It’s not easy to decide whether to allow your dog to sleep on the bed— you don’t want to spoil your pet but at the same time, you also don’t want your pooch to be lonely at night, said Jean Marie Bauhaus of Hill’s Pet, an American pet food company. Relax and take a deep breath. There are some factors you need to consider before letting Fido sleep on the bed. Not wanting your dog to be lonely is a valid concern, but ensuring a good night’s sleep is another story.
Surveys Reveal That Owners Love Sleeping With Their Pets and Vice Versa
SpotOn Virtual Smart Fence, the first and only dog containment and tracking system, found that 98% of dog owners considered their dogs to be members of the family, cited Business Wire, a press release distribution website. Per SpotOn’s 2019 survey, 50% of dog owners said their pet canine sleeps in a family member’s bed while 32% said their dogs sleep in a family member’s bedroom. Dog owners in the Northeast (60%) were more likely to say that they snuggle their dog at night unlike 49% of participants from other regions.
Likewise, 71% of pet owners sleep with their pets, with 43% doing so every night, 23% sometimes, and 5% when their significant other was out of town, according to a 2014 survey by Novosbed, a memory foam mattress company, cited PR Newswire, a distributor of press releases in New York City. Pets also had their own favorite sleeping spots such as at the foot of the bed on top of the comforter (52%), snuggling next to their owner (23%), sharing a pillow (11%), and sleeping under the covers (14%).
Interestingly, 67% of humans said they prefer to sleep on their sides unlike 35% of pets. 11% of owners preferred to sleep on their stomachs compared to 5% of pets. 52% of pets loved to curl up in a ball while sleeping, while none of the humans preferred to sleep in this position.
What Should I Know Before Letting My Dog Sleep With Me?
1. A Choice
You are the only one who can determine whether you are comfortable with the idea of sleeping with your pet. If you are keen on this idea, your dog is “qualified” if it can sleep through the night without the need to relieve itself, stated Dr. Marty Becker, DVM, of Vetstreet, a pet care and health website.
You can let it sleep with you if your dog can remain in his own bed or crate without crying to be let out. Consider your dog’s size as well. If it is tiny that you might accidentally harm or too huge that it might accidentally hurt you, then you need to scrap the idea of letting it sleep with you.
Lynn Buzhardt, DVM, or VCA, an operator of over 1,000 animal hospitals in the US and Canada, said some people are allergic to dogs, with prolonged close contact exposing them to pet dander that may result in respiratory symptoms. Even if you are not allergic, you can also start to exhibit increased allergic symptoms when sleeping with your dog.
Let’s say your pooch desperately needs to potty. Dust and pollen cling to fur, making human allergies worse. Dander, pollen, and dust may also be left behind on the bed coverings. This proves that allergic effects remain long after your dog leaves the bedroom.
However, you can practice good pet hygiene to prevent allergies. For example, you can wipe your dog with a damp towel before it comes into the bedroom to reduce the amount of outdoor pollen and dust. Bathe your dog and use HEPA filters. Wash your bed linens frequently to minimize your exposure to allergens, which may prompt your dog to re-claim its bed on your bed.
3. Sleeping Soundly
Dogs provide a sense of security and for heavy sleepers, they know their dog can warn them of an emergency such as a fire or an intruder. If you live alone, you might feel better when a breathing animal is sleeping beside you.
However, some owners don’t get a good night’s sleep when their dog is on their pet. If you are a light sleeper, you can be awakened when rover rolls over, kicks, or scratches. You might also be annoyed when your dog snores too loud. Poor sleep can make you cranky and affect your immune system, compromising your overall health. Consider training your canine to sleep at your feet to minimize interruptions in case it moves during the night.
4. Your Dog’s Perspective
Assess the situation from your dog’s perspective. Do you think it can sleep well with you? Some pet canines get too hot when sleeping on a bed, preferring to lie down on the cool floor. Others like to change their sleep spots from the kitchen floor to the sofa or bathroom rug. Will that be okay with you?
In this case, let your sleep at the ground level to make it easier for your dog to get its additional dose of z’s. You might also disturb your dog if you are a restless sleeper. There are also some dogs who want to sleep on the bed but not with you. Dogs consider your bed as their throne, albeit too seriously.
Dogs can become aggressive if they see your bed as their territory, prompting to exhibit signs of resource guarding or status-related aggression. Your dog won’t defer to your authority. One suggestion is to not allow it back on your bed until your dog learns to control its aggression.
6. Great Heights
If your dog is unable to get in and out of the bed with ease, then it might not be a good idea to let it snuggle with you. Smaller dogs need to jump down, so it is recommended to place a bench at the end of the bed to help it climb up and down with ease. If you have to pick up your canine, then it is better if it stays on the ground rather than letting it injure itself from jumping.
In the end, it’s all a matter of choice. Consider your own health, as well as your dog’s. If you are sleeping with other people, you have to consider their needs as well. It might not be a good idea if your dog has behavioral problems. Otherwise, you and your dog can sleep together peacefully.