Should Your Dog Sleep In Your Bed? How Bad Can It Be?
There’s something all-American about having a dog at the foot of your bed or snuggled close to you. Their warm fur, wet noses, and big, brown eyes can bring on all the feels. But, the all-time question remains: should your dog sleep in your bed?
“Sharing a bed with your dog is a good bonding experience,” says Shadi Ireifej, DVM DACVS of VetTriage. “It gives them emotional comfort.”
But as comforting as it may be, is it a good idea to co-sleep? Would it be better to invest in a modern dog bed? Don’t worry. According to research, there might be some benefits of cuddling with your furry friend after all. Also, Ireifej shared the pros and cons of letting your dog sleep with you and what to look for in a modern dog bed.
Pros and Cons of Sharing a Bed With Your Dog
Bonding is the most significant benefit to bed-sharing with your dog. But there are other ways to bond with your pet during the day, including walks and playtime. It’s often best to have your own spaces at night, particularly if you have a smaller bed.
“The bed is your place to rest,” says Ireifej. If you or your dog toss and turn all night, it may be disruptive — for you and your dog. “They want to feel they are in a safe, peaceful location during sleep,” says Ireifej. “It needs to be in an area of the house that is quiet, and they want to feel they are protected.”
Why You Should Let Your Dog Sleep in Your Bed
You often hear that your dog should sleep on the floor, in its crate, or its own bed. According to some research, there might be some benefits to co-sleeping with your dog. Beyond allowing you to spend even more quality time with your furry friend, it can also help with:
- Promote the feelings of comfort and companionship your dog provides.
- Ease anxiety and provide feelings of safety and security.
- Provide a natural warmth that can keep you comfortable on a cold night.
For a well-adjusted dog, it’s doubtful that sleeping in your bedroom will cause any trouble. If anything, it will delight your dog, enhance the dog-owner bond, and ensure you wake up every morning to a tail-wagging dog.
Why You Shouldn’t Let Your Dog Sleep in Your Bed
Of course, there are two sides to every argument, and this one is no exception. There are indeed some concerns related to co-sleeping with your dog. For example, allergies can be aggravated, quality of sleep can be affected, and the possibility of transmission of diseases (both ways). Here are other occasions on which you shouldn’t let your dog sleep in your bed:
- Having a dog with separation anxiety that’s negatively affected by co-sleeping.
- A dog with resource guarding issues that protects his sleeping spot on the bed.
- Having a dog with behavioral problems that seem to be worsened by co-sleeping.
Of course, these issues alone are hard to pinpoint to co-sleeping alone. It might be beneficial to consult with a professional trainer, veterinarian, or behavior consultant about your co-sleeping practices to make sure you aren’t hurting your pet.
Is It Hygienic to Let Your Dog Sleep in Your Bed?
The biggest concern for pet-owners and everyone opposed to the idea of co-sleeping with your dog is hygiene. We hear all about the plague, fleas, parasites, and dirt crawling their way into our beds. However, if you don’t suffer from allergies or a compromised immune system, these aren’t a huge danger for you.
It’s almost impossible for someone to get sick because they sleep with their dog. Remember, your dog is already part of your home. Their quote-on-quote germs are also your germs. Almost 95% of the time, it’s very safe to sleep with your pet.
What to Look for in a Modern Dog Bed
Sometimes, pups need a little alone time. A modern dog bed gives them a space to retreat to when they just need a break. You want your puppy to love their sleep space, so they feel warm, safe, and comfortable whenever they hop into it.
But not all dog beds are the same. Ireifej shared a few qualities to look for when searching modern dog beds:
- Transportability: Dogs are the perfect road trip buddies. But even an adaptable dog may be a little apprehensive in a new place. Dog beds can be calming — they bring a piece of home on the road. Ireifej suggests finding one that is easy to pick up and can fit in a vehicle.
- Indestructible: We love our pets, but they can be a bit messy sometimes. Modern dog beds are expensive — you want one that lasts. Look for a dog bed that’s accident-resistant and dig-proof
- Washable: Even if your pup is on the tidier side, it’s good to wash their bed every once in a while. Opt for a washable dog bed you can throw in your washing machine, so you don’t have to do it by hand.
- Orthopedic mattress: As your pet ages, an orthopedic mattress can help them feel more comfortable. You’ll also want something low to the ground that doesn’t require them to climb in and out.
- Stylish: Your pup may not notice the designs on their bed, but you will. Look for something that goes with your home’s decor. Whether it’s neutral hues like to match your mid-century modern vibe or a pattern that highlights your bohemian throw pillows. Especially if you’re on #teamdogsinbed.
Whether you choose to keep your pup next to your bedside or on top of your bed, having their own bed gives them their private space. Now, you don’t need to compromise in style to provide the comfort your dog deserves.