Should I Let My Dog Sleep in My Bed?

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If you are a dog person than it is almost certain that your dog sleeps in your bed.  If they don’t currently sleep in your bed then at some point a dog has slept there.  But if you are a new dog owner you may be wondering if you should even think about letting your dog sleep in your bed.  While it is tempting to throw caution to the wind you might want to think about it first.

Should I let my dog sleep in my bed? That is a super valid question but the answer isn’t as clear as you would probably like it to be.  The honest answer is that it depends. I know you are thinking “great another answer that isn’t really an answer.”  Hang on and we will walk you through some things to consider when making this decision.

There are pros and cons to letting your dog sleep in your bed.  We will talk about each one in detail as the article progresses so don’t worry.  We will also briefly give you some things to think about as you try to make your decision.  No matter what you decide it is a personal choice.  So be confident and own it. 

Things to Consider First

There are some things that you really should consider before even think about letting your dog sleep in your bed. Some circumstances require a firm no when it comes to letting sleep with you while other times it might be a no at first but then becomes a yes later as your dog ages or becomes more reliable. 

  • Is your dog potty trained? The last thing you want is a puppy that isn’t fully potty trained sleeping in your bed.  Some older dogs may not be reliable with their bathroom skills.  In this situation, your dog should be crated or at least not allowed in your bedroom. Waking up to pee or poop in your bed is not the best way to start a day and it isn’t very sanitary either.  
  • Can your pooch sleep in a crate without whining?  This is simply a sign that your dog is confident and can sleep through the night.  It is a sign that they may be ready to join in the bed if that is what you choose.  Just be careful.  Once a dog realizes how great your bed is they probably won’t easily go back to the crate. 
  • Size matters. How big is your dog? If they are so tiny that you might roll over on them and hurt them without realizing it then it is safer for them to sleep in a crate or in their own bed.  On the flip side of that if your dog is so big that they take up most of the bed or could hurt you unintentionally then they should be crated or have their own bed as well. 

Pros of Letting Your Dog Sleep In Your Bed

There are some positive aspects of letting your dog sleep in your bed.  That being said, not everyone may consider these good enough reasons to let the dog sleep with them. But I definitely consider at least two of these benefits of my dog sleeping in the bed. 

Warmth

If you are anything like me your feet get cold when you sleep.  Sure, the obvious solution would be socks, right? Socks make my feet way too hot when I sleep so that doesn’t work for me.  My dog is a small dog that is the perfect foot warmer.  He always sleeps at the end of the bed where my feet go keeping the temperature perfect. 

If you are someone that is cold natured then this pro will appeal to you and might even be the thing that convinces you to call fido up into the bed.  However, our hot-natured dog lovers won’t be sold on this aspect alone. 

Sense of Security

This is a major benefit especially if you live alone or have another reason to need a furry alert system.  One reason that we let our dog sleep in bed is that my husband has a severe hearing loss.  He doesn’t hear anything at night.  But if the dog is in our room and starts barking about something going on outside my husband wakes up and investigates.   This gives him an added sense of security. 

I also appreciate the dog in our bed while my husband is out of town because of that same reason.  Dogs usually know what is going on before people do thanks to their amazing sense of hearing and smell. 

Positive Effects on Mental Health

Cuddling with a warm-blooded creature like a dog has been known to help with mental health. Some people that suffer from loneliness or depression need to feel secure and also feel the physical touch they get from petting a dog or laying close to another living being.  Dogs are great emotional support animals so this may be something to consider when trying to decide if you should let the dog sleep in the bed. 

Cons of Letting Your Dog Sleep In Your Bed

If there are pros then there are bound to be cons.  This is true of anything and your dog sleeping in your bed isn’t an exception. While two of these things would be, in my opinion, deal breakers the other two are simply mild inconveniences.   I will tell you what I think about each con and you can decide for yourself. 

Allergy or Asthma Flare-Ups

This is a pretty big deal.  If you, your spouse, or your children suffer from severe allergies or asthma you may want to keep the dog off of the furniture.  It is possible to be an allergy and asthma sufferer and have a dog but you want to be mindful when it comes to certain things. 

A person with these conditions may be able to coexist with the dog with little to no trouble but if they are breathing in the hair and allergens all night long at close range then it is a recipe for disaster.  Even people that just have mild allergies will likely see an increase in symptoms if the dog sleeps in the bed. 

Bedding Needs Washed More Often

This is just a fact.  Bedding should be washed at the very least every two weeks if not weekly to purge it of dust particles, germs, and dead skin.  However, if your dog sleeps in the bed it may need to be washed more often.  Your dog sheds hair and skin cells just like you but that isn’t the only reason for more frequent washings. 

Think about the fact that your dog goes outside and his paws walk through who knows what.  And what if your dog likes to roll around in the grass?  Whatever they pick up on their paws and fur will end up in your bed.  Dogs don’t bath as often as we do.  Even if you only shower every other day I bet it is more often than you bath your dog.  I don’t know about you but that makes me think twice about letting the dog sleep in the bed.  

Not enough not to let him but maybe to wash the bedding twice a week or even bathe him more. 

Too Warm in The Summer

This might be more true if you have a very large dog and live in a very hot location.  Small dogs probably don’t make much of a difference.  If you let your dog sleep in the your bed then it may get too hot for not only you but also your dog when you are in the middle of the hot summer months.  

You could turn the air conditioning down or have lighter sheets and blankets to try and help but if your dog is large or has a ton of fur it may not work.  It is okay for your dog to sleep on the cool floor in the summers and in the bed in the cool months.  This might be a compromise that works for both of you because your dog doesn’t want to be hot either. 

Possible Potty Accidents

This ties back to the question about potty training.  If your dog isn’t potty trained this is likely to happen more often.  Potty accidents that happen in your bed are not fun.  The cleaning is not easy or cheap and it will make you want to throw the mattress away and start over.  But it isn’t just puppies that can have accidents.

Any dog can get sick at any time and throw up or go to the bathroom on your bed.  The only real way to avoid this completely is to not let your dog ever sleep in the bed.  You have to decide if that is a risk you are willing to take. 

Matter of Choice

What it really comes down to is that it is your choice.  We can give you all of the information we can to help you make an informed decision but you have to make the call.  Whatever you choose just choose it with conviction and confidence.  Remember you can always choose something different latter.