If you’re a dog owner, there’s a good chance you’re just as loyal to your pet as they are to you.
This means you share pretty much every aspect of your life with them and spend every moment of the day by their side when you’re at home.
For many dogs owners that means sleeping with a dog in their bed or sharing their bedroom with them each night. Others may be repulsed at the thought of a dog sleeping with owner and getting their fur and slobber everywhere, and for rest of us, there’s no better way to live.
If you’re someone who sleeps with a dog you might be interested to learn about the pros and cons of this practice and whether it’s actually the best thing to do.
For those of you with a dog sleeping in their bed and wanting to get them out, we’ve got a few tips to make the transition a little easier.
The Benefits of Sleeping With Your Dog in Bed
Dogs are certainly great companions, and it just makes good sense for their owners to want to keep them close at all times. Studies have been done into the benefits of sleeping with your dog, with some surprising results:
For people sleeping alone, having a dog companion in the bed might help them feel not so alone. If you’re a single person then it can cure your loneliness letting your four-legged friend in the bed.
The safety of having a dog in the bed to keep an eye out for prowlers is a big benefit for some people and helps them feel protected through the night with this extra security measure.
According to a study published by Mayo Clinic, having a dog in the room achieved an 83% sleep efficiency for people, whereas sleeping with the dog in their bed offered 80% sleep efficiency.
The standard is 80% so it shows no obvious signs of disruption if you’re not usually a light sleeper.
The Disadvantages of Sleeping With Dogs
Although it can cure loneliness and help you feel secure at night, it’s not all good points when you let your dog sleep with you. These are some of the downsides of having a canine friend in the bed with you.
Most dog breeds shed fur when they’re regenerating a new coat, and this can easily come off in your bed. The fur could also contain things like fleas and other parasites, so you need to be extra cautious with hygiene and should be changing your sheets every few days.
Dogs have their own unique smell and even just one night sharing the sheets with you can create an unpleasant smell in the bed and bedroom.
Some believe that dog sleeping in bed dominance issues are created because they’re allowed to share the same space as their owner at night. This could lead with further problems to do with discipline.
Some people are light sleepers and having a dog in the bed who moves around, scratches, and even dreams could create a less than relaxing sleep environment.
How to Keep Your Dog Out of the Bedroom
Dogs are just like us, and if you usually offer them a place in your warm, comfortable bed to sleep in at night it will take some training to get themselves out of the habit.
If your dog has become accustomed to sharing your bed but you want to put an end to it, these are the steps you should take.
1. Set up a comfortable place for your dog to sleep inside the house. They could have a dog bed, blanket, pillow, or whatever you think would make them feel comfortable. You want to make it a better alternative that where they’ve been sleeping.
2. Start by teaching them simple commandments like “no” or “off” and show them that it means they must get off the bed. This may take a week or so until they learn how to do it properly.
3. Show them their alternative bed and talk to them about sleeping here from now on. Lay down with them in their bed to show them how to use it. After a while, they will make the connection between not being allowed on the bed and using their new one.
4. Leave your bedroom door open while you sleep so that both you and your dog feel close to each other. It may take some adjustment for both of you to get used to sleeping alone and this can make the transition easier.
5. Ensure you stick to the new setup and don’t waver. Just one night of letting them sleep in your bed will push back all of your hard work.
A Decision the Dog Owner Must Make
There’s no right or wrong answer for whether or not your dog should be sleeping in your bed. It all comes down to the dog and its owner about what works for them. Some people find great comfort having their dog in bed and for others, the thought alone is pretty disgusting.
If you do allow your dog to share your bed, you’ll need to be aware of the extra hygiene measures to put in place. Dogs can carry all kinds of parasites, bacteria, and other insects that can be dangerous for humans so you need to stay on top of their treatments for fleas, worms, and other nasties.
Keeping your bed clean and changing your sheets and pillows regularly is also a necessity, as is using a quality mattress and protector. These small things will mean a much more hygienic and restful sleep for you and your four-legged friends so you can enjoy the benefits of sharing your bed with them.