Do you share your slumber with your furry friend? A recent study conducted by the Mayo Clinic found that over 50% of the 150 participants slept with their dogs. Of those people, almost half claimed that they slept better with a dog snuggled up next to them. One reason for this was that the dog provided a feeling of safety and security, especially if they slept alone. Not only that, but their rhythmic breathing often lulled their pet parent to sleep as well.
Some dog trainers don’t support the idea of sharing your bed with a dog. They feel that if you let your pet do this, they may feel like they’re the leader of your family pack, while other trainers don’t see any problem with it. It’s more likely that the dog just wants to be close to their humans and your bed is a warm comfortable place, especially in the colder months.
There are some times when curling up with your dog isn’t very relaxing. Some dogs leave dirt and sand between your sheets and that makes your bed scratchy. Muddy footprints aren’t welcome either. Even worse is if your pup has fleas; these little biting parasites aren’t fussy and are just as likely to bite you as they are your dog. If you’re going to invite a pet into your bed for a nap, wash and brush them regularly and use a reliable flea control product.
Pet parents of dogs that wet the bed aren’t likely to get a good night’s sleep with their four-legged companion nearby and they’ll be changing their bed linen every day. If your pup isn’t toilet-trained yet, then postpone snoozing together until they are. Go right back to basics if necessary and supervise your pup at all times. Crates are particularly useful for toilet-training for those times when you’re not able to keep an eye on them. If they’re incontinent, then have them checked by your vet to see why it’s happening and what options there are to manage it.
Some dogs have sleeping habits that are disruptive. They might take some time to settle down and fidget until they get comfortable. If your dog has allergies, they may lick their feet or skin and, in the quiet of the night, this can sound very loud. Big dogs stretch out and don’t leave much room for you. Some people find that their canine family member doesn’t like their human partner sharing the bed and they may growl at them. Should you find yourself in this position, then seek the help of a veterinary behaviorist. If the company of your dog isn’t allowing you to have a good night’s sleep, then you need to find an alternative for them.
Ultimately, you’re in charge of where your dog sleeps. If you’re happy with them on your bed, that’s fine. If you don’t enjoy having them so close and would prefer them on the floor, on their own bed, or even in another room, that’s fine, too. Just be consistent with where they snooze to avoid them becoming confused.