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The Great Debate: Let Your Dog Sleep In Your Bed or Not?

sleep with dog or not

The idea of letting your dog sleep in bed with you has been a topic of debate for many years. Some people believe that dogs should only be allowed to sleep on the floor or in their own bed and not be given any type of preferential treatment. Others feel that dogs are members of the family, just like human beings, and should be treated accordingly.

There are pros and cons to each side of this argument, but there is no clear answer as to whether or not letting your dog sleep in bed is right or wrong.

Pets, regardless of their species, are considered part of the family. People develop an emotional bond with their pets whether it is a dog, a cat, or a rabbit (1).

So, should you let your canine friend sleep with you? If you are a dog owner or if you are preparing to own a dog this article will help you make a decision. 

We will go through five reasons why you should and five reasons why you shouldn’t let your furry ball of love sleep in the same bed as you. 

5 Reasons Why You SHOULD Let Your Dog Sleep With You

Although a bed full of doggie toys, a dog hair here and there, maybe even a little drool, doesn’t sound very fun, sleeping with your pup undoubtedly has its benefits. 

Improved relationship and deeper connection

The more time you spend with your canine friend, the stronger your bond will be. You can choose to take longer walks, engage in more playtimes, or simply have your pup’s snoring face next to yours.

Furthermore, dogs like being in a pack. If you notice them on the streets they always travel together or sleep next to each other. Well, the moment your doggie became part of your life, it became part of your pack. It will definitely love and enjoy sleeping next to you. 

Besides improving your relationship, sleeping with the pup will help with socialization and training as well. 

Lower blood pressure

There is a lot of research done on the effects of human-pet interaction. Recent studies show that spending time with your pup, petting it, and interacting with it, reduces blood pressure levels (2). So, imagine the effect of spending six to eight hours sleeping next to your ball of love can have on the human body. 

Continuous interaction with the pooch will unquestionably have numerous therapeutic benefits on your body and your mind. 

Furthermore, the dog owner is not the only one that gets the benefits of sleeping in the same bed as the doggie. Also, the pup will be more relaxed and it will feel more comfortable while getting some z’s next to its favorite human.

Reduced stress level

Have you noticed how you instantly get calm when you see the ball of love wagging its tail or the moment it comes to snuggle it seems like all problems disappear? That’s because snuggling and petting your dog helps with the release of the love hormone, oxytocin, which leads to improvement in mood and reduction of stress level. 

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Furthermore, lower stress levels contribute to lower heart rate, which prompts better sleep. After a long day at work, a short cuddle time with your furry ball may get you to calm down and fall asleep faster. So, instead of turning your TV on, or working on your laptop, hug your doggie and let it give you some warm love. 

Safer when the pooch is around

Pups have an instinct to protect, so sleeping with your doggie next to you will definitely strengthen your sense of security, and you’ll feel safer. If you live alone, having your ball of fur in your bed may help you sleep better. You may feel calmer knowing that your canine friend is here to protect you. Dogs can sense danger, hear sounds, and this can help you act in a timely manner if needed. Regardless of the dog breed, your pup will certainly protect you if it comes to it. 

Furthermore, many dog owners feel safer and more secure if their pooch is close, ready to protect them, which helps them sleep more soundly. 

So, relax, sleep tight, and let your knight in furry armour be there for you.

No more feelings of loneliness

Many people who are single or live alone found that sleeping with their dog helps them have a better night’s sleep. Having the companionship of a warm ball of love is a great way to battle the feeling of loneliness. When you see your canine friend’s wet nose peeking under the cover, you will feel nothing but love. 

Reduction of stress, calmness, feeling of security, fighting depression and loneliness, all those benefits gained just from the presence of your dog. 

Are you feeling lonely and can’t sleep at night? What are you waiting for? Snuggle your pup, relax, and sweet dreams. 

5 Reasons Why You SHOULD NOT Let Your Dog Sleep With You

Although there are a lot of benefits from having your furry friend in your bed, it is not all rainbows and butterflies. Sometimes, it may be better for you and the dog to have separate sleeping spaces, and in the content, we will discuss five reasons why this may be a better option. 

Poor sleep quality

Your sleep quality may not be as good as when sleeping without the furry ball of love. Doggies can be very restless when they sleep. They can kick, change positions, snore, and even make noises like they are “talking” while they sleep. You can help your dog to sleep through the night, here’s my top tips.

Furthermore, they can get up in the middle of the night to drink water, eat, or just roam around the house. So, when they go back to bed they can push and fidget until they get comfortable again.

All of this may sound cute, but if you like your uninterrupted sleep, your pup will make sure you won’t get it. The result would be a lack of focus, tiredness, and a weakened immune system. Whenever my pooch comes to sleep in my bed, I rarely sleep deeply because it likes sleeping next to my feet and I could kick it when I move around. 

Your dog’s hygiene

Even if your doggie spends most of its time inside, it still goes outside to do its business. When it comes inside your home it will bring with it at least some dust. I usually wash my pup’s feet after coming back from a walk, but it still leaves some paw prints on the bed covers. 

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Moreover, no matter how much we love them, dogs can carry a lot of parasites that can be passed onto the owner from the dog’s fur. Being consistent with baths and treatments for fleas and parasites is of utmost importance for your and your dog’s health even if your pooch doesn’t sleep in your bed.

Also, maybe your pup gets on your bed while you aren’t home, and some dirt can be left on the covers or pillows.

It can worsen your allergies

In relation to what we mentioned before, when taking a walk outside, dogs can bring allergens like dust or pollen on their paws and/or fur. Although you may not be allergic to pups, sleeping with yours may worsen your allergy condition. You may even want to consider not letting your pooch in your bedroom at all. 

If you don’t mind washing your bed sheets every day and waking up sneezing or coughing, then enjoy the warm company of your ball of love. Some owners wipe their pup’s paws with a damp towel before it comes inside, and bathe the ball of fur using HEPA filters. 

Cuteness often comes with aggression

No matter how cute your pup is, it can get pretty aggressive if you move into its sleeping territory. And, this can happen easily when you move in your sleep.  

Some dogs can get pretty territorial about the bed. If they claim it as their own, they would growl at anyone who approaches the bed. 

If you notice that your pooch is developing this kind of behavior, it is best to avoid letting the little one on the bed until it has learned that this won’t be tolerated. 

Another option is to set space on the bed just for your pooch. Maybe you could do this by folding a blanket or putting a pillow on which the doggie can sleep. 

It’s my bed now, thanks

Once your canine friend claims the bed, there is no going back to sleeping on the floor. If your pup has developed the habit of sleeping next to his favorite human, in a warm, cozy bed, it won’t be easy to train it to go back to sleeping on the floor. So, if you decide to let it sleep with you, ensure it is something you can deal with for a long time.

Moreover, be prepared for some bed wetting, especially if you have a young puppy. If your ball of love is older, it can have an accident in the bed, even if it is trained to do its business outside.

To sum up

Whether you decide to let your pup sleep with you, or not, it will require some training. You will need to resist those puppy eyes and ensure that both of you have a good and healthy sleeping time. If you decide to let your ball of love sleep in your bed, then keep the pooch above the covers and make sure it is clean. In addition, you can try fun enrichment activities that will help with sound sleep and a quiet night.

Sources:

  1. https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/pets-and-their-people/201211/the-bond-between-pet-and-owner
  2. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/3236382/