You have likely heard that letting your pet sleep with you is a bad idea, and pet experts have maintained this stance for many years. However, as more research on the subject is performed, many have changed their opinions and instead argue that sleeping in the same bed as your pet can even have benefits.
If you have a new puppy, you should hold off on sharing a bed with them until they are older. This is a crucial time in their development in which they need to develop a healthy sleep schedule. However, once their sleep schedule is established, you can share a bed with your dog.
Ensuring Your Puppy Develops a Healthy Sleeping Schedule
Like babies, puppies are learning how to develop a sleep schedule. Depending on your dog’s breed and age, you should expect your puppy to sleep between 12 and 20 hours daily. To ensure that your puppy is receiving an adequate amount of sleep, provide them with their own private space to rest.
Ideally, this should be their crate since teaching a puppy to sleep in their crate also helps with potty training. Your puppy’s crate should be warm, comfy, and quiet. During the first few weeks, keep their crate in your bedroom.
Your presence nearby can soothe them if they become startled or agitated, allowing them to relax and fall back asleep. If your puppy starts crying in the night, they may either need to use the restroom or they may want attention.
If they want attention, comfort them by sitting by their crate and talking to them gently until they fall back asleep. Don’t remove your puppy from the crate or interact with them in a way that will excite them. The sooner they can relax and get back to sleep, the better.
The 4 Pros of Sleeping by Your Dog
When your puppy grows older and has established a proper sleep schedule and is properly potty trained, you can share a bed with them. Many dog owners find the experience beneficial, and we’ll discuss the advantages below.
1. Strengthens Your Bond With Your Dog
A major benefit of sleeping with your dog is that it strengthens your bond. Sharing a room or a bed every night can increase opportunities for affection and attention, bolstering your bond with your pet.
2. Eases Your Anxiety
Sharing a bed with your pet can ease your anxiety since it provides a sense of safety and security.
3. Keeps You Cozy
If you live in a cold climate, sleeping near your dog can keep you warm. Your fuzzy pet is the perfect space heater!
4. May Improve Your Sleep
A study found that sharing your room with your dog can actually improve your sleep for all of the above reasons.1 Of course, it can vary from dog to dog since some are a bit more disruptive during the night.
The 3 Cons of Sleeping by Your Dog
While it is generally assumed that sharing a bed with your dog is not a hazard, the owner and dog must be in good health. Otherwise, there are some cons to be aware of.
1. Triggers Allergies
If you suffer from dog allergies, sharing a bed with your pet is not a good idea. Pet hair and dander can accumulate in your bed, triggering your allergies and making it difficult to sleep.
2. Exposes You to Disease
If your dog picks up bacteria, viruses, or parasites at the dog park, guess what they will bring into your bed? While it is uncommon, it is still possible. For immunocompromised dog owners, it is recommended that they don’t share a bed with a dog.
3. May Cause Sleep Disruptions
While sharing a room with your dog can help you sleep better, sharing your bed can interrupt your sleep. It all depends on how disruptive your dog is during the night and how heavy or light of a sleeper you are.
Safety Advice All Dog Owners Should Know
If you plan to share a bed with your dog, take these safety measures into consideration.
- Use a large mattress. To ensure that no one is at risk of falling out of bed in the middle of the night, make sure that your mattress is large enough.
- Wash your bedding regularly. Preventing the spread of germs and accumulation of hair can be as easy as washing your sheets, blankets, and pillowcases consistently.
- Clean your dog. Before letting your pet into the bed, ensure they do not have mud, dirt, or other debris on their body.
- Maintain regular vet check-ups. Keeping your pet in good health is vital to ensure that they do not spread fleas, ticks, worms, or germs in the bed.
- Teach children to maintain the proper boundaries around pets. Children can safely share a bed with their pets when they understand how to treat animals with respect. Otherwise, young children should sleep alone until they can handle the responsibility.
Sharing a bed with your dog can be a great bonding opportunity. It can also ease your anxiety, keep you warm, and improve your comfort. While there are drawbacks, most can be avoided by ensuring your dog remains healthy and clean.
Although your puppy may be too young to share your bed, they can when they have established a regular sleep pattern, so focus on helping your puppy develop healthy sleep habits so that they can happily share a bed with you in the future.
Featured Image Credit: Ermolaev Alexander, Shutterstock
- Ensuring Your Puppy Develops a Healthy Sleeping Schedule
- The 4 Pros of Sleeping by Your Dog
- 1. Strengthens Your Bond With Your Dog
- 2. Eases Your Anxiety
- 3. Keeps You Cozy
- 4. May Improve Your Sleep
- The 3 Cons of Sleeping by Your Dog
- Safety Advice All Dog Owners Should Know
- Final Thoughts