Does It Make a Difference if the Dog Sleeps in the Bed With You or Not?

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Whether or not your dog sleeps in bed with you is a personal choice for which there is no right or wrong approach, but the choice makes a difference to both you and Lucky. However, it is not an arbitrary decision. You should give careful consideration to the behavioral, health and practical factors before you make the decision.

Bonding

  • Dogs are social animals and in the wild they sleep with other members of the pack. Having your dog in bed is a powerful way to bond with him too. One of the main benefits of sharing the bed with your pooch is that you won’t need to deal with the separation anxiety that comes with putting a young dog or puppy into his own bed at night, before you retire to a separate location.

Fun

  • It can be fun to have your dog share the bed with you or one of the kids. There’s constant company and you will always have a furry foot warmer.

Consistency

  • If you share with Lucky as a pup, it's only fair to continue the arrangement into adulthood, otherwise he will feel deprived when you make him sleep on his own. Consistency is the key. If you are single, consider whether you would still want to share the bed with Lucky when you have a spouse. Remember as well, that sharing the bed with a small pup may be different than sharing it with a full grown dog.

Territory

  • Although it might be fun to share your bed with Lucky, don’t assume that it’s better for him. Some dogs value having their own space where they can retreat and spend a little time on their own with a toy. Also, you must consider that dogs can become territorial over their sleeping place. If Lucky has to share, he may attempt to dominate the bed to protect his territory.

Quality of Sleep

  • A study by the Mayo Clinic Sleep Disorders Center found that more than half of people who shared a bed with their pets suffered from disturbed sleep. Dogs scratch, move around and sometimes snore. None of these are conducive to good, uninterrupted sleep.

Hygiene and Health

  • You will need to clean your sheets more frequently if you allow Lucky to share your bed. If you suffer from allergies, it may be detrimental to your health to sleep in the same spot as a furry animal, regardless of whether you have a specific reaction to dogs.

References

  • Photo Credit Creatas Images/Creatas/Getty Images
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