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Features May 2019 Issue

In the Bed With You Or Not?

The pros and cons of sleeping with your dog.

osobystist | Bigstock

More people opt for this than separate beds.

According to one informal survey, three out of four dog owners allow their pet in bed with them at night. Chances are you do, too. Is it okay?

Absolutely. Those who share a mattress with their dog often feel comforted and more secure with their furry friend by their side, or their feet, as we reported a couple of months ago. No doubt their pet enjoys it, too. Dogs like nothing more than to be “in,” to be part of the family, and nothing says “family” like a family bed.

And what if you don’t like sharing your bed with your dog? That’s perfectly okay, too. You can still be a loving, attentive owner without letting your canine companion sleep right next to you. In fact, in some instances, a dog should not be allowed on the bed. Following, three reasons for keeping Fido off your sleeping space.

Dogs who should not share the bed

Snoring or other disruptive attributes. A dog who snores — perhaps a pug or other brachycephalic breed — might make it hard for you to fall asleep, or to stay asleep. Likewise for a dog who moves around a lot or is too big to allow you to stretch out comfortably. A good night’s sleep is essential to health. It even keeps down blood sugar and protects heart health, research shows. Thus, if your dog’s close proximity keeps you up or interferes with truly restorative sleep, she should not be in the bed with you.

Conflict aggression. Conflict aggression is a situation in which the dog doesn’t feel secure in her owner’s leadership and acts aggressively toward that person, perhaps when the owner goes near her food bowl or toys or tries to pet her head. An important component of getting a dog to understand who is in charge is to keep her off high places — couches, chairs, and yes, beds. Dogs with conflict aggression who are not kept off the bed have been known to bite sleeping owners who turn over and accidentally touch the dog or take up what the dog considers her own space.

Pet allergies. Plenty of dog lovers are allergic to their pets. For obvious reasons, those pets should not be allowed on the bed. People have to be able to get a good night’s sleep without a runny nose, sneezing, wheezing, itching, and so on.

Comments (1)

About 1 1/2 yrs. ago we got a Westie puppy and after a month we ended up putting her in our bed. As a result, she potty trained very quickly and in no time was actually sleeping through the night. I liked the fact that we knew where she was and I believe it helped strengthen our relationship with her. She loved to snuggle as a puppy and still does. We're both retired so waking up to puppy kisses is way better than an alarm clock :).

Posted by: dblack8050 | May 21, 2019 11:37 AM    Report this comment

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