If you are wondering where should my dog sleep at night time, the answer is easy. A dog should sleep wherever both you and your dog will get the most restful night’s slumber.
The best place for a dog to sleep is the one that is most satisfying and comfortable for you and your pooch. In a recent survey, 74% of pet parents said they joyfully shared their bed or couch with a dog. Does that make you a bad dog owner if your dog isn’t allowed on the bed? Not necessarily, but read on.
Dogs are creatures of habit, so if your dog enjoys sleeping in his kennel or crate at night time, allow him this comfort and “den-like” ritual. Many of us, present company included, prefer the soothing rhythms of a dog slumbering by our side, nestled in for a good night’s sleep.
For the first two years of his life, my Cocker Spaniel, Dexter, shared my bed pillow. This, for me, is quite the norm and many a pet parent would nod in agreement.
Adversely, there is a school of thought, and recently some more scientifically proven studies, revealing that sleeping with a dog might not be good for our health. Here’s what we discovered about where dogs should sleep at night along with our favorite dog bedtime products.
Where Should My Dog Sleep At Night Time?
The emotional effects of having a dog in our lives are immeasurable, as study after study reveals. We know that pets can help to lower our blood pressure, cholesterol levels, and diminish feelings of loneliness. After a long day, many of us find solace in retreating to our beds and having our pooches snuggle next to us.
Gone are the days of banishing a dog from your bed so that you can be the “alpha leader.” If however, your dog is aggressive or has behavioral issues involving dominance, work with a positive reinforcement behaviorist. The sleeping arrangement may need to be modified in select cases.
Anthropologists have reported that sleeping with dogs is an ancient practice. Dr. Stanley Coren says, “For most people, having a dog in bed is psychologically comforting.” Thank you, science.
Back in the day when dogs were first domesticated, they slept near humans so each could stay warm. Dogs also warned their pack of approaching intruders and faced all sorts of weather extremes with their humans.
I’ve had naysayers tell me allowing my dog on my bed shows him I am a littermate and not the alpha leader. These same people won’t let their dog on the couch.
You will find a ton of articles about why dogs should not sleep with you due to alpha status, etc. Bleach and phooey. Do what works for you and is safe for all parties involved. I can tell you that when a dog dies, that empty spot on the bed is larger than life. You’ll look back someday and wish that dog was there to fill it.
Should I Crate My Dog At Night Time?
Puppies don’t like to pee or poop where they sleep. This is why puppies generally learn to sleep alone in a crate at night. it also teaches them to hold their bladder for a normal puppy-sized bladder period of time.
It is perfectly normal and acceptable for a puppy to sleep in a crate at night time. Do not expect the puppy to stay in the crate for extended hours and hold his bladder or bowels.
Many adopted adult dogs and dogs, in general, do perfectly fine sleeping in a crate at night. A dog’s natural instinct is to curl up and rest where he feels most comfortable. Dr. Patty Khuly says dogs are not the den animals society thinks they are.
Dr. Khuly says dogs spend more than 95 percent of their lives in the open and not “huddled in caves for comfort.” However, dogs do use dens but not in the way negative-based trainers or eager pet supply shops wish us to believe.
The truth of the matter is that dogs DO use dens. Periparturient moms (before, during and after whelping their pups) venture outside their confines only for food and water. Pups spend their first few weeks learning that a den is a safe, clean place to live and learn. And for sick or injured dogs? It’s where they go to convalesce in peace…or die.Dr. Patty Khuly
Dogs should not be locked in a crate for nine to ten hours a day for the sake of making them hold their bladder or fear they will wreck your abode. Enlisting the services of a dog trainer and/or work nicely with your dog on pottying outside. If you work outside the home, ask someone to take your dog out during the day for a potty break.
My neighbor adopted a shelter dog, Zola, who took comfort in “nesting” in her kennel. The kennel was large enough for the dog to move around, stand up, and turn. She kept the door to her kennel open so Zola could come and go as she pleased.
In the first few months after adopting Zola, my friend kept her in the kennel at night. She placed the kennel in her bedroom and made sure the dog was comfortable inside (doggy bed). Eventually, she opened the door to the kennel but kept her bedroom door closed. It took about six months before Zola spent every night sleeping comfortably on my friend’s bed with her.
What Are The Dangers Of Sleeping With My Dog?
From a hygiene perspective, there are some inherent risks to allowing anyone in your bed, dog or human. Here are the most common dangers of sleeping with a dog on your bed:
Allergic to Dogs
If your allergies are severe or you have asthma that is induced by pet saliva or dander, then by all means have the dog sleep in another room. Sadly, some extremely allergic people can’t have a dog at all, even a hypoallergenic breed.
