Because the DOG is the centre of our universe, we always like to look at every situation from their perspective. For example, is it good for my dog to get breakfast in bed? Sounds weird, right? Which dog gets breakfast in bed!!! Well, some picky eaters like Mr. Popo does, just so that his stomach is full and there’s no chance of acid reflux. Similarly, we have also been thinking: is sleeping with you good for your dog? The answer is yes and no.
Why sleeping with you is good for your dog
There are enough reasons why dog(s) sharing the bed with you is a great thing. It deepens the human-dog bond and trust. There are many health benefits too as studies show that sleeping with humans increase feel-good hormones in dogs, such as oxytocin and dopamine. It also makes them feel safe to be in the same environment, room and bed, as you.
The benefits are similar for humans too. Sleeping with your dog [or cat] also helps in reducing anxious feelings. So what if sometimes you find yourself hanging from the side of the bed. It’s every dog’s birth right to spread out and sleep like a king/queen, leaving little space for you. Personal experience has led to this realisation 😉
On a more serious note, dogs tend to move around even at night – Mr. Popo does. Some tend to dig to make themselves comfortable in their bed(s) or yours or the rug – Mr. Popo does (yeah!!!), while some snore heavily. These can disrupt your sleep, especially in case of light sleepers and those with certain health conditions. So, before establishing a pattern of letting your dog share your bed, evaluate the pros and cons. In our case, as you can imagine, the pros won.
Which dogs must not share the bed with you?
Back to our question: is sleeping with you good for your dog?
While it is good for most dogs, after evaluating the pros and cons stated above, for some this might not be an ideal set-up. Usually, puppies undergoing toilet training should not co-sleep with humans. Let me share our experience. Mr. Popo was only three months old when he came home and obviously had to be toilet trained. The ideal set-up would be to let him sleep in a kennel at night. But we didn’t have the heart to do so and let him sleep with us. We went a step further and slept on the floor with him to prevent him from falling off the bed at night. (Yeah, you can call us crazy!). So, every morning – for almost two weeks – like a ritual he stared at us and relieved himself on our blanket. Now that’s not an ideal set-up, I admit. So, when you bring a puppy home this is something that pet parents should bear in mind.
In addition, dogs who are undergoing training for behavioural issues should not be sharing the bed with you. Anxious dogs tend to be protective about their space and co-sleeping might lead to unpleasant experiences. So, a kennel could be a good option for such dogs until the issues are resolved.
And some dogs, like our Paw-in-Chief Mr. Popo, are specific about their ‘me-time’. These are times when the dog chooses not to sleep with us.
Now that we’ve discussed the pros and cons of your dog(s) sleeping with you, do let us know what your comments and views on the subject.