There are pros and cons to having your dog sleep in the same bed that you do. In the end it is a personal choice, but here are some things to consider.
How a dog behaves in your bed is a definite issue, especially if your dog is a restless sleeper and you are too. If you have a dog who moves around on the bed during the night, vies for the best spots, or gets into positions that cause your sleep to be disrupted, it might be better to have a designated sleeping area other than your bed for your dog.
A dog bed, crate or other comfortable spot nearby will work and still allow both you and your dog the security of knowing you are in close proximity to each other. Dogs like to be near their humans, but they can be trained to adapt to a sleeping area that works for both of you. You need to be consistent if you want your dog to sleep in a specific area.
Depending on the size of your bed and your dog, your bed may not be the right place for both of you to get a good rest. If you have a puppy, consider their eventual full grown size before you get into the habit of allowing your dog to sleep with you. That cute little cuddly ball of fluff that snuggles softly against you may grow into a big leggy dog that takes a lot of room on your bed, more than is comfortable for you.
Although a responsible pet owner bathes and cares for their dog properly, there may be additional health issues to consider. In their forages outside and on walks, your dog may pick up a variety of invasive creatures that may affect you, such as fleas and ticks. During active times for these invasive pests, it is a good idea to check regularly during grooming for signs of any infestation. The last thing you want in your bed is a flea infested dog that brings a bug infestation into your sleeping quarters.
Another consideration is possible allergies. If you are sensitive to allergens caused by close proximity to a dog, but can handle it during the day, the constant and very close proximity during the night may be more than your system can handle. Take your health into consideration when deciding whether or not to allow your dog to make your bed their sleeping place as well.
No matter how much you attend to your dog’s cleanliness and grooming, like children they get into everything and drag it wherever they go. If you are fastidious about cleanliness and keeping your bed spotless, remember what they do follows them.
You can train your dog to sleep on a specific area of the bed, on a designated blanket for example, but sometimes your dog may have other ideas. You don’t want the bed to become a battling ground of sorts for establishing dominance. They need to know what is and is not acceptable in whatever manner you allow them to share your bed.
If you are on your own, remember that any new member of your life, such as a new spouse or a child, may not like the presence of a dog in the bed, or there simply may not be enough room for all of you. If it is no big deal to all humans involved, that’s great; but if not, your dog will have to relearn where to sleep and may feel displaced by newcomers. All family members need to be on the same page to prevent conflict. Consider that when you decide whether or not you want your dog to sleep with you.
If you need to encourage your dog to use another area to sleep, make it comfortable and reward them with praise and an occasional CANIDAE dog treat to help teach them where their sleeping area is. There is security for them in knowing what their duties and boundaries are.
The loving companionship of a dog cuddling close to you may be just what you want and exactly what you like, and may be another warm and loving way to bond with your dog. However, before you decide one way or the other, make sure you think about the pros and cons of joint bed ownership with your loved dog.
Top photo by robstephaustralia
Middle photo by Rafel Miro
Bottom photo by Hillary H.
Read more articles by Laurie Darroch