Every dog owner wants to spend as much time with their beloved pet as possible. We all love our fur babies, but, if you live a busy life it can be difficult to find the extra time to be close to them. From my personal experience with a full-time job, two kids and a husband the only time I felt like I could spend quality time with McGuire was while sleeping. Cuddling and sleeping with your dog seems like a win-win situation, right? For years it was the popular opinion that letting your canine companion sleep with you was an unhealthy, or potentially dangerous thing for both you and your dog.
Well, have no fear because sharing a bed could be beneficial to both of you. Especially if you and your pet are both healthy. If you are currently sleeping with your dog, or want to, then go for it. But, if you have any hesitation weigh all of the pros and cons for yourself. We have made it easy below with studies as well as the pros and cons of sharing your bed with your four legged friend.
Studies on Sharing the Bed with Your Dog
Having your dog with you in bed can disturb your sleep, but the researchers reported the effects of that drop in efficiency is minimal. One of the reasons for these disturbances is that a dog’s sleep cycle is much different from a human. Dogs are polyphasic sleepers, meaning they have multiple sleep cycles in a day. With an average of at leas three extended periods of sleep in a day. Humans on the other hand are monophasic sleepers. Usually only having one period of sleep in a 24-hour period of time. Learn more about your sleep cycle HERE!
Another reason for the disturbances is how alert dogs are even during sleep. Though this may be great from a protection standpoint it does cause them to wake easier than their human counterparts. Even for minimal sounds that you would suspect they would never hear. Making even sleeping through a rainy night difficult for everyone.
Pros of Sleeping With Your Dog:
1. Comfort For You & Your Dog:
Most pet owners just love to have their furry companions nearby, even while they are asleep. Dogs can help us relax and being near them can increase the flow of oxytocin, a hormone that promotes happiness, relaxation, and affection. This naturally draws us to having them around all the time, even when sleeping. Your dog can also make you feel less vulnerable while being alone in the dark, giving you a better sense of security.
We LOVE a good snuggle from our pets and loved ones. But did you know it good improve your sleep and all over health? Read our blog How To Cuddle: The Benefits of Cuddling to learn more.
2. Mutual Warmth:
If you are frequently cold at night then letting your pup into bed with you may fix your heating problem. Big fluffy dogs are like sleeping with a radiator in bed with you. Snuggling up with them on a cold night just feels warm and toasty. A dog’s body temperature can average six degrees higher than a human’s body temperature. This is especially comforting in winter, colder climates, or one of the “Three dog nights”. It also might be beneficial to your dog too. If they like to be warm you may be their answer to better sleep too.
3. Dog Security:
There is nothing like going to sleep with the comforting feeling of a dog curled up at your feet. Dogs are highly alert for any noises even in sleep and will wake to any strange disturbances. Your beloved canine can be the best security alarm if something is wrong in the house, such as a break in or fire. This allows you to sleep peacefully knowing your dog is there to watch over you both while you rest. They also provide an an emotional security too. Giving you peace of mind that lets you fully sleep.
4. Reduces Dog Separation Anxiety:
If your dog suffers from a separation anxiety disorder, especially at night, then allowing it to at least sleep in the room with you will help calm it down. Having you in close proximity to them will make them feel loved and safe.
While it won’t fix the issue of separation anxiety it will at least give your dog some relief from the effects of anxiety. This can be especially helpful if your dog tends to wine a lot at night or even become destructive. While once sleeping with your dog was thought to cause separation anxiety there have not been any proven links between separation anxiety and sharing a bed with your pup.
Sleeping with Anxiety is no easy task for you or your pup. If you’re struggling to get a full nights rest, visit our page How To Sleep Better With Anxiety for tips and tricks on getting a full nights rest.
5. Helps with Insomnia:
If you have trouble sleeping like me then letting your dog into bed can be therapeutic. Once your dog falls asleep then its soft rhythmic breathing can help lull you to sleep and has been proven to slow a human’s heart rate. Some people even find their pets snoring to be calming and it can act as white noise to help them fall asleep. Knowing they are there can give you the peace of mind to rest through the night.
