Is it normal to let your dog sleep with you? Well, researchers have found that less than half of pet owners do so! Only 45% of pet owners have their dogs in the bed with them. With opinion on doggy sleeping arrangements so divided, is there a scientific backing for one being better than the other? Every dog is different, but you might be better off changing your dog's bedtime routine.
Most dogs love curling up in the bed next to their owners. There are a few reasons for it, the most obvious is for comfort. It is unlikely that your bed is less comfortable than your dog's bed! When you let your dog sleep with you, they're able to curl up to sleep on something much bigger and softer than their own beds.
However, they also like sleeping with us for company and security. Dogs feel reassured by the smell of their owner, this helps them relax. It also reinforces the bond between pet and owner. All of this makes dogs very happy when they're allowed to sleep with their owners. However, there are some drawbacks.
While dogs love to get into a nice warm bed, there are a few reasons for you to reconsider allowing your dog to sleep with you.
If you have allergies that are provoked by your dog, then you shouldn't let them sleep with you. In order to keep your pet allergies under control, you need to establish pet-free areas. The bedroom is where this has to start. If you have your dog sleep in your bed, you're going to end up washing your bedding far too frequently to ease your allergies.
Having a dog in the bed isn't always the most convenient thing. While some people may sleep easier with their dog in the bed, this depends more on your dog's personality more than anything else! If you're living with four greyhounds who like to kick in the night, you might not be left with much room in the bed. Equally, if your dog is too jumpy at loud noises you're not going to get much sleep. Excessive barking or howling, getting up too early, and kicking in the night can all disturb your sleep.
Doggy aggression is a definite issue when you don't have proper boundaries established with your dog. Your bed may well become your dog's territory in their mind, which can lead to some aggression at bedtime. If you share a bed with a partner, a dog may become protective and aggressive between the two of you. This can have a negative effect on your relationship.
If you really enjoy having your dog around at bedtime, then it isn't all bad news. There are some benefits to letting your furry friend share the bed with you!
Dogs wake up at the sound of a threat. While this can disturb some owners, most dogs won't wake you up unless something is seriously wrong. For a lot of dog owners, this gives them a real sense of security.
Even if you have a small dog, they will protect their home and their owner through howling. This can help you sleep a bit easier.
Dogs are warm! This one might seem self-explanatory, but it can be a real benefit if you live in colder climates. Huddling close for warmth helps you save on heating bills, and is a little cozier than just running a radiator. Dogs have a body temperature of quite a few degrees higher than humans, this is a big boost to the warmth in the bed!
Outside of these benefits, researches have found some positives of sharing your bed with a pet that most owners aren't even aware of us. Psychologically, they've found that those who allow a dog to sleep in their bed feel safer when sleeping which helps then relax. While these effects aren't visible, researches have found that owners with a dog in the bed often report getting a better night's sleep.
If you think the cons of having your dog share the bed with you outweigh the benefits, then you may have to move your dog out of the bedroom. There are some ways you can make this transition easier.
It isn't really enough to just lock your dog out of the room for the night. If you want a smooth transition from letting your dog sleep in your bed, then you need to train them. Your dog needs to be taught that their bed is where they're supposed to sleep, what time is the right time to go to bed for the night and to stay there all night.
To train your dog which bed is theirs, you need to find a good quality bed and establish it as your dog's space. Place it in the right position for sleeping through the night. You then need to teach them the command ‘go to bed'. This is what you're going to say to them at bedtime every night. Do this by placing them in their bed and giving the command. Then reward them for recognizing the command. After some repetition, your dog should be able to go to bed on command.
At bedtime, tell them to go to their bed. If your dog is resistant to doing this routine at night, be sure to give them a treat when they go to their bed at bedtime. This positive reinforcement will help them settle into their new bedtime routine.
If your dog is having trouble learning where to sleep at night, it might be because of your dog bed. If you want your dog to prefer their own space to your bed then the bed has to be right for them.
An orthopedic bed can really help give your dog a good night's sleep. The bed needs to be comfortable for them. If your dog prefers sleeping there than your bed, then this transition should be easier.
A big problem with moving a dog into sleeping on their own is separation anxiety. A dog that isn't used to sleeping alone will become anxious when they have to spend the night without you. This can lead to barking and destructive behavior that ruins your night's sleep. CBD Oil is a great tool for treating anxiety in dogs. Administering some of this to your pet before bedtime should help them stay relaxed through the night and let you get some rest too.
There are both pros and cons to having your dog sleep in the bed with you. However, if you do want to transition your dog into sleeping on their own then it is going to take some training. This is a big change for a dog, so you need to ensure you do it in a way that doesn't cause them any unnecessary anxiety. With the right techniques, you and your dog can get a comfy full night's sleep.