Does your dog sneak into bed once you nod off? Maybe yours has a habit of sleeping with you and you’re worried about whether or not you should allow them to?
By Emma Carter, Sleep.Report
Whatever your circumstances, let’s take a look at the pros and cons of letting your dog sleep in your bed.
Pros of Sharing a Bed with Your Pooch
Whether it is encouraged or we try to turn a blind eye to it, a lot of us dog owners share our bed with our pet. While this can have some drawbacks, in general, the positives far outweigh the negatives.
This may sound crazy to people who don’t own a dog, but sleeping with your four-legged friend can be extremely therapeutic as it helps you to relax. It can be a great way to reduce stress, the feeling of loneliness, and even insomnia in some cases.
Maximize Your Time Together
If you work long hours or are out of the house and away from your dog for most of the day, sharing a bed can help you to maximize your time together.
We’re all increasingly busy and if you find yourself struggling to spend enough quality time with your dog throughout the week, then the extra time that you spend together before, during, and after sleeping can make all of the difference.
Just like sharing a bed with a person, when you share a bed with your dog, it can help to increase your special bond.
Proximity creates better ties. Being there when you’re sleeping – physically at your most vulnerable, will boost the special connection between both of you.
Cons of Sleeping With Your Dog
While a lot of dog owners will enthuse over the benefits of sharing a bed with their dog, there are also several important drawbacks that you need to consider before sleeping with your pet becomes a regular habit.
Chihuahua owners are less likely to experience space issues than St Bernard owners, however, even average to small-sized dogs can take up a significant amount of space in the bed.
While they may start off occupying just a small corner at the bottom, you could soon find that your dog likes to hog more than their fair share which leaves you waking up on the edge of the bed.
Disrupted Sleep Pattern
Space aside, you may also have your sleep disrupted if your dog tends to move about a lot during the night, regardless of their size.
If you’re a light sleeper or if your dog tends to move, fidget or heavily snore throughout the night, then you will probably get a much better and deeper night’s sleep with them off the bed and possibly even out of the bedroom.
They can always come to bed for a quick cuddle in the morning if you just can’t get any sleep with them beside you all night long.
This is quite a major drawback for a lot of dog lovers.
If your dog sleeps on your bed then you’re going to get quite a fair bit of dog hair on your bed – not to mention dribble, possibly some dog toys and maybe even the odd dog chew!
Some Dogs May Be Uncomfortable
While most dogs will more than happily sleep with their owners without an issue, not all dogs prefer to sleep on the bed. Some just prefer their own space while others get too hot especially in summer.
If you have a new dog, you may want to hold off letting him sleep on your bed until you’ve fully assessed their character and know their full behavioural history.
Contrary to old advice, sleeping with your dog rarely causes any behavioural problems.
Although many dog owners find sleeping with their pets to be therapeutic, it’s not for everyone. It isn’t necessarily for every dog either. So, be aware of the disadvantages that can distract from the positives.
That said, sharing a bed with your dog can be a great way to maximise your time together and you may also find that it even improves your general wellbeing and overall sleep quality.