6. Strengthen Dog & Owner Bond:
Sharing a bed with your pup may increase the bond you have with it. The extra cuddle time will be appreciated by you and your pet. You are trusting it while you are at your most vulnerable and in turn, they are trusting you. Sharing your bed can increase your dogs feeling that it is part of your family.
7. Puppy Alarm Clock:
Most dog owners have a morning routine to care for their animals. Your pup knows when it’s feeding time or when you usually get up to take it for its morning walk. If you do sleep in too late and miss the alarm a second one will be there to lick you awake. This one won’t have a snooze button either, just a wagging tail waiting to greet you. Who doesn’t want to wake up to a happy face and a wagging tail?
8. Dogs Ease Loneliness:
If you live by yourself it can get a bit lonely. Having your furry companion close eases that loneliness and can calm you. Your pup will want to snuggle up close to you. If you find yourself having a particularly lonely night, allowing your pup to sleep with you can remedy it. It can fill that empty spot on your bed with a nonjudgmental warm companion who is just happy to be on a comfy bed.
9. Companion to Kids:
Dogs can be great protectors for children who are afraid to sleep at night. As a parent, you will probably want to be cautious about allowing your dog to sleep in a child’s room. It’s not recommended for children under the age of six and you will need to ensure the child is responsible enough.
They must understand not to rough house with the animal and give the dog space when it complains. Having the dog in their room can ease their fears and allow them to get a good night’s rest.
10. It Will Make Your Dog Happy:
Your furry companion is always happy to see you and just loves to be around you, so inviting it into the bed to sleep at night will make it that much happier. The pup will enjoy your comfortable bed just as much as you do. It will just be glad to feel loved and to get the extra attention. As well as ease any anxiety they might have. And keep them extra warm and loved.
Cons of Sleeping With Your Dog:
1. Dogs Interrupt Our Sleep:
Since dogs have different sleeping patterns than humans, they disturb our rest more than we think. They wake up and move around much more than we do at night. While the impact is small some people will just need that extra 3 percent sleep efficiency to function the next day. If you already have trouble sleeping then let your pup sleep on a dog bed in the room so you both can still get the benefits of each others company.
2. Risk of Ticks, Fleas, or Diseases:
The risk of transferring a disease between humans and canines is very low. As long as you and your dog are both healthy and clean there should be no issues. Ticks and fleas can be another problem. Be sure to have all your pets on a flea and tick preventative and check your pup for them regularly. You don’t want to wake up with a tick on you and flea bites will quickly ruin cuddles.
3. Fur Everywhere:
If you have a dog that doesn’t shed, then you are truly blessed. For all those with shedding dogs, then you’re in for a continual battle of the fluff. Even if the color of your bed sheets disguise the presence of dog hair… It’s still going to be there. Collecting and causing you irritation as you sleep.
When it comes to a dog that continually shed, you will eventually have to concede that your home will be covered in dog fur no matter what. No matter how many times you wash your sheets, use a furminator brush, vacuum, or lint roll. The fur will still be lingering. So you can either keep your pup off the bed in a desperate attempt to keep the fur out, or clean your sheets often and snuggle away, extra fur and all.
4. Dogs Are Bed Hogs:
This will be a big problem if you have a small bed or if you sleep with a partner. You may be surprised that even the smallest of dogs can spread out and take a surprising amount of space on the bed.
Dogs really only spread out like this once they are comfortable with their owners. While this can be a sign that they trust you completely, if you have a bigger dog, it can get very crowded on the bed. You may wake up because your dog has inadvertently pushed you to the edge of the bed or shoved its paws into your back.
5. Wake Up Too Early:
If your canine has to go out for a bathroom break or decides you have overslept past feeding time, they may decide to wake you up. This can be rough if you had a long night and just want to sleep in. Your dog might start to bark at you and some dog owners just don’t like being licked awake by an impatient pup. It’s unavoidable if your dog sleeps in the same room as you. You may even find that your dog wants you to get up every time they do which can be an extremely annoying circumstance when you have work in 4 hours.
6. Too Hot:
If you run hot while you sleep then the extra body heat of your pet may be too much for you to handle. This is amplified by summer weather and hot climates. You may find yourself pushing your pup away at night, kicking off the blankets, and sweating too much. These disturbances may ruin your sleep and cause you to reconsider allowing your pet in bed. If you are a warm sleeper it will be best to let your dog sleep on a separate bed.
