As a dog owner, it’s hard to say no to your best friend. Keeping them off the couch and other furniture can become quite difficult over time.
Nowhere is this more evident than the bedroom.
Dogs crave attention and proximity to their owners. This unconditional support has its benefits, but before allowing your pet into bed it’s important to consider the consequences before establishing a routine that could be very difficult to break.
Factors to Consider Before You Let Your Dog Sleep with You
Dogs can be noisy and pushy in bed. Establishing a puppy sleeping arrangement, such as a crate may be key, until they are fully house trained and you know exactly how big they are going to be.
While it may be cute to bring your puppy to bed, it is not so fun when they grow to be 60 pounds. Let’s not forget about the snoring, barking, and generally differing sleep cycles.
If you value a thoroughly deep night’s sleep having your dog in bed is not the best choice. Furthermore, having your dog sleep with you can become a territorial problem.
Dogs can begin to see the bed as theirs to protect and be uninviting or downright aggressive to new guests. This behavior is common but not optimal, especially for anyone with children or a new romantic interest.
Don’t forget, dogs are generally dirty and messy. So expect your bed to become a hairy, smelly, slobbery, fiasco in no time. Knowing these risks, and allowing your dog in bed is your choice, and yours alone, changing your mind is not a betrayal.
When to Kick Your Furry Friend Off Your Bed
Generally having a pet in bed is a calming influence. They keep their owners warm, safe, and happy. There is really no substitute to being greeted first thing in the morning by your best friend.
If your dog likes to be on the bed then, of course, they will be happier too. That being said, there are a few times when your pooch should get down off the bed:
- If they are disturbing your sleep to the point of serious issues like inability to focus at work or constant illness, you should move them down to the floor.
- If they are literally coming between you and your family. Either by physically splitting you or by exhibiting aggressive behavior that has you scared to make contact.
- Dogs spend a lot of time outside, and they can come into contact with some nasty stuff. Think allergens, dirt, and insects that can transmit diseases. If you have serious allergic reactions or are immune-compromised then it’s probably better to be safe than sorry.
- If you don’t feel, for any reason, that you want them on the bed. That’s it, end of story.
While the serious risks to human health are minimal, they do exist. After examining these negatives, and making your decision it’s important to realize it is not permanent. Try different systems and see what works best for you (and your pet) before establishing a ironclad routine.
How to Reclaim Your Bed from Your Pooch
So you’ve decided sharing with your pup isn’t working out, no shame in that. How do you get them off the bed, and keep them off?
There are a variety of methods but most require patience and training.
Return Pup to Crate
The first is returning them to the crate they used during housetraining.
This can be difficult as they may have grown and generally don’t like being locked in a small box. There will undoubtedly be some whining or barking but they will eventually accept the new arrangement if you stay committed.
They are still in the room with you so it’s not all bad.
Create a Sleeping Area in the Bedroom
The second option is using a bigger play pen or baby gate to give them their own area of the bedroom.
You can make this area quite comfortable and allow them a bit more space to move around. You can also create a soothing sleeping environment for them especially if the pups are having a hard time sleeping.
Establish Permission First Policy
Finally, creating a permission-first policy before getting onto any furniture is a useful tool.
Training your dog to sit before being invited onto any human furniture is important. This will keep them off unless you really want to have them on the bed.
Also, if you usually don’t mind them being on the bed but you’re in need of some deep sleep, you can keep them off as needed. Remember, it’s your bed, and your choice, every single night.
Is Having Your Pup in Bed That Bad?
There is a reason more than 1 of 3 dog owners report allowing their dogs to share their beds. There are some empirical benefits to cuddling up to your collie.
First of all, dogs’ bodies are very warm. The fur and a higher body temperature make them great companions on a cold winter night.
The rhythmic breathing of another being can also consistently help lull you to sleep. Furthermore, it’s impossible to not feel safer with your trusted guard dog right next to you.
Clearly, your dog likes it too otherwise they’d be sleeping on the floor, and a happy dog makes for a happier owner. So there are definite benefits to sleeping with your best friend every night. If it works for you, that’s reason enough.
Should You Let Your Pup Sleep With You? The Verdict
There is no right or wrong answer.
If you see your bed as a peaceful sanctuary where you go to rest and relax, it’s probably best to keep Fido on the floor.
However, if your bed is the hub of family activity and a place of community, having your dog join can be a great addition.
Just make sure they know whose domain it is.
In general, the permission first policy is an excellent way to make sure they know who the boss is. If it’s not working out, or you have a big meeting the next day, just tell them no and keep a space for them at the foot of the bed.
They will appear sad at first and would probably be happier staying with you, but if it’s not working, you have the right to move them to the floor.
If you’re having trouble getting them down, and keeping them down, don’t be afraid to hire a professional trainer. Sleeping patterns are very repetitive and difficult to change, so it’s not a personal failure to seek expertise.
Bottom line, cuddling is cool, but your sleep and health should come first since your dog won’t really mind sleeping nearby.
Do you let your furry baby sleep with you? Share in comments.