I’ve invested in the Rabbit Air air purifier that helps rid our home of any unwanted pet dander, dust, or odors. I’ve been using it for several months and it’s been phenomenal. I’ve used cheaper air purifiers and they behave as such. This is an investment piece and I am grateful we use it.
Chemicals On Dogs
Sadly, at least 56 percent of Americans surveyed report using harmful pesticides to treat their lawns and green spaces. Another 65 percent of playing fields in the United States are sprayed with harmful pesticides. Your dog is walking, rolling, and playing on those chemically treated areas.
Whatever your dog walks on or rolls on is coming into your home and onto your bed. Eliminating the source of danger is essential, but you can never know if someone’s lawn is treated with chemicals or not. I clean my dog’s paws off two times a day, sometimes more, depending on the season and where we walk. I use plant-based, non-chemical dog wipes.
If I can’t use it or apply it to my own skin, I don’t apply it to my dog. I want my dog to sleep in my bed with me and stay safe 24/7. Here’s what we use for natural flea and tick prevention.
Your Dog Can Be Hurt or Crushed
Bottom line, if the dog interferes with your love life, then temporarily you can consider having the dog in another room. Some folks don’t like the dog “watching.” If we are being totally honest, I knew someone who had a dog that would pee whenever she had sex in the bedroom. I would joke that she must have gotten lucky when I saw the carpet cleaner at her house.
If you have a tiny dog or one that likes to burrow under things, then he or she can be in danger in your bed. People can roll on a pet or a child with harmful or deadly consequences. In this case, I’d advise reconsidering allowing the dog on the bed.
Aggressive Dog Behavior On the Bed
If a dog becomes territorial towards you or the bed, this might not be the best situation for all parties. I read an article where a child was running towards the bed while a dog was on it. The dog snarled and lunged at the child. He was normally a loving pooch, but the bed became his “domain.”
Famed dog trainer and behaviorist, Victoria Stilwell advises that making “off the bed” a game and using pets and treats as rewards for being on the floor/their own bed is key here. The dog gets no attention on the bed, only the floor. Never scold the dog.
If the dog jumps back up, simply instruct them “off” and make it positive when they do. Never yell or scold or hit a dog. Be careful about the dog jumping off your bed, as that’s how my Cocker Spaniel tore his ACL ligament and required surgery.
Interrupted Sleep Cycle
“Why do you tell me to stop when I snore but you think it’s cute when the dog does it?” This is a common question from my spouse.
Well, the dog snores are peaceful to me. What can I say?
I’ve had readers over the years tell me that their dog steals the covers and keeps them awake at night. If you have such insomnia that your dog might be an extra factor in preventing a solid night’s sleep, then you should consider having the dog sleep elsewhere. I’ll share some of my favorite dog beds below.
Is It Okay To Let My Dogs Sleep Outside?
No, you should not let your dog sleep outside. As a pet journalist, I’ve interviewed dozens and dozens of devastated pet parents whose dogs were stolen on their own property.
Dogs are social beings to their inner core. Gone are the days of leaving Fido outside to fend for himself because he’s “just an animal.”
A dog who is allowed to be outside with supervision, in a dog run, or at something like a dog park: these are different circumstances and ones that are not only encouraged but in which my dog and I engage. You bond with a dog when you spend time living together and playing together.
Dogs who sleep outside are also at the mercy of dognappers, a crime that has increased exponentially in recent years. The number of stolen dogs in America has increased 70 percent since 2010. Since dogs are considered personal property, the chances of getting them back are slim to none.
Inevitably, someone will write and tell me their dog prefers sleeping outside or they are a working farm dog and that’s how it’s done. If your dog absolutely is kept outside at nighttime such as a farm dog, be sure he has adequate shelter, is free from the elements, is warm or cool depending on the weather, has access to cool, clean water, and is not in an area where he can be attacked, poisoned, or stolen. This is only in extreme circumstances and not recommended for the majority of dogs.
If your dog sleeps outside, you’ll have no idea if he is sick, hurt, choking, or in peril. Here are our tips on how to protect your dog from being stolen.
At What Age Can I Let My Dog Sleep With Me?
You’ve decided that your dog can sleep with you at night time, but what age is best? As a lifelong dog mom who has raised several puppies, it’s been my experience that most pups are ready to sleep on your bed anywhere between four and six months of age.
