There are several reasons that make letting your dog sleep on your bed seem like a good idea. But is it really? Like with anything there are some benefits to it, and some issues with it. Let’s take a look at some of the benefits to your dog sleeping in bed with you.
This study claims that 41% of participants slept better with their pets than without. So while that means that it does help some people with their sleep, there are others that it does not. But it is not only about sleeping better. There are other benefits as well.
Why You Should Share Your Bed with Your Dog
Here are some great reasons to share your bed with your dog.
Comfort. Having your dog sleep with you will provide you with comfort during the night. This can be particularly important if you sleep alone. It is well known that dogs can help people with loneliness and the depression that sometimes comes from being by yourself a lot. Just having your dog sleep with you can alleviate some of these feelings.
Calming. Dogs are known to have a calming effect on people around them. They can provide relief from stress and anxiety. Dogs can sense your emotions and can be a great comfort when you are stressed, sad or lonely. They can help boost your mood and be a relaxing presence when near you. This can benefit you when you sleep with your dog in your bed at night.
Warmth. Dogs can be a warm and cozy bundle to snuggle up to on cold nights. Just having their warmth beside you can help you get to sleep quicker and have a better night sleep.
Safety. Having your dog share your bed can make you feel safe at night as well. Simply having someone to talk to and to be with you can ease any anxiety or fear that comes with being alone.
Insomnia. Dogs have been known to help people who suffer from insomnia. Having your dog with you at night can help you get to sleep faster. Their rhythmic breathing can help you with your insomnia and give you a more relaxed sleep at night.
Comforting for your dog. Being with you at night can be comforting for them as well. If your dog loves being around you then sleeping with you can make them more relaxed and happier during the day.
Bonding. Sharing a bed with your dog is a good way to bond with your them. If you have to leave your dog to go to work during the day that doesn’t leave a lot of time for you to spend with them. Letting them sleep with you can help you with any kind of separation anxiety they may feel.
These are all great reasons to let your dog sleep with you at night. But there may be some situations where it is not a good idea.
How to Share Your Bed with Your Dog
It’s not that difficult to share a bed with your dog, but it’s still important for you to set the rules. Your dog should not occupy the whole bed, so make sure they learn which part is their space. You can train them by using positive reinforcement techniques when they are comfortable resting in their own part of the bed.
In case they show territorial aggression, don’t back down. But also, don’t yell at them. If you dog growl or nips, say “No!” Next, remove them from the bed onto the floor or its own bed and command it to sit and stay. Praise it verbally or with a training treat.
Lastly, don’t let your pet sleep under the covers since they may have environmental debris like fecal material on their fur.
When you should not let your dog sleep on your bed.
There are many instances where you shouldn’t let your dog sleep with you. Here are some of them.
Housetraining. When you are housetraining a puppy or dog, then letting them sleep on your bed may not be a good idea. It may lead to some messy accidents during the night if your dog is not completely trained.
Snoring. If your dog snores and it is loud enough to disturb your sleep then you should let them sleep in their own bed.
Behavioral issues. If your dog has behavioral problems then letting them sleep with you can seem like you are rewarding them. This may be counterproductive when you are trying to correct their bad behavior.
Aggression. If your dog is aggressive then having them in your bed is not a great idea, particularly if their aggression is directed towards you.
Light sleeper. If you are a light sleeper then having your dog in your bed will most likely disturb your sleep. Dogs can move around a lot during the night, scratching and sniffing to get comfortable. This can often disturb light sleepers.
Spouse/partner. It probably goes without saying, but if it affects your relationship, that is, it annoys your spouse/partner or interferes with your sex life, then your dog should not sleep with you. Same goes if your children sleep with you and your dog prevents them from getting a good night sleep. No one wants tired kids in the house or a cranky partner.
Health issues. If you have a low immune system you should probably not let your dog in your bed. If your dog is sick or you are sick you may pass something onto each other. It is also not a good idea if your dog has fleas or ticks, or if your dog is dirty. They may be carrying bacteria that could cause you health problems. If you suffer from pet allergies or asthma then you should also keep your dog out of your bedroom to give yourself a break during the night.
Should You Let Your Dog Sleep with You?
So there are plenty of reasons to let your dog sleep on your bed with you, and just as many not to. In the end, it is your choice. If you think it will help you try it out and see how you go with it. It just may help you both be happier and more relaxed.
P.S. Help a friend decide whether to let their dog sleep on their bed by pinning this!