Sleeping with your dog in bed can be cozy, but it’s a bit of a controversy. Of course, there are pros and cons to sharing your bed with a dog. The strongest pro includes feelings of safety and security. The most valid con is that if you or your human bed partner have allergies and asthma that could be exacerbated by the dog, then it may not be the best idea.
If not, go ahead and share your bed with your dog. Several studies support your decision, all concluding that it’s fine. A 2020 study published in Animals, even assessed whether a dog’s movement would disrupt a person’s sleeping. It does not. The researchers found a positive relationship between human and dog movement over sleep periods and no negative effects.
Considerations if your dog will share your bed:
- Your dog should be well groomed.
- You should use flea/tick preventatives on your dog.
- If your dog has difficulty getting in or out of the bed (little dog, senior dog), consider a small ottoman at the foot of the bed, pet stairs, or a ramp to make it easier for him to get in or out of the bed.
- Keep a water bowl available in the bedroom for your dog.
- If your older dog has incontinence issues, you can use a belly band (male dogs) or doggie diaper at night.
- Use a breathable, waterproof mattress protector.
Unfortunately, a myth is still circulating that dogs can become dominant or spoiled by sleeping in your bed. This myth is based the “dominance theory,” which means humans need to show our dogs that we are the alpha member in our family pack. Wrong. Wrong. Wrong. Animal behaviorists proved long ago that the dominance theory is not only nonsense, it’s counterproductive to training your dog to do anything. There are no behavior problems associated with a dog sleeping in your bed.