Doctor Dog: Should Dogs Sleep in Your Bed?
Having a ruff day? Doctor Dog here, ready to give some pawsitively perfect advice to one of our loyal readers interested in learning more about dog sleep.
Let's look at the pros and cons of letting dogs sleep in your bed. Is it risky or beneficial to you both?
Remember, you can ask me any questions whenever you want. Then look for my responses in my Dear Doctor Dog advice column on Always Pets.
The Question: Is It Safe for Dogs to Sleep in Your Bed?
Dear Doctor Dog,
Hey there. My wife and I just adopted a puppy, Bruno. We're already butting heads as pet parents. In my family, dogs were dogs and people were people. My wife, on the other hand, treats our dog like an actual baby. When he wakes up whining at night, she lets him sleep on the bed with us. We all end up sleeping better without the whining, but I'm not sure how it'll affect his behavior, or if it's even sanitary. Is it OK to let dogs sleep in your bed?
— Emilio Montoya from Los Angeles, California
Doctor Dog's Answer: If It Works, It Works
Great question, and I have even greater news. If sleeping with your dog works for you and your wife, there's no reason not to let Bruno join the slumber party. There are pros and cons of sharing a bed with pets, so it really depends on what works for your family.
Let's start with the cons. If your dog has arthritis or issues with their knees, hips or back, jumping on and off the bed can cause pain or worsen musculoskeletal issues. It can also force you to wake up to pick your dog back up if they can't jump up on their own.
If you have allergies, sharing a bed might worsen them. If you're a light sleeper, a dog's more frequent awakenings to scratch, roll over or lick their paws might disrupt your sleep. If any of these apply, a comfy dog bed or crate in your room will keep Bruno from feeling isolated without worsening your quality of sleep.
As for behavior, letting your dog sleep in your bed won't lead to any confusion about who's boss. That's just a myth.
If you, your wife, and Bruno sleep soundly, there's no reason to give up the habit. As long as your bed is large enough, everyone's happy with the arrangement, letting your dog co-sleep can be a great choice.
Some studies show that sharing a bed with your pet can lower stress levels, boost oxytocin, and improve your bond with your dog. What's not to love about that?
— Doctor Dog
More Infurmation About Doggy Co-Sleeping
Still not sure whether to kick your pup's co-sleeping habit to the curb? Watch the video below for a detailed breakdown of the pros and cons of letting your dog sleep in your bed.
Have a Question for Doctor Dog?
Leave any questions for me, and look for my responses in my Dear Doctor Dog advice column on Always Pets. Have questions about cats, bunnies, hamsters or any other critters? Shoot! I may be a dog myself, but I'm here to help all your animal companions, whether they have four legs or fins.
Important reminder: Doctor Dog is happy to provide general pet care guidance, but she cannot provide formal medical recommendations or diagnoses for your pet. Your pet's veterinarian should always be your primary resource for serious questions regarding your pet's health.