Do you let your dog sleep with you in your bed at night? Research has shown that almost one half of pet owners share their bed or bedroom with their pet. I’m sure you have been told by at least one well-meaning person that your dog should sleep in his own bed, on the floor or even in his crate. However, there are many benefits to co-sleeping with your dog, and there is nothing to be ashamed of.
If you’ve chosen to share your bed with your furry friend, you know at times it’s not always dreamy. However, a new 2017 study finds that the perks of having a dog in your bedroom might outweigh the sleep interruptions. Researchers tracked the sleep habits of 40 healthy adults and their dogs over a five-month period and found that sleeping with dogs in the room helped the participants sleep better, no matter the size of the dog. However, adults who slept with their dogs in the bed sacrificed sleep quality.
Here are some tips to keep the bedroom as battle-free as possible:
Bedtime not Playtime
Having a “no toys in the bedroom” rule is an ideal way to start. If your dog knows basic commands and will “leave it” and “drop it” when it’s time to stop playing and sleep then toys in the bedroom shouldn’t be a problem. But if your pup guards his toys you could risk a not so pleasant reaction if you get too close at night. Toys, particularly ones with squeakers should be banned from the bedroom, especially after lights out.
Puppy to Big Dog
So, you’ve adopted a puppy that fits perfectly between your knees as you sleep. What happens if that small bundle of fluff goes through a serious growth spurt and you’re suddenly sharing the bed with what feels like an extra human? You may find it best to wait on bedsharing until you know how big he is going to get. It will be a lot harder to train a dog to stop sleeping in the bed after he’s been accustomed to it his whole life. Another option is to buy a king size bed which is big enough for everybody!
Invite your Pup into the Bedroom
Another tip is to never allow your dog to enter your room on his own or jump onto the bed uninvited. Your dog will quickly establish that the bed is just for sleep and not for casual lounging or playing throughout the day.
Exercise and Food
If you are choosing to let your pup sleep with you, it’s important that you exercise him to tire him out, make sure he’s well fed and has gone to the bathroom before bed. This will make for an extra comfortable sleep for you and your furry friend, and if you are up all night worrying about your dog, not only will you be tired but the dog will be able to read your negative energy.
With these tips, you should be able to ensure your dog gets all the rest it needs with not as much fuss!