Should You Allow Your Dog to Sleep in Your Bed?
When you are a new dog owner, you get a lot of unwarranted advice. One thing you will hear from many other dog owners and dog trainers is that you should never let your dog sleep in bed with you. You will hear all sort of reasons from allergies to showing your dog who is the pack leader. But those puppy snuggles are sometimes just too hard to resist! Is it really all that bad to let your dog snuggle in bed with you? We are going to share with you all the potential pros and cons of sleeping with your dog so you can make the decision for yourself!
Pros to Letting Your Dog Sleep In Your Bed
Let’s be honest here, the cuddles are the mane driving factor to wanting to allow your dog in bed with you. It is all about getting those precious snuggles in before drifting off to sleep.
While this may seem surface level, cuddles are truly wonderful for reducing stress and inducing sleep. If you need help getting to bed at night, a good cuddle can be a natural and enjoyable way to fall asleep easier.
We LOVE a good snuggle from our pets and loved ones. But did you know it good improve your sleep and all over health? Read our blog How To Cuddle: The Benefits of Cuddling to learn more.
2) Staying Warm
If you live somewhere where the winters get bitterly cold, having your dog sleep in bed with you can be a great way for you both to stay warm. Even if you are just someone who tends to get easily chilled, snuggling with your dog can be a great way to keep cozy.
It is commonly believed that the small dog breed Shih Tzus were bred and kept to keep Emperors warm wherever they went. Dogs tend to stay around 6 degrees warmer than humans. Which means they do a really great job at being little toasters. (Of course, this can be a downside in the summer or if you often get too hot at night.)
3) Security & Peace of Mind
Many dog owners find both companionship and security in owning a dog. A great security dog can do their job from just about anywhere in your home. However, there is a certain peace of mind that can come when you have your dog stay in bed with you. If you have ever had one of those nights where you hear a suspicious sound in the other room, then you know what I am talking about.
Having your dog in bed with you can help to make you feel safe. Even if you would be just as safe with them either sleeping on the floor, or even if they would simply beg for pets from any intruders. It is much more about the peace of mind than any true added security in this case. You can literally sleep peacefully at night knowing your trusty guard dog is right there with you.
4) Reduces Dog Separation Anxiety
Dogs are pack animals, if you ever see a pack of puppies, they are always snuggled up in a big cuddle puddle. While this is not always true for all dog breeds, most dogs prefer to sleep with their pack at night. When separated they may become anxious and have a difficult time sleeping.
Which can lead to drying and whining. If you want to avoid this, one option is to simply avoid the struggle all together and just allow them to sleep in your bed. Not all trainers or other dog owners will agree with this tactic, but it does work. If in the long run you know deep down you would prefer your dog not to sleep on the bed with you, then do not allow this. The more consistent you can be the better.
Sleeping with Anxiety is no easy task for you or your pup. If you’re struggling to get a full nights rest, visit our page How To Sleep Better With Anxiety for tips and tricks on getting a full nights rest.
5) Helps with Insomnia
If you have a hard time getting to sleep at night, having a cuddly dog to snuggle up with can be very helpful. There is a level of loneliness that can contribute to insomnia. Sleeping with another person or animal can actually help your heartrate to slow down and for your breathing to align. This could quite legitimately help you to fall asleep at night.
Dogs love a good schedule and can often alert you to what time it is and that it is in fact, time to go to bed. While this is not a cure all and you should absolutely talk to your doctor if you are struggling to get sleep. Having your closest pal to snuggle in bed with you can make bed a happier place to relax and finally get some sleep.
6) Strengthen Dog & Owner Bond
If you are looking to create a strong bond between yourself and your dog, sleeping together can be a great way to do this. Whether you take naps and cuddle on the couch, or by allowing them up on the bed with you at night. Sleeping next to each other requires a lot of trust from both parties. One sign that your dog trusts you and feels safe around you, is when they sleep and show their stomachs.
This is just about as vulnerable as it gets as a dog. They know you will not hurt them and they feel safe around you. Just like human relationships, relationships with pets rely on trust first before a close bond can be made.