Dogs snore and sometimes it can be very loud. While this may seem cute at first it will lose its charm around three in the morning when you have to work early that day. If you have a bigger dog that snores, you will sleep better if you give them their own bed to sleep in away from yours. This will put distance between you and the noise, giving you a much better night of rest.
8. Separating you and your partner:
If you share your bed with a significant other then beware. Your dog may decide it wants to sleep closer to you and will squeeze itself in between the two of you. This may not be too much of a problem if you have a small dog or a very large bed, but if you have a full-size bed and a St. Bernard, it can be very crowded. If you still want your dog to stay in the bed consider a large mattress. Keep in mind your partner’s feelings and don’t share the bed if one of you is uncomfortable with it.
Tired of sleeping next to your partner anyway? If you love your partner but can’t stand sleeping next to them then it maybe time to get a Sleep Divorce.
9. Increased allergies:
If you have allergies to your pets’ fur or dander than allowing it to sleep with you will only worsen them. The allergens even being in the room can have a negative impact on your sleep and they can remain strong for months at a time. Take special care if you have a child that has these allergies. The allergens can and will cling to furniture, clothing, and other surfaces. It’s suggested that you make the entire bedroom a pup-free zone so that you and your family can enjoy the time with your pet and not just be suffering continuously.
Need a mattress protector? We got you covered, check out our page Mattress Protector Reviews to find your perfect mattress protector that can keep all of these allergens out of your mattress.
10. Active dreaming:
In my experience, some dogs are very active dreamers. They will bark, growl, howl, and even kick their legs as if they are running. It may be cute to watch your pup napping on the floor and chasing the mailman in its sleep, but it becomes an issue when your dog accidentally kicks you in the face while you’re asleep. Dogs can also have nightmares and just like humans who awake from a scary dream, they can sometimes lash out if you wake them from one. If you are woken up by a doggy nightmare, wait for them to wake up and comfort them.
Had any ruff nightmares lately? Learn how to fall asleep after waking up from a bad dream. Visit our page How To Go To Sleep After a Nightmare to learn how.
11) Dog Safety:
Some dogs are simply larger than others. If you roll over onto your Great Dane then you’re in for a good snuggle. However, it can be dangerous for the health and safety of smaller dogs to be sleeping in the same bed as adult humans. Especially when they are puppies. It is important to be mindful of your dogs safety when choose whether or not to allow them to sleep in the bed with you. Even if they are dealing with separation anxiety, it might be for their own good to sleep on their own.
Dog Bed Instead?
Does sleeping with your dog seem like too much of a hassle? Well, maybe you can have the best of both worlds. Keep them close by but in style and comfort. Making sure you find the right bed for your Fido is key to ensuring a success transfer for your bed to theirs. With so many pet beds on the market, finding the perfect one should be easy.
The My Pillow Dog Bed is a great option. With multiple colors you’ll find the perfect compliment to your bedroom. While the Purple Dog Bed uses it’s innovative materials to give your dog the latest technology advanced bed too. And even the Casper Dog Bed will have your pooch dreaming in their own comfy bed in no time. Each available in different sizes that offer their own unique benefits for your dogs best night sleep too!
Is your sleep suffering? Read 8 Things To Remove From Your Bedroom to find out what in your room could be ruining your nights rest.
To Sleep or Not to Sleep:
Those are both our pros and cons for allowing your furry friend to share a bed with you. There are many factors to consider before letting your favorite canine share a bed with you, such as home size, animal size, and how many animals you have. You wouldn’t want three Saint Bernards trying to squeeze into bed with you.
These tips are just a few to help you make an informed decision that makes your family and your furry companion happy. Both of you will appreciate a comfy bed and a healthier life. In our home, we feel the benefits of sleeping with your dog greatly outweigh the problems that come with it.
Have your own reasons for snuggling with your pup? We would love to hear them. Feel free to reach out and Contact Us we would love to hear why you love sleeping next to your fluffy friend.
Check out this article if you want general tips for better sleep