Should Your Dog Sleep on Your Bed?

Posted by Jenn on 04/27/2016

People tend to have strong feelings about their dogs’ sleeping arrangements. Whether you love falling asleep to the sound of your dog’s soft breathing or you can’t think of anything more disgusting than dog hair on your sheets, the decision of where your dog sleeps is entirely up to you.

A dog rests on a human bed Source: Hubpages

If you’re looking for professional advice, you will find lots of competing opinions. The appropriate place for dogs to sleep is a hotly debated subject in dog behavior circles.

Some trainers claim that allowing dogs to sleep on (or in!) the bed with humans will lead to behavior problems, because dogs will think they have equal status with the humans in the pack. Other experts say that letting dogs sleep on the bed is harmless unless the dog already has dominance issues.

Despite this controversy, millions of dogs will sleep on mattresses tonight, snuggled against their favorite humans. Surveys suggest that as many as half of us sleep beside our canine family members, and wouldn’t dream of having it any other way! (Pun intended. Sorry.)

If you’re going to let your dog sleep on your bed, make sure you’ve considered the following:

  • Laundry and allergies

    Letting your dogs sleep on your bed means you’ll have to wash your bedding more often – especially if you have an allergy to pollen, grass, or other things that your dog is likely to track in. In fact, those with serious allergies or asthma are better off without a dog sleeping in their bedroom at all.
  • Sleeping habits

    Dogs may roll around, jump on and off the bed, or rotate positions in the night – all of which can wake up a light sleeper. Similarly, your tossing and turning can disturb your dog’s sleep.
  • Separation anxiety

    Dogs need to learn how to be calm and confident when they’re alone. If your dog already gets upset when you leave for work, spending the whole night cuddled up to you won’t help him become more independent.
  • Your dog’s adult size

    A 20-pound furball is one thing, but a 100-pound blanket-hogger is whole different ballgame. If your dog is going to be large – or you’re not sure how big he will get – it’s smart to enforce a no-dogs-on-the-bed policy from the start.

Dog comfy on a people bed Source: What Every Dog Deserves

Like any other privilege, sleeping on the bed should always be on your terms, not the dog’s. For example, teach him that he shouldn’t jump on the bed without being invited, and that bedtime is not playtime. The squeaky toys and smelly bones can wait until morning.

No matter what, everyone in your household should be safe and cozy. Your dog should NEVER growl, lunge, or snap at anyone approaching the bed. If he does, evict the dog from the bed immediately and consult a qualified dog trainer for help. Too many people have been bitten because they excused their dog’s guarding behavior or even thought it was cute.

What are the sleeping arrangements at your house? Share what has worked for you!