7) Puppy Alarm Clock
If you have a hard time getting up in the morning, a dog can be a great solution to this issue. They will let you know that it is time to be awake and go outside. Or perhaps simply time to play! I don’t know about you, but I would much rather wake up each morning to puppy kisses than a loud alarm clock.
If you are constantly ignoring your alarm clock, don’t worry. You will not be able to ignore your dog. They will bark, jump, scratch, and give kisses until you finally get out of bed to let them outside and give them breakfast. Ideal for anyone who truly needs that added help waking up.
8) Companion to Kids
Children often get lonely and have a hard time not staying in bed with their parents. Having a puppy companion can be a wonderful way to help your child feel safe and secure at night. This is typically better with older dogs then puppies as young dogs might just keep your kids awake more than helping them to get to sleep at night.
Dogs can help your child feel safe, provide comfort after a bad dream, and help them feel like they are not alone when sleeping in their own room. Just as adults can get comfort from having their dogs sleep next to them, so can children.
9) It Will Make You and Your Dog Happy
At the end of the day, there is one main reason why dog owners allow their dogs to sleep in bed with them. Which is that it makes them and their dog happy. We are about to get into all of the reasons why allowing your dog in bed with you could be a bad idea. Keep in mind, if you can see past all these cons and it really just makes you happier to allow your dog in bed with you, then do it. It all depends on what works best for you and your dog at the end of the day.
Cons to Letting Your Dog Sleep In Your Bed:
1) Sleep Interruptions
Having a dog in general is likely to cause some sleep interruptions. If they are feeling uncomfortable or sick, you are going to be woken up. Dogs don’t naturally sleep in the same way that humans do. Humans are monophasic sleepers, which essentially means that we typically get all of our sleep for the day in one big rest overnight. While dogs are built to take many small rests throughout the day and night. Hence why you see them taking naps all day long.
Why does this make a difference? Well, it means that they are going to wake up throughout the night much more often than we would. They might stretch, want to eat a little, take a big drink of water, maybe even walk around, or scratch their beds. All of this could wake you up or disrupt your sleep.
2) Risk of Ticks, Fleas, or Diseases
While there are not many illnesses that can pass from dog to human, there are some health concerns that come from sharing a bed with your pet. The first is that if your dog has ticks or fleas, that they could spread along to you. These pests can carry diseases like lyme disease.
While this is not at all common, and if you protect your dog from fleas and ticks, this should not be a concern. However, it is worth noting as it can happen. Especially if you recently adopted a pet from a rescue and they only recently got picked up.
3) Fur In The Bed
Dogs can shed a lot of fur. If you know, you know. When your dog sheds a lot (consistently or seasonally) it can really get everywhere. If you let your dog into bed with you, you will have dog fur all over your bed. Not only is this generally annoying, it can also irritate allergies which could make it harder to sleep well.
We always recommend that you change or wash your sheets every 2 weeks at least. Even if you are a generally clean single adult. However, if your dog is sleeping in your bed you might have to wash your bedding much more frequently than that. There is only so much a lint roller and vacuum can do.
4) No Sleeping In
Say goodbye to sleeping in! Dogs love to have a consistent schedule and they do not understand what weekends are. If you typically wake up very early to start your weekdays, they will want to wake up at that same time even on your days off. Which means you will need to wake up to take them outside and get them breakfast in the morning.
If you are someone who from time to time likes to sleep in, you may want to reconsider having a dog all together. Let alone letting them sleep in your bed. If they have access to sleeping in your bed, be ready for big kisses waking you up in the morning when you don’t get up on time.
5) Too Hot
While some dog owners love that their dogs help to keep them warm and cozy at night, others may view this as a downside. Dogs tend to run much warmer than humans do. Which means they are little toasters and can heat you up at night. This could be a problem in the summer time or if you easily overheat at night. If you often find yourself waking up hot and sweaty, this will increase if you let your dog sleep in bed with you.
Dogs Snore! Did you know that some dogs can snore louder than humans? This is going to be more true for larger dog breeds than smaller ones. However, even some smaller breeds like French bulldogs and pugs can snore incredibly loudly.
