Should You Let Your Dog Sleep In Your Bed?

Should you let a dog sleep in your bed?
Photo by Samson Katt from Pexels

It’s not uncommon to hear that people let their dogs sleep in the same bed as them, after all, they are cute and cuddly creatures and as dog owners, we want to give them as much love as possible – but what are the risks and problems that can occur when you let your dog sleep in your bed with you? In this article, we’ll cover everything you need to know about whether you should consider letting your dog sleep in your bed.

If you already let your dog sleep in your bed with you – you aren’t alone, in fact, most people do and once your pet is trained to sleep in your bed, it’s a difficult situation to get yourself out of and it will be difficult for your pet. However, there’s nothing better than giving your dog a snuggle, especially at night!

The Independent conducted a survey that considered 2,000 pet owners and whether they allow their pets to sleep in the same bed as them, interestingly, two-thirds sleep alongside their pet, with three in 10 people that like the feeling of security they get from their pet sleep with them – after all, dogs do have heightened sense of smells so they will be able to detect if an intruder enters their property or if any danger is presented nearby – but there are advantages and disadvantages of allowing your pet to share your bed and things to consider.

Should you let your dog sleep in your bed?

Everyone has different opinions and you’ll hear stories about people letting their dogs sleep with them, whereas, others, aren’t so keen on the idea, so we’ve broken down the advantages and disadvantages for you below, so you can make your own informed decision.

Reasons why you should let your dog sleep in your bed

Below are some of the reasons why you may let your dog sleep with you.

1) Improves trust

Allowing your dog to sleep in your bed with you will help build the ultimate trust, as it will demonstrate that even while you are asleep and most vulnerable, you still trust your dog.

2) Improves the emotional connection between you both

Sleeping together will help build your bond and emotional connection, not only will this help improve your relationship, but make you both happier in the long term.

3) Improves your dog’s sleep quality

Allowing your dog to sleep with you will help provide comfort and a feeling of security, which, in turn, will help your dog sleep better as they know that their loved one is nearby while they doze off.

4) Helps ease their anxiety

Your dog may feel alone or scared at night sleep by themselves and by having you nearby will help ease anxiety and reassure them that they are safe.

5) Increases the length of time you spend with your pet

This may sound unusual, but if you plan on leaving your dog for a period of time while you go to work, go shopping or leave the house, this time is added on top of the time spent sleeping on its own. As an example, if the dog was to sleep on its own from 10 pm – 6 am everyay, and then be left for an extra 8 hours while you go to work, this is a total of 16 hours that the dog is left alone. If they had slept with their owner, this would be reduced to 8 hours.

6) More cuddles!

Allowing your dog to sleep in the same bed as you will mean only one thing … more cuddles! This won’t only improve your happiness but your dog’s too, so it’s a win-win!

Reasons why you shouldn’t let your pet sleep in your bed

Below are some of the things to consider if you were to let your dog sleep in the same bed as you.

1) Interrupted sleep

Whether you like it or not, your dog will move around at night and take up space, especially if they are a big breed. Due to this, you’ll likely lose out of sleep during the night as you won’t have as much space as you normally would, and dogs have a habit of sleeping at their human’s feet, so this is something definitely worth considering if you are a light sleeper.

2) It will be difficult to change your mind

Once you let your dog start sleeping with you, it’s super difficult for the dog to go back to sleeping alone, whether that’s in another room or downstairs. If you leave your dog and go to sleep, they may howl and bark for your attention, as they aren’t used to the routine of being left alone at night, and they will get anxious and stressed. It can be very difficult to change once you let them in your bed, as they know that in your room, there is a comfier bed near their humans.

3) You’ll have no time alone in bed by yourself, or with your partner

Your dog will get used to sleeping with you and if they aren’t present during sleep time, they’ll make themselves known to get your attention (barking, howling or crying). Because of this, it will be difficult to get alone time by yourself, or with a partner. This can affect intimacy and potentially your relationship in the long term.

4) Attachment issues

Dogs can easily get attached to us humans and if you let your dog sleep with you, then they’ll rely on being in your bed and near you to get a good nights sleep. This isn’t good for the dog’s mental health in the long term, especially if you need to leave the dog overnight at a friends or families house while you are away on holiday. They won’t be used to sleeping on their own and this will cause stress and anxiety for your dog.

5) Your bed will smell of dog

This is an obvious one but something to consider, dogs have a natural odour that will spread to your bed if they sleep in it – if you find your dog’s natural odour unpleasant then you may want to avoid having your dog sleep with you.

6) You will need to clean your bed often

Not only will the bed smell of your dog but you’ll also need to clean the hairs off of it, like your pillows and duvet often, even more often if you have a long-haired dog!

There you have it, the advantages and disadvantages of letting your dog sleep in your bed and what to expect. If you do decide to not have your dog sleep with you, it’s best to teach them this from the start, and ensure that they are crate trained and have their own bed to sleep in. Avoid introducing them to your own bed, otherwise, they will know that it exists, and they may howl, bark or cry to get your attention at night.

If you decide that the benefits (like more cuddles!) outweigh the negatives and you would like your dog to sleep with you, then enjoy! Your dog will have no problems hopping into your bed and making themself all cosy and warm under your duvet, but remember that it’s very difficult to reverse once you’ve started!

The general agreement between most dog owners is that you should keep your bed and your dog’s bed separate where possible, as even though people prefer to cuddle their dog at night and give them lots of love, it’s important to have your own space, especially if you are in a relationship – but you do you!

Good luck and have fun!

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