Regardless of which experiential or scientific field we consult, there aren’t any strict rules as to where your barky best friend is supposed to sleep. People tend to have differing views on this simply because they have different ideas of comfort. Some of us enjoy sleeping with our dogs snuggled cozily right beside us, while others prefer when the furry inhabitants of the home sleep in their own bed.
Where should your dog sleep at night ?
Simply put, your dog should sleep wherever he feels most comfortable and most likely to get a good night’s rest, without disturbing the peace of the rest of the family. This can be his own dog bed, his dog crate, the comfy armchair, or right next to you – it’s up to you to find out what works best for everyone!
Is it okay for your dog to sleep in your bedroom?
Given that you are not allergic to dogs and having him there doesn’t affect your sleep, it’s definitely okay. That being said, there are a few potential risks that you should consider.
Unlike humans, dogs are polyphasic sleepers, which means that they go through 15 to 20 sleep cycles per night, whereas we humans go through 4 or 5. Based on this fact, the average sleep time for a dog is only 45 minutes at a time, while humans often sleep up to nine hours at a time.
This means that your dog may wake up and shift around a lot during the night, which is not really conducive to a good night’s sleep. To make matters worse, dogs stay alert for sounds even while sleeping, and that could mean barking or growling in the middle of the night.
Another thing you need to consider is whether you move a lot during sleeping, and whether you are a light or heavy sleeper. If you usually stay in one position and do not wake up easily, co-sleeping with your dog may be a great idea. But if you move around too much while sharing a bed with your dog, both of you are more likely to experience sleep disturbances.
Furthermore, owners of small dogs who are also heavy sleepers and move a lot at night are at risk of crushing and smothering their dogs.
Whatever you decide, make sure that you are ready to commit. Once your dog gets used to a certain sleeping arrangement, or just having access to your bedroom, it will be difficult to change their ways. Think first before you commit, or otherwise be prepared for a lot of scratching or crying at a closed door.
All in all, if your dog makes it hard to get proper and peaceful sleep during the entire night, it would be better for him to sleep on the floor, or perhaps in a different room altogether. But if you appreciate the extra coziness and warmth, and you’re able to sleep like a log until the morning, letting your pup cuddle up to you at night might be beneficial for the both of you.
New medical research has found that sharing your bed with your dog can help you sleep better. According to multiple studies, deep-sleeping dogs had a positive effect on the sleep efficiency of their owners, whose bed they shared. Women in particular benefited from this positive influence from their dogs.
Should you let your dog sleep in your bed ?
Which circumstances make it safe for your dog to sleep in your bed – and which don’t? Sharing your sleeping space with your pooch isn’t always the smartest idea. It only works under certain conditions and it isn’t a one-size-fits-all solution to your pet’s sleeping arrangement. To be sure you’re doing the right thing, follow the guidelines below.
Generally speaking, your dog shouldn’t sleep in your bed if they are:
If status-seeking dogs gain the privilege to sleep in the bed, they would be confused. The bed is the top sleeping spot that’s reserved for the top dog, which you claim to be. But if they get to sleep in the top spot, they will believe otherwise.
Suffering from separation anxiety
Pets who are overly attached or dependent on their owners are troubled by separation anxiety, which means that they become extremely nervous and distressed when separated from the owners. This often results with excessive vocalization and destructive behavior when they are left alone. In this situation, keeping your pet next to you at night won’t solve the problem – it would only make the dependent behavior worse. What would help is creating clear, gentle but consistent boundaries that your dog will learn to respect.
Adult dogs who are housebroken (trained to do their business outside) and typically calm when separated from their owner can be allowed to sleep in your bed, as long as that’s what you want.
Crate or bed: which one is better for your dog ?
Dogs appreciate having their own little spot to lounge, nap and retreat, and most of them will love sleeping in either a dog crate or a dog bed. While it may take some time for your dog to adapt to his new sleeping area, there’s nothing that clever training can’t do, and the effect will be worth the effort. Yet which of these two equally comfy options should you choose?
When it comes to dog crates, their coolest features are definitely the resemblance to den-like surroundings that naturally feel safe and comforting to dogs, and their mobility, which makes switching sleep spots easy. On the downside, a crate tends to be noisy whenever the dog shifts positions during the night, and some dogs might find it anxiety-inducing.
Dog beds, on the other hand, provide dogs with plenty of room to move, curl up, stretch out or get up without making too much noise, and they are just as easy to move around as crates. They also allow for better ventilation and provide more comfort and support for the joints. However, dog beds allow their inhabitants the freedom to engage in undesired behavior around the house at night, and the last thing anyone wants to see first thing in the morning is the sight of their house torn to shreds by a pooch with too much freedom on their paws.
Should puppies sleep in your bed ?
The best approach for puppies is to have them sleep in a crate right next to your bed. This way they will be comforted by the sheer proximity to you, which is often enough to help them sleep sound through the night. You can also place an article of clothing that smells like you inside.
Crate training can be a wonderfully useful tool for house training your puppies, simply because dogs will avoid relieving themselves where they sleep. Once they are older, if you don’t want them getting used to always having you by their side, you can start distancing their sleeping spot from your bed little by little.
Should Your dog sleep outside?
Sleeping under the open sky can be very rough on dogs. They are very vulnerable to weather conditions, and even though certain breeds are being better adapted to heat while others have adapted well to extreme cold, no dog should be made to withstand extreme weather for hours on end, especially if they are old or sick. Dogs left outdoors overnight are also exposed to unsupervised interaction with nocturnal wildlife and dangerous plants and objects.
Where should Dogs Sleep ?
So at the end of the day, you need to choose an option that will satisfy both your needs and the needs of your dog, and allow you to consistently get your good night’s sleep. Luckily, there is more than one way to get there. You can experiment with different sleeping spots and different proximities to your bed, see how your pooch reacts and start from there. Good luck!