If you wake up easily to noises or have a hard time falling asleep to the sound of snoring, then you may want to reconsider allowing your dog to sleep in bed with you. It really can be very difficult to fall asleep when a bull dog is shaking the bed with their monstrous snores. While some find it charming, others may be annoyed and unable to fall asleep. Consider this factor before allowing your dog up on the bed.
7) Separating you and your partner
Something we have personally experienced is the dogs separating us in bed. It is difficult to snuggle up with your partner when your dogs are both sprawled out between the two of you. For some reason the only place our dogs like to sleep is directly between myself and my husband. If you have a partner that you love to snuggle with at night, you may find that you are no longer able to as your dog has turned into a forever buffer between the two of you.
Not only will a dog in bed limit the amount of cuddle time you get with your partner. It can also be a serious deterrent to your intimate life. It becomes much more difficult to spice things up in the bedroom when your dog is laying right there. This is a big downside to allowing your dog to sleep in bed with you.
Tired of sleeping next to your partner anyway? If you love your partner but can’t stand sleeping next to them then it maybe time to get a Sleep Divorce.
8) Increased allergies
Even if you are not allergic to your dog, you may be allergic to the grass they rolled around in right before bed. Not only do dogs spread around their fur and dander, they also bring along with them a lot of allergens from outside. If you struggle with allergies, allowing your dog in bed will absolutely increase your struggle.
Dogs collect allergens in their fur from walking outside, to roaming in the flowers, or rolling in the weeds. All those pollens grab onto your dog’s fur that is then transferred onto your bed and sheets every time they jump up and snuggle into bed. Which means you are now falling asleep in a bed full of wildflowers. Which may sound beautiful, but will absolutely leave you itchy and sneezing.
Click the link to learn more about how you can cut down on allergens in order to get better sleep in our post: Allergies and Your Mattress
9) Dogs Are Active Dreamers
It is common for dogs to bark, kick, run, howl, and even growl in their sleep as they are dreaming. This all comes back to potential sleep disruption by allowing your dog to sleep in bed with you. Even a small dog can accidentally lang a kick to your stomach that will wake you up in pain.
While a big dog could do much more damage and really wake you up in a jiffy. While it may be cute to watch your pup dreaming as they are passed out on the couch, it is much less fun to wake up with a paw to the face.
Had any ruff nightmares lately? Learn how to fall asleep after waking up from a bad dream. Visit our page How To Go To Sleep After a Nightmare to learn how.
10) It Could Be Unsafe
If you have a small dog, it might not be safe to have them sleep in the bed with you. Some dogs are so small that if you roll over, they may not be able to get out from under you. This is especially true if you currently have a young puppy that you are raising.
It is important to keep your dog’s safety in mind whenever you bring them into your bed. It may be sweet to get those puppy snuggles in, but you want to make sure your bed is a safe place for them to be.
11) Less Space In Bed
No matter how large the bed, or small the dog, it seems like your bed will forever have far less space. If you have a small bed and a big dog, you better be prepared for a lot of snuggles.
If you prefer to have leg space and the ability to spread out, then you may not want to sleep in the same bed as your dog. Instead, you may want to opt to keep your bed for humans only.
Looking for a good dog bed? Check out our post: The Best Dog Beds
Should You Allow Your Dog to Sleep in Your Bed? – Final Answer!
No… or Yes? Here is the thing, there are a lot more potential cons than pros when it comes to allowing your dog to sleep in bed with you. However, if you just love to have your dog snuggled up with you, then do it! Each dog and dog owner relationship are different. Whether or not you let your dog up on the bed should not be determined by outside opinions. If you don’t mind washing your sheets repeatedly to remove dirt and dog fur, then go for it. We certainly won’t stop you. Do whatever works for you, your dog, and your family.
Have your own reasons for snuggling with your pup? We would love to hear them. Feel free to reach out and Contact Us we would love to hear why you love sleeping next to your fluffy friend.
Check out this article if you want general tips for better sleep