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Should Your Dog Sleep In Your Bed?

 by jaime on 14 Aug 2014 |
4 Comment(s)
There is much opposition surrounding whether or not your dog should sleep in your bed. Some experts believe not only is it wholly unhealthy for your pooch to sleep with you, but it sends the wrong behavioural messages to them as well. Others, scoff at those accusations and believe having a pooch sleep so close to you is beneficial for both owner and dog.

So what are you supposed to do?

Fortunately, there is actually no right or wrong answer and the decision comes down to you, your dog, your personal preferences and your unique home situation. As such, no one should tell you that your choice is wrong - because no one is wrong!

In America, nearly half of all dog owners allow their dogs to sleep in their bed, including the littlest breeds, right up to the giant of giant dogs. So let's take a look at whether your dog should be in bed with you.

Benefits of having your dog in your bed
  • When near their owners, dogs tend to sleep a lot better.
  • Dogs feel like they are bonding and building a closer connection to you, even though you are asleep. This is especially true if you work full-time during the day.
  • Can prevent naughty behaviour, like barking, which can happen if they are left to sleep elsewhere in the house.
  • Owners often feel safer and calmer.
  • Helps dogs feel more part of the family.
When not to let your dog sleep in your bed
  • If your dog is unable to control their bladder.
  • If your dog is having joint problems and can't get on and off the bed easily.
  • If you suffer from allergies or asthma - it's even recommended your pet sleep in a different room. If you can't face the idea of having your dog sleep somewhere else, you should consider allergy vaccinations to help build your tolerance.
  • If they disturb your sleep. If you suffer from insomnia and sleep with your pet, that could actually be the cause of your sleeping woes.
  • Your sleep cycle can be disrupted by a dog itching (for example) which can affect your mood and responsiveness the next day and even lower your immunity. This is especially true for children or those with autoimmune issues.
  • If your dog has aggressive tendencies.
  • If your dog has naughty tendencies or is still a puppy - it is probably better they sleep in a crate.

Many people worry that by allowing a dog to sleep on their bed, they are allowing them to ascend to the top of the pack! While, yes, there will be some dogs who express this form of behaviour, most dogs just want to be close to their owners, and actually, you should take it as a wonderful compliment, because dogs only ever sleep with people and animals they trust. As long as up until this point, you've always expressed clear dominance in your relationship and your dog realises that they must be 'invited' into the bed, you should have no problems at all.

However, your choice to allow your dog on the bed must be one you are sure about. Suddenly asking your dog to no longer sleep in your bed after many months or years will be a real shock to them, and hard for you to train. If you decide to no longer allow your dog onto your bed, you will have to make the floor more enticing with lots of treats and praise when they are off the bed. Never give them attention when they are on your bed. It may take some time, but it can be rectified.

Feature image credit

Comment(s)4

Joe Buchinsky - Comment
Joe Buchinsky16 Aug 2014Reply
My Boxer sleeps with me in the winter and on the floor next to the bed in the summer but he always sleeps in the bedroom with me.Without him in the room with me i don't sleep good and in the winter he feels good next to me.
Joe Brooks - Comment
Joe Brooks16 Aug 2014Reply
It does seem that all the benefits listed can be satisfied by having your dog sleep in your bedroom in their own bed, rather than actually in your bed.
Jimmy bird - Comment
Jimmy bird16 Aug 2014Reply
My pit bull, Susie Q sleeps with me. I wouldn't have it any other way. We both sleep better. It would be hard for me to go to sleep without her. She has been sleeping with me for 11 years. My pits before Susie slept with me
Toni Evans - Comment
Toni Evans16 Aug 2014Reply
My Maltese/shih tzu sleeps with me,she has graduated from coming in halfway through the night to jumping up when we first go to bed. I love her being there!!

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