A dog can essentially be a living cuddle toy, that’s why at night it’s so common to see many dog owners allowing their dogs to share a bed.
There is always a debate on whether it’s a good or bad idea to let the dog sleep in the bed. Where some people think it’s bad, others find sharing their pillow relaxing and comforting. Before you decide, there are many factors to consider. However, the number one rule is to be consistent and stick with your decision.
We all know dogs can be messy creatures, they shed fur, play in dirt and carry many bacteria. If you are on top of your game and don’t mind changing sheets and hand washing pillows and throws, then it shouldn’t be a problem. If like many you don’t have the time to keep to a rigorous cleaning routine, then it may be advisable to toss the pooch off the bed.
If you are like the couple in the video below however, that may be very difficult!
Sharing a bed with your four-legged friend means breathing in close proximity of them. People sensitive to dust, pollen and fur may find they start to develop long-term pet allergies. Especially with dogs, they shed microscopic dead skin cells, which may cause the reaction. Sneezing, itchy or watery eyes, sniffling or skin irritation are all signs of a pet allergy.
Sleep vs Comfort
Just like humans dogs can have sleep irregularities too! Fidgeting, unrest, snoring etc. of course some can sleep peacefully as well. Attached owners enjoy sharing the bed as they can feel more relaxed. However, if the dog is not a peaceful sleeper it may awake a light sleeper, especially if the dog steels the sheets. If you notice a game of tug-of-war it may be better to sleep in separate beds.
If you have multiple dogs then one rule should fit for all, if you have decided to share a bed with your dogs then an all or nothing policy should be adopted. If one dog is allowed to sleep in the bed and not the others this may cause tension between the dogs. The bed-less dog may question his role in the pack, where the other dog may exude a superior attitude.
Decide and stick to it
The all-or-nothing guideline is also advised when choosing between sharing your bed all the time, or never. Going between the two causes confusion, which may lead to later behaviour problems. Dogs may start to feel inferior and wonder why their role has changed, leading to anxiety and stress.
Who is boss?
For some dogs, sleeping with their owner can symbolise a feeling of grandeur. It may indicate to them they are equal in the family hierarchy. This makes it very difficult to train your dog, commanding the dog to obey, may get no response.
Whatever you decide to do make sure it is the right decision for you and your family, then stick to it!