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Dog On Bed? Yay Or Nay?

a profile image of TSA author Alex

Written By Alex Petrović

Certified Sleep Consultant

Dog sleeping with a book

9 April 2024 7 min read

We all love our furry little friends and we can go out of our way to make them comfortable. Sometimes that means saving up a little more money to buy high-quality food, taking the extra time to play with them and train them or going through the stress together of visiting a vet.

All of this can definitely help build a healthy relationship with your dog. However, there is always the dilemma of letting dogs sleep with us in the same bed. Is it safe? What are the consequences of letting a dog on bed? Do we have to be more careful, or is it completely safe to snuggle up to your little (or in some cases big) fuzzy buddy?

We are going to talk about the benefits of sleeping with a dog, as well as some precautionary measures. We know that it’s important to keep your pet healthy and happy. However, that is not a one way street. Here’s what you need to know!

a girl with a dog on couch

What's the deal?

A dog on bed is probably stigmatised in some households. Many families with dogs don’t even allow them on the couch, let alone bed. There is a firm belief that a dog shouldn’t sleep with humans even in the same room. That’s why many people buy dog beds and put them in a designated area. That area is usually far from the kitchen, kids’ room and bedroom. But, doesn’t that make the pooch feel lonely?

A fair amount of people disagree with this method, too. About 60 percent of dog owners confirmed that they let their dog on bed, if not always, at least occasionally. On the other hand a large portion of dog owners also state that they sleep with their pooch almost every night. So, what’s the deal? Why so many different opinions? The answer lies in many pros and cons of sleeping with a dog – they are all fair points that you need to take into consideration before you let your dog on bed.

an image of a dog sleeping in a bed with its owner

Pros of letting your dog on bed

A dog on bed can keep you warm

If you let your dog snuggle up with you at cold nights you will feel warmer. Dogs have a higher body temperature than humans, and that’s why they are so good for sleeping in bed and keeping it warm. If you’re feeling a bit shivery and are having problems with cold feet/hands, then a dog can certainly help with that. Many cultures which live in cold areas have let their dogs sleep with them to keep warm – so why shouldn’t you? It’s beneficial for both of you.

an image of a woman sleeping in a bed with her dog

Dogs help you relax

There has been over hundreds of research conducted on the effects of pets and cuddling on human psyche. Many of them confirmed that snuggling up to a fuzzy creature can help you relax. Many dogs are therapy dogs which can help with a number of issues, from guide dogs, to therapy dogs that people use for PTSD, anxiety or depression.

Cuddling with a dog also lowers blood pressure, relaxes your muscles and calms your nerves in general. You simply can’t stay upset when you have an innocent cute snuggle buddy, right? That’s why people with insomnia and other sleep disorders might find it useful to have a dog at their side when it’s time to sleep.

an image of a dog laying down in a bed

You'll feel safer – they protect you

When you get your dog, you must understand one thing: you’re now a pack. No matter how ridiculous it may seem or sound, dogs are programmed to think that way. And, of course, if you’re accepted as a member or leader of a pack, you will be protected. Knowing that can make you feel at ease.

How many times have you woken up in the middle of the night, and felt scared that someone/something might be in your home? You could’ve had a nightmare, or some problems bothering you, making you feel uneasy. A dog at your side will help you relax in those situations. You needn’t worry about burglars, monsters or anything similar – they are here to protect you. If you take care of your pet, they will return the favour.

two dogs sleeping in a bed

It will make them happy

Dogs are social creatures – whether with humans or in a pack, they need to be close to someone. Some breeds don’t mind being left alone, while others are fairly dependant on their owner. However, there isn’t anything more satisfying than watching a happy pooch lie beside you. That way they will be more content. If they trust you, that means they will be more relaxed, and less on alert for danger. While they’re alone, they can be more sensitive when they sleep.

Another thing that is worth mentioning is that rescue dogs have had a really hard time and haven’t usually slept on any soft surfaces. If you have a rescue dog, you wouldn’t believe how much happy it would make them to sleep on something soft.

an image of a dog sleeping in a bed

Cons of letting your dog on bed

They can wake you up

If you’re not a morning person – you either have to become one or stop letting your dog on bed. Sometimes dogs can disturb your sleep during night. They may wake up, roam around the room, bark, or snore. Unless you’re a firm sleeper and don't mind that noise, we believe you won’t get any rest.

Allergies and asthma

Before you decide to let your dog sleep on the same bed – make sure no one has allergies. Allergies may appear due to pet dander, urine or saliva. Bear in mind that hypoallergenic pets don’t exist. There are some breeds of dogs that people are less allergic of, and some that are more. Allergies are a serious issue and if you decide to keep your pet, keep it out of the bedroom.

They may come between you and your partner

Sharing a bed with your dog is awesome, but sometimes you and your partner need privacy. If you feel like a dog may come in the way of your intimacy, don’t get it used to sleeping on the bed. Sometimes it’s enough to put the dog bed in the bedroom so you can all share a room, and when you need some alone time, you can let him outside. Making the dog get off the bed by force, when they don’t feel like it (sleepy, napping) is both stressful for the pet and the owner.

Behaviour problems

Many people claim that letting a dog on bed can condone a feeling of dominance in them. However, that is not exactly the case. If a dog is well trained and obedient, you probably won’t have a problem with sharing your bed with them or telling them when they need to get off. A poorly trained dog, a possessive or jealous dog, or a dog with behaviour problems like aggression will naturally show that the bed is theirs. Before you let your dog on bed – make sure they don’t show any signs of aggression or possession because that may pose as a problem in the future.

Can you get sick if you let your dog sleep on the bed?

Technically, yes. If your dog is spending time outside there is an off chance to get dirt, fleas, ticks, worms and some other diseases inside your home. But here’s what you need to do to prevent that from happening:

an image of a dog laying down

Conclusion

So, there you go – all you need to know about sleeping with a dog. All dog lovers will agree that if you want to share your bed with them – you can do it too. However, it’s a huge responsibility – if you want to take care of your health and the health of your pet. Make sure to follow our instructions before you start letting your dog on bed. And, last but not least – have fun sharing the bed with your pooch!

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About the author

Alex Petrović
Sleep Consultant
A CPD certified Sleep Consultant with more than 2000 hours of research into all the different ways we can get a great night's sleep. As a former insomniac, I know how difficult life can be without a nightly recovery and I love that I get to share everything I've learned with you all. So hopefully we can all sleep soundly!
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