Pros and cons to letting your dog sleep in your bed
Dogs come in all shapes and sizes - and sleeping habits! An average dog will sleep around 14 hours a day. That’s a lot of time spent snoozing! Like humans, it’s important for dogs to get the right amount of sleep to keep them healthy and healthy.
So where should your dog sleep at night?
Photo courtesy of Alan Levine
For a lot of dog owners, it’s pretty common to have your dog sleeping in your bed. Some owners love to snuggle with their pup. But for others, it can make for a uncomfortable, smelly and sleepless nights. Once we let our pups into the bedroom, it can be a challenge to get them to leave. Should we be sending our dogs out the door or are we being too harsh?
There are two sides to this doggy debate:
- Some experts believe that allowing your dog onto your bed can make them territorial. Giving them free reign in your space can strengthen their dominance. Yet, other experts think this is an outdated belief.
- Those on the other side of the fence say that there are some great health benefits to letting your dog sleep in bed with you. It’s something that varies from owner to owner and dog to dog. Sleeping with a great dane is probably quite different to a chihuahua!
Here are some common pros and cons to consider as you work out what’s best for your household
- Keep calm
Some owners find it calming to sleep with their dogs. There’s even some science to it! Studies have shown that sleeping with your dog can increase oxytocin levels. That’s the chemical in our brain that reduces stress and anxiety and helps promote trust. Sleeping with your dog can also make you feel safer, making for a better night’s sleep.
- Strengthen your bond
Snuggling with your pup can be a great way to strengthen your bond. Remember, dogs are pack animals, so sleeping with them can strengthen the trust between the two of you. Think of welcoming your dog onto the bed as a way of welcoming them into your pack.
- Stay warm!
On those cold winter nights, snuggling up to your pup can act like your own natural heater. A dog’s body temperature runs about five degrees hotter than ours. Why not ditch the electric blanket and cozy up to your pup!
- Allergic reactions
As most owners with allergies know, being around a furry pup can leave you sneezing and wheezing all day. Sleeping with your dog isn’t a good idea if you’re prone to allergies. Fleas and ticks can also become an itchy issue when you let your pup share your bed.
- Behavioural changes
For dogs that have issues with dominance, letting them sleep in your bed can provoke territorial aggression. Once your dog thinks they own the space, it can be hard when you or someone new enters your bed. You might lose control before you know it!
- Sleep interference
There’s nothing worse than trying to sleep next to a restless pup. Sleeping next to your dog when they’re dreaming about chasing cats is not the most ideal situation. Along with bad breath and barks in the middle of the night, sleeping with your dog can turn out to be a real hassle and make you a tired, grumpy dog owner.
So what’s the verdict? It really depends on whether you enjoy sharing your bed with your pet. If it works for the both of you then there’s no reason to stop. But if you find yourself waking up tired and sniffling, then it may be time for your pup to move out and find his own crash pad…
How to stop your dog sleeping in bed with you
While we love spending time with our furry friends, we shouldn’t put up with sleepless nights. Unfortunately, once a dog gets used to your bed, it can be hard to get them to stay out of it. Simply shutting the door can just result in whining pup and scratching.
Instead, try to get them to gradually transition to a new sleeping spot.
Here’s what to do::
- Try get them used to sleeping on a blanket in your bed, then when you’re ready to make the transition, take that blanket with them so they have something familiar. It’ll make it easier for them to get accustomed to a new space if they’ve got something familiar around!
- Get them accustomed to their new bed with treats or toys. Hopefully their new bed will be their new happy place and they won’t want to leave!
- Train them with the “off” command - say “off” and throw a treat on the ground. Keep repeating this until they learn.
There are plenty of other beds for pups to sleep in other than your own.
Bed crates are a popular option, especially for puppies. If your pup finds it hard to leave the bedroom, try a comfy doggy bed on the floor. Pop in store to check out our great range of dog beds!