Many people allow their pets to share the same bed. The American Pet Products Association survey found that nearly half of the dogs sleep in their owner’s beds; 62% of small dogs, 41% of medium-sized dogs, and 32% of large dogs
Allowing your pet to sleep with you isn’t a new trend. Humans have long shared their beds with dogs
However, many pet owners are riddled with this question. They wonder if it's wrong to let their dogs share the same bed.
Let's find out more about why your dog loves to share the same bed, what it means, and how you can respond to it.
Why do dogs sleep with humans?
Like every other being, dogs seek protection, closeness, and warmth from each other. When in a pack, animals often sleep close to each other to retain body heat and feel secure. In homes, dogs always seek that sense of security and warmth from humans. Dogs always come to snuggle with you when you're sitting on a couch or sleeping on the bed. It is because they feel secure and safe in your presence.
It's common for dogs to sleep with you on the same bed during winter to keep them warm. Another reason for this behavior is that dogs often feel exposed to dangers when sleeping all by themself. Snuggling with you will remind them that you're there to protect them from any harm.
The Root of the behavior
When the dog's ancestors used to hunt together, they always ate together and slept lying close to each other. It helped to keep them warm and attentive to any incoming danger. They were powerful in a pack but not so much when all by themself. This behavior is still persistent in wolves, the distant relatives of domesticated dogs.
It's also great news for pet owners because your dog wanting to sleep next to you is a sign of affection, closeness, trust, and seeking company. Sleeping by your side can help them feel better. It helps to increase the level of hormones in their brain that keeps them happy and elated.
Psychology Today article reported that
For most people, having a dog in bed is psychologically comforting. The dog serves as a loving companion close at hand, and it keeps you from feeling lonely or insecure no matter how dark the night.
Many times, dogs will wander off from your bed to sleep all alone. This can be because they're overheated or can't settle. They can also find that your mattress is too soft for them.
Does it pose any problem?
Not really, if you’re not allergic to dogs. Experts believe that it's probably safe for most dogs to sleep in the same bed.
Here are few things you’d need to understand.
- If you’re a light sleeper and your dog’s movements can wake you up. It can decrease your sleep quality. A dog that snores, slobbers, or overheats the bed is probably not an ideal sleep mate.
- If your dog snores loudly or hogs the covers and pillows—you might want to reconsider.
- If your significant other doesn’t want a dog in the bed, that’s something you’ll have to hash out together.
- Children are more susceptible to germs than adults, mainly if the pet tends to lick.
- In the United States, the risk of disease from sleeping with your pet is low, with most threats coming from fleas and ticks, ringworm, and skin infections due to mites.
- Dogs often carry dander, mites, and other antigens with them. A furry dog can quickly bring foreign elements from outside the house. When sleeping alongside your dog, you can accidentally ingest these elements. It can cause severe allergies in most humans.
How to share a bed with your dog?
If you can't resist letting your dog sleep in the same bed, it’s essential that both of you agree with the sleeping arrangements.
- Walk your dog before bed and get done with the loo.
- Train them to wait for permission to get on the bed.
- Be consistent with rules. If you don’t want your dog on your pillow or under the blankets, make no exceptions.
- You can discourage their aggressive behavior by removing them from the bed.
- Visit the veterinarian for regular checkups and vaccinations, including preventive flea and tick treatments.
- Deworm as advised by your veterinarian.
- Change your sheets and bedding regularly.
When shouldn't you let your dog in your bed?
There are times when you should allow your dog to share the same bed.
- When you have a severe health issue such as fever, cold and cough, flu.
- When your dog is a new addition to your family.
- When they have had a checkup or vaccination
- When they aren't potty trained
- When they're aggressive, or bite and scratch.
- When they are a big snorer.
It’s common for dogs to share the same bed with humans. You can encourage this habit if you and your partner don’t have any problem with it.
You can check for noticeable changes if your dog suddenly stopped sleeping in your bed. It doesn't usually mean something's wrong. Sometimes they need to cool off or find their personal space. However, pay attention to your dog's body language and behaviors. If you notice any signs of physical pain or discomfort, it might be a good idea to consult your trusted vet.
Urban Pet Hospital & Resort is your go-to Veterinarian in Urbandale. Get in touch with us to learn more about sleeping with pets, pet problems, and other preventive measures.