There has long been debates about where your dog should sleep. Every dog owner has a different idea or thoughts on this topic.
Personally, my two dogs sleep on my bed. Yes it is a bit crowded, for sure. HAHA! Funny enough it is a king-size bed, and still their just doesn’t seem to be enough room.
I would like to think that we all start out with the best of intentions with our dogs and where they should sleep.
Really I want to know, “Should I let my dog sleep on my bed” if I could do it all over again.
The research shows that less than half of dog owners let their dogs sleep with them. Is this a phenomenon?
When you look back in history many traditional cultures slept with their dogs. They believed it would protect them from evil spirits, as well as providing warmth on those cold nights. Many people hundreds and thousands of years ago did not have regulated heat like we have today. Dogs body temperature is 104 F or 40 C which is higher than ours. For this reason, dogs did provide that extra warmth they were looking for.
In modern day 6 out of 10 single women age 18-34 let their dog sleep in their bed with them. When it comes to married men, that number drops significantly. They do not want their dogs in bed with them, their dogs sleep elsewhere in a kennel or other provided dog bed on the floor.
The overall thought from this research, is that having a dog sleep with you is a psychologically comforting feeling.
Most researchers say that so many owners despite any negative drawbacks still sleep with their dogs, because they believe the benefits far out way the disadvantages.
Some historical reasons people used to sleep with their pets, were for survival reasons. In today’s world, we don’t need rely on those things from our dogs.
Now that being said, many people sleep with their pets as a form of company and to help with the feeling of not sleeping alone.
I do think people also allow their dogs to sleep on the bed, for that sense of safety they get by having a dog close to them.
In the middle of the night, if you hear a loud noise, your dog will alert you before you even hear anything. A quick bark to wake you up and you are then made aware of the noise that they heard.
As we know dogs hearing if far better than our own.
There are also positive reasons that may help your dog as well. If they suffer from separation anxiety during the day, they can feel soothed by sleeping beside you all night. A comfort for them after their long day alone.
Just as important for your dog, if you have a little anxiety of your own, having your dog their may make you feel better.
Many people suffer from insomnia and have trouble falling asleep, by just being able to talk to your dog, can help your relax while you drift off to sleep.
Dogs have that pack mentality and as part of a pack they are used to always sleeping together. More times than not, they are used to sleeping so that they touch each other in some way.
My Finn, “the Doodle” he loves to sleep on the big king bed and for the most part, he does lay at the foot of the bed. Even when he lays at the foot, he still likes to either lay on your legs or feet. I think he likes to feel that touch from us, as a sense of real comfort.
Boo, “the Cockapoo” he is the one that absolutely no matter what has to be touching you. For him its more the big lean on your back. Really at times it can start to feel a little claustrophobic. But that is just his way of needing to feel you to feel safe. He sleeps on top of the blankets, but he does have his own blanket that we cover him with, just because that his how he likes to cuddle in.
One of the most positive reasons to have your dog sleep on your bed is the overall bond that develops between the two of you.
That bond becomes unbreakable.
When we talk about all the wonderful things we get from having our dogs sleep with us, we also need to talk about all the negative things that can come of having our dogs on our bed at night.
Let’s not forget what our dogs get into throughout the day. We know that dogs love to play in the dirt, run through the grass, and roll around in god knows what. Is that really what we want laying on our bed, a dog that doesn’t get a bath every night before they go to bed.
There are many reasons that people believe that sleeping with your dog is actually unhealthy for you. People that have any allergies to dogs at all, it can be a very bad idea to have your dog near you at night.
Dogs can also carry different germs or bacteria that can be picked up from being outside and potentially from other dogs. Their are also studies that balk at this information and say that being exposed to different bacteria from your dog, can actually boost your immune system. Overall they can raise the bacteria count in your home which is actually a good thing.
Because dogs can shift and move around at night, this can cause your sleep to be disrupted which can directly affect your health. Getting a good solid sleep every night, as we know is very important for your body and overall health. Waking up frequently can lead to a chopped up sleep and lead you to be grouchy or tired.
I read a survey that said 13% of people say that having your dog sleep with you can actually hurt your relationship. They believe that it can create a controversy and possibly put an emotional strain on your relationship. Having that dog their, can make it difficult for you and your partner from being able to cuddle.
Is it safe for your pet
We have talked about the positive and negative issues for you, but what about for your dog. Is their any issues for your dog if they sleep in your bed?
With a smaller dog, I do sometimes worry about rolling over on him or somehow him getting wrapped up the blankets. Big dogs for the most part tend to sleep on the foot of the bed so they can get some extra space.
The way beds are made today, they have a general design that makes them much higher than beds made years ago. That height to a small dog, can potentially cause your dog an injury. If they were to jump off from a height, they could certainly break a leg, or even worse hit their head.
Even if you have a larger dog, as your dog gets older, it can be harder for them to jump up that high. Lots of big dogs can have hip or back issues, so expecting them to jump up as well as jumping down off the bed, can be a real challenge. The other issue with bigger dogs, it can be hard to lift them off the bed yourself just because they are heavy.
Our boy Boo can no longer jump up onto the bed, as he is almost 16 years of age. Funny though he still jumps off the bed, but not because we want him too, it is because he really doesn’t want us to lift him off the bed. I’m guessing it just more of a sense of pride for him to prove that he can still do it. It really is kind of cute.
On or off the bed
Should I let my dog sleep on my bed? This is really one of those dilemmas, that every dog owner decides for themselves.
Ultimately their is no right or wrong answer here. Choosing to have your dog on your bed, only affects you, so hearing someone else have an opinion about it, doesn’t really matter.
The same thing goes if you strongly disagree with letting your dog on the bed that decision is up to you and maybe your partner. Truly it is nobody else s business.
You can make a case either way to say it is healthy or unhealthy to have them on your bed. There is no glaring information that says that this is good or bad for you. Most of the negatives reasons, are at best long shots, that you will have an issue with bacteria or germs. Not saying that it can’t happen, but I have slept with my dogs for almost 2 decades, and I have yet to contract any infection of any kind.
Sometimes families or partners make special arrangements. They may say just as an example I am out of town, you can than have the dog on the bed. But when they come home, the dog is back to the dog bed on the floor.
For my family our two dogs are members of our family and we believe in all going to bed together and waking up together each day. There is just something about waking up to that smiling happy face every day. Nothing else compares to that feeling, so for that reason I should to have my dogs in my bed every single night.
But if I am being totally honest, sometimes I wish they just weren’t on the bed. Every once in awhile you just want to stretch out your legs or move your feet around… but the big fella “FINN” has taken up residency on that part of the bed. Aside from those few moments, it is nice to have us all together.
What works for you?
That is a question for you to answer for yourself and your family.
SLEEP TIGHT FAMILY!