Can your dog sleep in your bed?
Most people are firmly on one side of the dogs-in-the-bedroom debate, but it’s hard to find a solid answer. So, is it okay to sleep with your dog on the bed?
The simple answer is ‘yes’ - most experts agree that it’s completely fine to share a bed with your canine pal! If both you and your furry friend are happy with the arrangement, you can continue snoozing in peace. Having said that, it’s not the right choice for everyone, and there are plenty of reasons to keep your bed to yourself. So before you hit the pillow with your pet, think about what works best for you.
The benefits of letting your dog sleep on your bed
Let’s face it, there’s little better than waking up and seeing your dog at the end of the bed. Having our pets close by can make us feel great, and that’s just the beginning.
Reassurance - The presence of a dog at the end of your bed can be soothing and reassuring. You might find that their weight and the noises they make help lull you to sleep, especially if you feel stressed or anxious. In fact, research on co-sleeping with a dog has found that they can significantly help people who suffer from chronic nightmares or conditions like sleep apnea and REM sleep behaviour disorder.
Warmth - Many people underestimate how much warmer a bed is when a dog is involved. This is particularly helpful in winter, when both you and your dog might need some help staying toasty at night. Move over, hot water bottle!
Security - The chances of you needing your own security guard at night are probably low, but the feeling of having a personal lookout is priceless. This is especially true if you live alone, as having a friendly presence in the room can help you feel safer.
Companionship - If your relationship with your dog is strong, you might both simply be happier if you’re close to each other during the night. If you’re often away during the day, sleeping with your dog is also a great way to bond.
Habit - Simply put, if you’re used to your dog sleeping on your bed, you might find it hard to change your ways. If you’ve always shared your sleeping space and it makes you happy, why upset your routine?
The disadvantages of letting your dog sleep on your bed
Although snoozing with your dog can be beneficial for both parties, there are some compelling reasons why your dog shouldn’t sleep with you. Here are some things to consider:
Allergies - Even if you have only a mild pet hair allergy, sleeping with your dog in close proximity could exacerbate it. Your stuffy nose might not be the product of a long-running mild cold after all, but the presence of your pet.
Cleaning - Dogs are generally very good at keeping themselves clean. However, most still shed fur, have a natural smell, and sometimes carry dirt on their paws. If you share your bed with a dog, you’ll have to up your cleaning routine to make sure your bed is the oasis you want it to be. A mattress protector like ours can make things easier.
Disturbances - Just like humans, animals tend to toss and turn during REM sleep, and when your dog’s dream of a gentle stroll turns into a high-speed pursuit you might find yourself losing valuable sleep. Similarly, you could end up disturbing them (although at least they have the luxury of daytime napping). Your mattress can help you sleep through disturbances (check out the Simba Hybrid® Mattress, which minimises motion transfer), but only you know how much you can put up with.
Why does my dog sleep on me?
“It’s just for one night,” you say as your dog curls up at the end (or right in the middle) of your bed. Months later, you realise that the super-luxury dog bed you purchased is still unused, and your canine companion is taking up increasing amounts of valuable mattress space.
You might despair when your dog insists on curling up on your pillow, draping themselves over your face, or making your feet go numb by snoozing on them all night, but it’s a good thing (to them, anyway). Dogs are pack animals, and by sleeping with you they’re telling you that you’re in the same pack.
With that in mind, you might take the compliment and let them get on with it. However, if it disturbs your sleep, it’s fine to make it clear that their home is in the other room. You’re in charge, and what they lose in nocturnal cuddle time they’ll gain in a happier and less sleep-deprived owner!
Is my dog sleeping on my bed bad for my health?
In general, it’s completely safe to share your sleeping space with a dog - as long as you adapt to the situation. Remember to regularly clean your mattress and bedding as instructed by the manufacturer to keep things hygienic. Luckily it’s very unusual for illnesses to pass between dogs and humans, so there’s little to worry about, especially if you’re both healthy.
Of course, it’s important to make sure you both have enough room as well. Your dog may accidentally scratch you if you’re too close, or you may find yourself rolling over and ending up on a paw.
So, yes, your dog can sleep on your bed!
… if it makes you both happy, of course. And as always, everybody (and every dog) is different, so only you can make the right decision. It’s also worth chatting to your vet before making any changes, as they’ll be able to answer specific questions.