Why Sleeping Dogs Need to Lie


Does your dog allow you to sleep better or does sleeping with a dog cause you to get less than a restful night’s sleep? Do sleeping dogs truly need to lie? As in lie next to us when we sleep?

Personally, I have a hard time sleeping without a dog. Honestly, my spouse and I have shared the bed with a dog for so many years (over 20) that to not have a snoring Cocker Spaniel by our side for white noise is simply—well, sort of like sleeping without pillows, sheets, and blankets.

According to a survey conducted by the American Pet Products Association, almost half of dogs sleep with their owners in their owner’s beds.


Many of us, self 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 dog, Dexter, used my pillow for his own. 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. From the “why’d you put a pin in my balloon” side of things, pet dander may instigate or trigger human allergies. Further, what Fido walks on outside is what Fido brings into the house and onto the bed linens.  Diseases that can be transmitted between pets and people, aka “zoonotic,” do exist, but this is in the bedroom as well as any other room in the house.

Dogs who shift during sleep can cause disruptions in human sleep, making it harder to ensure a solid night’s rest. The risk of rolling on Rover or the dog falling off the bed is also of consideration from the “no don’t do it” school of thought.  From the pages of “dominance and pack structure” behaviorists, there is a widely-held belief that the leader of the pack should be the only one allowed on the bed to maintain order, structure, and hierarchy.


Phooey I say. If you enjoy having a dog (or more) sleep with you and his or her presence does not compromise one’s health, pile on the pooches.

The emotional effects of having a dog in our lives are immeasurable, as study after study reveals.  In fact, the Center for Disease Control reports 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.

Oh and on a final note, I am not usually into sharing an “infographic,” unless there is some great data I find would be valuable to Fidose readers. Here are 16 facts you might not know about sleep: See how many surprise you. After that, check out a typical night’s sleep in our household. How about you?


Our house:



Similar Posts


  1. That infographic is really interesting. We gave our girl the opportunity to sleep with us several times as a puppy, but she wanted nothing to do with it after a few minutes. I feel that she was too hot and uncomfortable because of it.

  2. Schooner and Skipper sleep with my husband and myself every night. I don’t think I could sleep without Schooner keeping my feet warm. The best part is waking up in the morning and have both dogs in between us with their heads on the pillows sound asleep and snoring. They love to takes naps with me!

  3. You know what they say about great minds, right? I couldn’t imagine ever sleeping without my snuggle bunnies. While the research is nothing to sneeze at, as you saw at Kol’s Notes, I have a pretty good system in place to keep the yucky stuff at bay. Now if only I could negotiate a larger share of the bed….

    1. Dex used to sleep….get ready for it: On my head!!! I took comfort in that cocker chin on my head. He has since realized he can own the bed. Oh and I cannot wait to get rid of this Tempur-Pedic bed. Everyone swore by theirs; I just feel like I am sinking into it.

        1. Not to mention the truck driver snores he does…. funny how it never bothers me when the dog does it *giggle*

  4. I can’t sleep with our dogs in our bed, because they would get too hot and our bed isn’t big enough. But I do sleep with them on the sectional at least once a week. We all have our spots and I love it. Rodrigo and I share the pillow and Sydney sleeps behind my knees. The puppies need to sleep in their “condo” until they’re potty trained. They like that, because they still do puppy piles at night.

    And I sometimes sleep great and other time sleep horribly. Most recently, it’s been horrible, because I have to do 2:30 am potty breaks.

  5. Both Nikki and Cody sleep with me, they enhance my sleep time. I like to be able to reach out in the middle of the night and pet them, wouldn’t have it any other way!!

  6. i’ve been sleeping with dogs since i was a kid so of course bailey would sleep in our bed too. she goes to sleep at my side, but when i wake up, she is on my pillow. when she senses me waking up, she throws herself across my neck and bombards me with doggie kisses. good thing she only weighs 4#!
    also, when we are baby sitting our grand-doggie, she sleeps in our bed too! the more, the merrier.

  7. Del sleeps with me and my partner. Sometimes he disturbs my sleep as he likes to sleep right in the middle, meaning the duvet dips in the middle, taking all of my cover away from me. He also likes to lie on my legs. And that can mean a few dead legs because he’s pretty big now 🙂

    1. LOL a few dead legs – we know that feeling around here. I love the “wait, don’t move, he’s sleeping” line we say to each other now and then. Can’t disturb the baby 😉

    2. Ohhh. I know that feeling…i have to get my contacts out so I’m the last one in bed. (Husband + 2 Golden Doodles & 1 GIANT Schnoodle) King size bed…but I get a little sliver of mattress and hardly any covers (my bums always cold!) But that’s ok…I snuggle in there and all is right with the world. At least until someone has to pee!

  8. Beauregard sleeps up between our shoulders most of the night but he starts out with his head and front paws laid across my chest.We love it.He has slept with us since he was about 4 mos old…as soon as we got him potty trained and he could go the night.Our dog before him would only sleep between our feet or behind my husbands knees.
    As a teenager,I had a Cocker named Penny who would start out at the foot of my bed but by the time I woke up,we would be sharing my pillow and she would also be under the covers…the good ole days :).

  9. Great infographic, lots of fun info. Bailie is the first dog to sleep in bed with Mom. Until Bailie, dogs weren’t allowed in bed and now after years in our own beds, we aren’t interested. Mom and Bailie love it and it doesn’t bother Katie and I at all. The thing Mom finds is that she has had cats in bed with her since she was seven and they are the most disruptive to sleep with. Bailie snuggles in and sleeps. Occasionally, Mom gets a paw in the face but that is it. Cats are on top of her, between her legs, etc restricting movement thus waking her.

  10. My Fido is a Rover. He mostly sleeps in his dog bed on my bed. He won’t cuddle up close. When he gets hot he moves to the end of the bed, or to the floor or to his office dog bed. One of the biggest blessings of sleeping with him is being able to slip my hand between between his warm body and the side of his bed and feel him breathe. It relaxes me every time. That’s about the maximum amount of contact he’ll allow when he’s sleeping.

  11. We have 2 GoldenDoodles (Sophie & Chloe) and a Giant Schnoodle (Maggie). They all 3 sleep with us in our king size bed. I can’t imagine I would sleep well if they weren’t all cuddled right up in there with us! Love, Love, Love our snuggle-puppies!!

  12. The info in this post applies pretty well to kitties too 🙂 I love when my cats sleep in bed with me. I have found that some nights I can’t fall asleep until I can feel one of them there. They are great heaters in the winter time. Nothing beats waking up with a purring kitty cuddled against my chest 🙂

    1. You are spot on and love the kitties, too – we don’t have a kitty but we know many who do and concur…. or is that con-purr? 😉

  13. Phooey. I agree. Whatever disadvantages there might be to your dog sleeping in your bed, the advantages far outweigh. I do not currently sleep with my dogs. My husband won’t allow it. 🙁 So when he is out of town, up come the dogs. Eventually, they get down because it is too hot. How do I know this? Because they’ve disrupted my sleep with their panting.

    Interesting sleep infographic. I’m not so sure about whether we only dream faces of people we’ve seen before. Most of the faces in my dreams are nondescript. Regarding the longest sleeping mammals, I was almost positive dogs would be on the top of that list. 😉

  14. So interesting and helpful! I always used to sleep with my dogs but now that we have two cats and a pig (and no dog currently) , I can’t sleep well with any of them. Very interesting to read this post!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.