’t? But, it’s one thing getting cozy together on the couch, but is sharing a bed one step too far? Should you let your dog sleep in the bed?
Humans and dogs have been sleeping alongside one another for centuries, but is it disruptive to your sleep? Is it bad for your’s or your dog’s health? And, what should you consider before letting your dog sleep in the bed…?
Should Dogs Sleep In Your Bed?
It can enhance your bond – Sleeping together lets your dog know you’re part of their pack and can ultimately bring your closer together! Some owners even claim that their dog is more obedient and responds more positively to training because of co-sleeping….
It can ease anxiety and increase a sense of security – Having Fido next to you in bed can help you feel safer and more secure, which thus can reduce anxiety. A dog’s brain is wired so it remains alert to sounds and danger, even when they’re asleep, so it can be very comforting and reassuring to have your personal guard dog next to you in bed.
It can boost your mental health – Just being in the presence of dogs can boost our wellbeing. Studies have found that our brains release happy hormones like dopamine and serotonin when we’re with our pups, so being tucked up in a bed with them can arguably make us happier!
It can disturb your sleep – Studies have shown that people who co-sleep with their pet do have a more frequently disturbed night’s sleep. Dogs have a polyphasic sleep pattern whilst humans have a monophonic one: we tend to sleep once in a 24-hour time period whereas dogs tend to sleep 2 or 3 sleep times over a 24-hour time period. Also, because their brains are wired to still hear alerting sounds, they may disrupt you more frequently if they wake to an unfamiliar noise.
It can induce or worsen separation anxiety – Sleeping with your dog can induce separation anxiety. They may struggle more being away from you or being left in the house alone. If your dog already has separation anxiety, co-sleeping might not help their situation.
It can disrupt your relationship – Dogs take up a lot of the bed space, and as well as literally getting in the middle of you and your partner, this can also reduce the emotional and intimate connection you share. Disrupted sleep can make you grumpier and short-tempered which can present itself as an issue between you and your partner and there’s less room for spooning, hand-holding and intimate touch between you both at night.
It can bring unwanted germs into the bed – Sharing a bed with a dog can introduce more germs and bugs to your sheets. Their paws walk on grass and the streets in the day, and as well as general bacteria, there is a heightened risk of fleas, ticks, and mites finding their way into your bed too. If you change your bedsheets on the regular, Fido is being given regular parasitic prevention treatment and is being bathed an appropriate amount then this shouldn’t be too much of an issue.
It can aggravate human allergies – As well as bacteria, your dog can also bring allergens into your bed and bedroom. You may not be allergic to your dog, but if they’ve brought in grass or pollen on their fur or paws and you suffer from hay fever, for example, it can leave you vulnerable to a reaction.
It’s Your Choice
Co-sleeping with your dog is ultimately your choice. As long the pros outweigh the cons for you and whoever else you’re sharing your bed with, then dogs sleeping in the bed can actually be a very pleasant, beneficial experience.
If you decide to sleep with your dog, make sure you keep them above the covers (maybe on their own separate blanket), have a mattress protector on your bed under the sheet, know that your dog is clean and up to date on their parasitic prevention and shots, and be confident in their training.
Never sleep with a dog that has aggression issues (even if they’re OK with you) or one that isn’t house trained.
Why Do Dogs Sleep At The Foot Of The Bed?
When dogs were wild, they would sleep in packs for warmth and protection. Whoever was the leader of the pack, tended to get the best sleeping spot too. When your dog sleeps at the foot of your bed, it’s because they’re protecting their pack leader (you!) and trying to keep you both warm!
Why Does My Dog Sleep Under My Bed?
Dogs tend to like a small, contained space to take a nap in as it’s quieter and helps them feel safe. Under the bed can be a prime spot for this! The carpet is often untouched in this area too, which makes it comfier and the temperature under the bed might be attractive as well. Whatever reason your dog sought this spot out, it’s because it provides them comfort. They wouldn’t rest there otherwise. Also, they know it’s near you!
“The Pros And Cons Of Sleeping With Your Dog” Dog Eared, By Ollie, Aug 31. 2020 https://blog.myollie.com/the-pros-and-cons-of-sleeping-with-your-dog/
Author Gibeault, Stephanie MSc, CPDT “Should I Let My Dog Sleep With Me?” American Kennel Club, Jul. 24 2017 https://www.akc.org/expert-advice/lifestyle/should-my-dog-sleep-with-me/