One question that tends to polarise dog owners from all walks of life if the age-old “should you let your dog sleep in your bed with you?” Most people on both sides of the divide have strong views about why their opinion is the most logical solution, and while there are obvious disadvantages to it, there can be some positives in certain situations as well. Remember, not only do you need to find a home for it, but you also have the choice of sleeping with it.
Many dog owners who co-sleep with their dog also believe that sharing the bed with their dogs is not just ok, but perfectly natural-both dogs and people are after all, social animals, and sleeping with another party or even a group (such as with children) is something that certainly has evolutionary precedent.
In this article, we will tackle the question of whether or not it is actually natural to share your bed with your dog, and some of the plusses and minuses of doing so. Read on to learn more.
The downsides of sharing with the dog
Even people who cannot sleep properly without their dog in the bed will generally freely admit that there are some downsides to it! First of all, you have to share the available space, and even a very small dog can stretch themselves out to take up the larger part of the space given half a chance, as well as of course making the bed smell rather doggy, and over time, getting quite hairy too!
Additionally, having a dog in your bed increase the chances of them passing on fleas, worms and other parasites, and taking your dog to bed with you elevates their status within your pack dynamic, which can be problematic with dominant or very assertive dogs that need clear boundaries.
If for any reason you need to stop your dog sleeping in your bed or have to become a bit firmer in terms of the rules of the household, making a change later on can be challenging too.
Dog snoring, farting and waking you up for a fuss should all be factored into the potential annoyances as well!
The upsides of sharing with the dog
For those that do like to share their beds with their dog, there are numerous advantages cited in defence of the practice. Co-sleeping can strengthen the bond between you and your dog and help a shy or nervous dog to relax and feel safe, and this effect can also be achieved for the human in the partnership too, such as for people who live alone and find the close presence of their dog reassuring. AKC mentions that sleeping with your pet is actually beneficial.
In the winter, snuggling up under the duvet with your dog can help both of you to get warm and comfortable too, although in the summer, this point turns on its head!