My first Cocker Spaniel puppy came up to snuggle with us on the bed when she was three months old. She curled up near my pillow, spread her little legs, and peed on my head. So much for not peeing where you sleep. I laughed then and now because puppies are just that: puppies.
Puppies are little sponges learning and exploring the world. When you feel safe with your dog in the bed and your dog is well-behaved enough not to pee on you or the bed, then go for it.
P.S. Our current Cocker Spaniel has been sleeping with us since the day after he brought him home (9 weeks). Sorry, not sorry.
Should I Put My Dog’s Crate In the Bedroom At Night Time?
Sometimes a dog will sleep in his kennel but pet parents aren’t sure where to place the kennel itself. Should the dog’s crate be inside the bedroom or somewhere else in the house?
Most dogs like to be close to their human, so if you prefer your dog doesn’t sleep on your bed, place his crate in your bedroom at night. Your dog feels safe and comfortable knowing you are nearby, and you won’t have to contend with the dog on your bed.
Never use a crate as punishment or “time out” for your dog. Dogs are very smart and intuitive, and they will start to view the crate as a bad place.
Sleeping Habits Of Dogs: Your Questions Answered
Should I take my dog’s collar off at night?
I take my dog’s collar off at night before bed. He generally doesn’t wear it around the house either. I just like him to feel comfortable. However, it’s a personal preference. If the collar can get stuck or snagged on something at night, remove it before bed.
Could the collar interfere with your dog’s sleeping pattern? It might be too tight. It could get stuck on something. If your dog sleeps in a kennel at night, it could get latched onto the wires and strangle your dog. If your dog wears a collar at night, it could be a safety issue, so consider what is best for your dog.
Can I leave my dog downstairs at night?
If you have allergies or are easily awakened, it is perfectly fine to leave your dog downstairs at night. If your bedroom is upstairs, you can install a dog monitoring camera downstairs.
Some pet parents have big dogs with mobility issues or joint problems. If you are unable to carry your larger dog upstairs, block off your steps with a size-appropriate dog gate. The last thing you want is for your dog to try and climb the stairs and get injured in the middle of the night.
Make sure your dog has a comfy spot to sleep downstairs and that he isn’t in harm’s way. Some dogs actually prefer to sleep somewhere else in the house and not on your bed. For example, m,y dog’s littermate, Ricky, likes to sleep on the upstairs bathroom floor.
Why won’t my dog sleep with me on the bed?
Sometimes your dog has no interest in sleeping on the bed with you. I know many heartbroken dog moms and dads who wish their dogs would sleep with them. They’ve tried putting their dog on the bed only to have the pup jump off.
Never force your dog to sleep on your bed with you if it truly makes them unhappy. Some other reasons dogs won’t sleep on your bed include:
- The bed is too soft or too firm, sort of like Goldilocks
- You are a bed hog and the dog needs more room
- Your dog is bored or not tired and isn’t ready to go to bed yet
- Something is physically bothering your dog: itching? drooling? pacing? Have a vet check him out.
- Too many dogs are on the bed and he needs room or space to himself
- Your dog is nervous, anxious, or something is bothering them: did you move? Have any recent changes in life? He may need his own space.
What’s the “norm” in your household? Do you allow your pet(s) to sleep on the bed? Weigh in and let us know in the comments below and check out our favorite bedtime products for dogs.
Fidose Favorite Products For Dogs At Bedtime
BEST DOG BLANKET
We love the Frisco Eyelash Dog Blanket because it is extra cozy, super soft, reversible, and available in several colors. We take this dog blanket with us when we travel and Dexter curls up on it in our home office.
BEST DONUT CUDDLER DOG BED
We love the Best Friends by Sheri Donut Dog Bed. We’ve used this bed, gifted it to friends, and is perfect for dogs who like to curl up when they sleep. The Sheri Donut Dog Bed comes in several sizes and varieties (with and without a blanket).
BEST ORTHOPEDIC BOLSTER DOG BED
We love, use, and highly recommend the Frisco Plush Orthopedic Front Bolster Dog Bed. It’s available in several sizes and perfect for dogs to climb on, nest in, and relax.
BEST DOG PAJAMAS
My dog stays warm at bedtime and after a bath in his oh-so-cozy Petrageous Dog Pajamas. My average-sized male Cocker Spaniel wears a size large.
BEST PUPPY BEDTIME TOY
The Snuggle Puppy with Heart Beat and Heat Pack helps dogs cope with stress, feel relaxed at bedtime, and helps puppies adapt to their new environment.