Co-sleeping with dogs can have pros and cons for us and our four-legged friends. Read more about it in the following blog article and find the best solution for you!
Fact: Your dog loves to be close to his favorite human, and that’s YOU. Another fact: You love to snuggle with your dog. But having your fur friend sleep in bed with you – is that really a good idea? Some people will answer in the negative at this point, but those may not have all the facts at hand. Here’s the information you need – including the pros and cons of co-sleeping with dogs – to help you decide if letting your dog sleep in your bed is right for you. And if you decide against it, here are our top tips on how to find the right sleeping space for your furry friend.
A brief excursion into history
Sleeping in bed together with your own dog may come naturally to you. And it’s no surprise – dogs and humans have been sleeping in the same basket for centuries, across all cultures1. It’s an ancient custom.
In earlier times, domesticated dogs shared sleeping quarters with their human caregivers. In return, they protected them and warned them of predators or danger. They also helped them stay warm at night, when home heating options were…um…limited. Over the centuries, this bond between humans and dogs helped everyone get through difficult times, even in cold weather.
Some anthropologist:s even believe that the urge to sleep snuggled close together may actually be stored in our DNA. Imagine a toddler cuddling up with a four-legged friend and falling asleep – it’s almost automatic.
In short, there’s nothing more natural than curling up with your dog.
But before you start looking for dog-friendly blankets, take a look at the pros and cons of letting your dog sleep in bed with you.
Advantages of sleeping in bed with your dog
Sharing a bed with your dog can be good for you, no matter what others say about it. And you’re far from alone in your opinion: a study by the American Kennel Club found that 45% of people let their furry friend spend the night in bed with them.
Here are just a few of the many benefits of sleeping in bed with your dog:
- With a fur ball in bed curled up next to you, you’ll never have cold toes again and stay nice and warm at night.
- Sharing a bed with your dog can have a calming effect on you and your sleep patterns.
- Sleeping together encourages the release of oxytocin (also known as the “love hormone”), which strengthens the bond between you and your dog.
- Sharing a bed with your dog will make you feel a lot safer. Plus, he’ll be able to alert you if he notices anything out of the ordinary.
- You can wake up next to your best friend every day.
- But be careful: once you let your dog into your bed, it’s not easy to take back that invitation. Also, be sure to teach your dog where to sleep in bed so you’re both comfortable.
With all the benefits of having a dog, it’s no surprise that co-sleeping with your pet can also have a positive impact on your well-being.
But it’s not always that simple. Below you’ll find some disadvantages of sleeping in bed with a dog that might be holding you back.
Disadvantages of sleeping with dog in bed
All that glitters is not gold. In fact, co-sleeping with a dog can be uncomfortable. Here are a few reasons why you shouldn’t let your dog in your bed:
- Your dog will likely bring hair, dirt, dust and other allergens into your bed. That’s not good if you have allergies.
- It can disrupt your sleep cycle. Dogs have different sleep patterns and could wake you up at odd times. If you’re a light sleeper anyway or suffer from insomnia, sleeping with a dog may not be best for you.
- Sick dogs, puppies, new dogs, or dogs that are not yet housebroken are definitely not among the best candidates:for bed sleeping. You most likely don’t want an unexpected wet surprise at 3am!
- Some dogs see bed space as part of their territory. Set clear boundaries around your sleeping space, especially if your dog shows signs of aggression or dominance.
- Letting your dog sleep in your bed can increase susceptibility to zoonotic diseases or parasites like ticks.
- If you or your dog have an open wound or illness, disease transmission could be a risk.
- Like a small child, your furry friend could fall off the bed and get hurt.
- Last but not least, your better half might not like having the dog in the bed.
If any of these factors put you off the idea of co-sleeping with your dog, then it might be best to choose another place for your four-legged friend to sleep.
Why your dog wants to sleep in bed with you
You’re not the only one who thinks it’s nice to be near your four-legged friend at night. Dogs love it, too. As pack animals, they satisfy their instinct for safety and security by staying close to their pack mates. Plus, they will instinctively try to watch over you at night.
Dogs are also instinctive snugglers. When they snuggle up to you, oxytocin is released – the love hormone we’ve already discussed in more detail. This is especially important for dogs who suffer from separation anxiety. They calm down when they get to sleep in bed with you. The myth that separation anxiety or aggression in dogs is caused by co-sleeping is just that. Myth.
Ultimately, YOU should decide where your dog sleeps at night and what is best for your family. There is nothing wrong with your dog sleeping in your bed, or your dog having their own sleeping space. No matter what sleeping arrangement you choose, you and your pet can still form a close bond. The most important thing is that everyone is happy and healthy – and getting a good night’s sleep!