Should you Let your Dog Sleep in your Bed?
Published on September 10th, 2019
Many dog owners let their dogs sleep in their beds with them, but should you let your dog sleep in your bed?
Where does your dog sleep at night?
Mine are downstairs in their fluffy little dog beds, but many people choose to co-sleep with their dogs.
I have to admit, if it was up to me, my two Shih Tzus would probably be in our bed with us, but unfortunately my husband doesn’t agree!
Should I let my dog sleep with me?
Research has shown that almost 50% of people let their dogs sleep in their bed.
Are you part of that statistic?
If you’re not, but you are thinking that you might possibly like to be, read on find out the good and bad reasons to let your dog (or dogs!) co-sleep with you.
5 benefits of letting your dog sleep in your bed
Thinking about letting your dog sleep in your bed? Here are five reasons why it’s a great idea!
1) Get a sense of security
My dogs don’t usually sleep in the bed with us, as my husband has a mild allergy to dog fur which gets worse at night if the dogs are in the bed.
However, when he stays away for work and I’m alone in the house, it can see a bit scary at night.
Every little noise seems louder than usual, and the bed can seem very big and empty all my myself.
On those nights, I let the dogs upstairs and they sleep in the bed with me.
This instantly makes me feel more comfortable and safe, knowing that I’ve got my dogs around me.
2) Know that your dog is safe
If your dog is an escape artist or likes to chew things that you’d really wish they wouldn’t, then co-sleeping can be a good way to know that your dog is safe and not doing something he shouldn’t.
When we had our dogs neutered, they slept upstairs with us for a few nights so that we could keep an eye on them in the night and hear them if they whined.
We didn’t actually have them on the bed as that would have been dangerous in case they tried jumping off and tore their stitches, but just knowing they were in the same room made us feel more comfortable.
I think it helped them too, as they were in pain and still groggy from the aesthetic, so having us close was a comfort factor.
3) Ease separation anxiety
Speaking of comfort, does your dog have separation anxiety?
If so, they may be prone to waking up in the night and not knowing where you are.
This can make them whine, bark or become destructive.
Co-sleeping with your dog will alleviate the separation anxiety as your dog will be snuggled up next to you all night.
4) Keep warm in the winter
Save money on your heating bills this winter by getting a big furry hot water bottle instead!
If your bedroom tends to be on the chilly side, having your dog in bed with you can really heat things up, especially if they cuddle up to you and pass on their warmth.
This is especially effective if you have large-breed dog such as a golden retriever, Labrador or staffie.
5) Get a better night’s sleep
You might find that simply having your dog in bed with you means that both you and he get a better night’s sleep.
Your subconscious will sleep deeply knowing that your dog is safe and secure. They might sleep better too, for exactly the same reason!
One of my dogs frequently wakes up in the night and whines at the stairs as he wants to be let out in the garden.
I don’t really have a problem with this as I’d much rather he woke me up than relived himself on the floor, however on the occasions when he sleeps in bed with me he NEVER wakes up in the night.
I think this is related to anxiety really, as he tends to wake up very easily if he hears a noise, and I think he just wants the reassurance than I really am still upstairs and haven’t magically disappeared whilst he has been sleeping.
I also find that when the dogs sleep in bed with me, they sleep much later in the mornings!
Socks is usually a wake-you-up-at-6am dog, or even earlier in the summer when the mornings get light any time from about 4.30am.
After a couple of nights of being woken up at 4.30, having the dogs sleep upstairs can definitely seem worth it to avid the early-morning dog alarm!
The negatives of sleeping with your dog in bed with you
All those positive reasons sound pretty great, but there are a few potential negatives of sleeping with your dog that you should be aware of before making the decision.
If you have mild allergies, these can be exacerbated by sleeping with your dog in your bed.
You may find that your sleep quality suffers if your dog is restless and spends the night shifting positions or getting on the bed, off the bed, on the bed, off the bed. I speak from experience here!
Also… you might not want to be woken up by having your face kissed by your dog with his lovely morning breath!
Having your dog in the bed may cause friction in your relationship if your partner isn’t keen on letting them sleep there.
There is some thought as well that having your dog sleep in bed with you might actually make conditions such as separation anxiety or resource guarding worse. However, this has not been proven, and there are also cases of where co-sleeping can improve these conditions, so it’s really dependent on the individual dog and their characteristics and temperament.
Overall, it’s fair to say that there are both good and bad reasons to share your bed with your dog.
Ultimately, it’s up to you and your family to decide the best sleeping arrangements for your pets.
If you do end up with your dog in your bed though, I bet they’ll be super happy and grateful about it!