If you spend your nights with your dog sleeping in bed with you, you’re not alone. In fact, slightly less than one-half of all pet owners snuggle up to their furry friend each and every night.
In the world of pet parenting, there is much debate on whether you should let your dog sleep on the floor, in his crate, or in their own dog bed.
Despite the many conflicting opinions about co-sleeping with your pup, it’s important to recognize both the pros and cons of it all. If you’ve been wondering the answer to the age-old question: should I let my dog sleep with me?
We’ve gathered all you need to know on the topic to decide whether or not this habit is harming more than its helping in your nightly routine.
Should I Let My Dog Sleep With Me?
For the most part, there is no definitive right or wrong answer to this question. If truth be told, it’s more situational than anything.
From the dog’s age to the dog’s behavior, there are a few factors to consider before letting your dog sleep in the bed at night.
A Dog's Age
If you’ve recently welcomed a new puppy into your home, it’s recommended that you crate-train them before allowing them to share your bed.
While it’s natural for your pup to want to sleep in your bed, you might risk waking up to a wet bed and destroyed linens if you share your bed pre-training.
If your dog is on the older side, it’s important to consider whether or not your dog may desire sleeping in its own space. If you notice that your senior dog sleeps soundly next to your in bed, allowing your dog to sleep in bed with you shouldn’t be a concern.
As our furry companions get older, bills can quickly add up. Fortunately, there are many options of the best pet insurance for all sorts of budgets. Finding the right insurance for your dog is an almost guaranteed way to ensure they’re healthy and happy under your care while saving future trips to the vet.
A Dog's Cleanliness
Let’s face it, dogs tend to spend a large amount of time wanting to play outside. While your pup may be living its best life basking in the warmth of the sun, you might not be if you allow your dog to sleep on the bed before a bath due to their effect on your sleeping hygiene.
If dogs make a habit of snuggling up to the beds of their owner, it’ll only be natural for them to do so, even after rolling around in the mud all day. That being said, it becomes the responsibility of the human to make sure their bathed and ready to rest.
Plus, bathing your dog regularly could prevent health-related issues as well as allergies from infiltrating your home.
A Dog's Routine
Before letting your dog sleep in the bed with you, it’s important that you make a concrete decision, as dogs tend to thrive on structure.
Your relationship with your dog can be more intricate than the relationship between humans and cats, as cats are typically more laid back and don’t need as strict of a routine.
If you’re used to sleeping with your dog and the dog sleeps with you every night, your dog may be thrown for a loop if you suddenly ask them to sleep elsewhere.
That being said, be sure to decide whether or not you’ll allow your dog to sleep in bed with you and stick to the decision to avoid any confused behavior.
The Benefits of Sleeping With Your Dog
It isn’t uncommon for dog owners to allow their dog to sleep in the bed with them at night, as it can lead to a soothing, anxiety-free rest. If you let your dog sleep in bed with you, there are plenty of benefits that follow.
Allowing pets to rest in your bed or on your bedroom floor can tighten the bond between them and their owner. This is because humans sleeping with dogs increases the amount of time a person spends with their dog.
When you spend your nights lying next to your dog in bed, that makes room for feelings of comfort and companionship to sky-rocket for both you and your pet. A nighttime of snuggles may treat your pup with the support and security its craving in their everyday life.
If you prefer to have the bed all to yourself at night, it might be a good idea to find a middle-ground and treat your dog to their very own dog bed in your room. That way, your dog is still sleeping close to you while giving you both the room to rest well.
Increased Mental Health
There have been countless studies that have shown that sleeping with your puppy in your bedroom leads to decreased feelings of stress, anxiety, depression, loneliness, and social isolation. This human-animal bond that’s formed during sleep is referred to as “the pet effect”.
The pet effect’s benefits seems to outweigh the drawbacks, as a puppy that sleeps next to their owner could increase your mental health dramatically overtime.
If you notice signs in the behavior of your dog that sleeping with you is helping them, it’s recommended that you continue the process to avoid any feelings of confusion from sudden change.
The Downsides of Sleeping With Your Dog
While letting your dog catch some Zs in your bed could lead to many positives, as with anything, there are a few downsides.
Restless Nights and Tough Mornings
When a person lets their dogs or other pets sleep in their bed with them, they may risk being woken up during the night by snores, movement, or any other bedtime-related disturbances.
Especially if you’re a light sleeper, these snores or movements can maybe cause you to wake up feeling groggy and tired. As a result, it can be hard to fall asleep faster with an added distraction next to you in bed.
If you can sleep through absolutely anything, you may wake up feeling refreshed and ready to take on the day. In the end, it’s all about your preferences and whether or not you feel okay when you wake up in the morning for sleep.
As mentioned before, letting dogs sleep in your bed after you let them go outside and play can bring in unwanted allergies that could keep you up all night coughing and sneezing.
While you may not be allergic to dogs, allergy-related symptoms could still occur from lingering allergens that cover their paws and fur.
If you notice your dogs developing concerning behavior in relation to outdoor allergies, it’s maybe a good idea to take a trip to the vet to ensure you get the right treatment for your dog. Plus, dogs may carry parasites, flees, or ticks that may cause illness for you and your furry companion.
Overall, letting dogs sleep with you can be an okay habit to form if you feel it’s right for your pets needs as well as your own. If you and your dogs sleep unbothered next to each other each night, co-sleeping shouldn’t be a problem.
Although letting pets sleep with their owners may be a controversial topic, there is no overall need for major concern if the sleep is not causing an unhealthy situation for either party.