The Pros & Cons of Letting Your Dog Sleep in Bed with You
Who needs a dog bed when you can share your own with your furry friend? These days, just under half of pet parents let their canine companions sleep in bed with them. How do you know that co-sleeping, which is the act of sharing your bed with your dog, is a good option for you and your dog? Here are some reasons why you may or may not want to let your dog co-sleep.
Pro: More Time to Cuddle and Relax
There are only so many hours in the day, so letting your best friend sleep in bed gives you more opportunity for your dog to curl up next to you. Not only does this mean that you get more time to cuddle with your adorable dog, research shows that cuddling can help reduce stress. If this is the case for you, it may be time to try co-sleeping with your precious pooch.
Con: Less Space to Maneuver
If you’re the type of person who likes to roll over at night or stretch out in bed, an extra body in bed is most likely going to limit where you can move. Smaller dogs won’t be as disruptive as big breeds, but a warm, happy body curled up next to your leg is still going to limit your ability to shift in your sleep – especially if you’re not the only human who uses that bed.
Pro: Extra Warmth
Do you get chilly at night? If so, co-sleeping is an adorable way to warm up when you go to bed. There’s nothing like a cute, furry body providing an ample source of heat to keep you warm on a cold night. It’s like having a fuzzy heating pad or electric blanket, except with a personality and a lovable face.
Con: Extra Warmth
Unfortunately, extra body heat isn’t always a benefit. That fluffy body isn’t going to feel quite as cozy if you’re naturally warm or it’s a hot summer night. Some dogs will add more heat than others – a Chihuahua isn’t going to make you sweat as much as a Newfoundland – but any additional furry friends do run the risk of making your bed a bit too warm for comfort.
Pro: Bonding Opportunities
Want another way to get closer with your dog? Some vets suggest that co-sleeping with your dog can help build your bond with your best friend. Allowing your dog to sleep in the same spot with you can help your dog feel like he’s a part of your pack by being part of the family bed. This regular proximity and trust can help the two (or more) of you grow closer over time, which is certainly a big bonus for any dog lover.
Con: Potential Bumps in the Middle of the Night
While the presence of a precious pooch may help you fall asleep, where and how they sleep can impact the quality of your rest. Over time, you may start to sleep a bit crooked to give your dog space. You may also wake up in the middle of the night if your dog has a lively dream. These factors could affect how you sleep at night, so you may need to test co-sleeping out to see if you experience any issues.
Pro: More Security
Sometimes the most comforting sleeping partner is a good guard dog. Having your best friend near you can help you feel more secure knowing that your buddy is right there beside you in case there are any suspicious sounds or other scary events.
Con: More Dog Hair
While we certainly love our furry friends, the “furry” part can have some downsides. A dog who sleeps in your bed is one who can also shed there. This has a couple of downsides. One, it means that you may have to brush off or wash your sheets more often than before to get rid of any unwanted dog hair. Two, the extra fur can aggravate regular allergies, even those unassociated with dogs. If either of those issues will bother you, you may want to err on the side of less hair.
Co-Sleeping or No Sharing?
There are many valid reasons both for and against co-sleeping with your dog, so the decision ultimately lies with you. You know your furry friend best, so weigh the pros and cons and think about the best decision for you and your family.
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