Man’s best friend. And a pet owner’s best sleeping buddy. There’s a good reason why over 50% of pet owners want to share a pet with their pet. And bedding down with a pooch is particularly satisfying. Why? Well, they’re good for you! They’re soft, they’re warm, their rhythmic breathing is relaxing and sometimes they’re so needy, they’re the ones who want to spoon. They make you feel safe, secure and loved, just as you’re slipping off into dreamland.
Sure, what more could you want?!
There are still some rules you should remember when taking your dog to bed. Just so he’s still your best friend come morning:
Tell him who’s boss
Nip any territorial battles in the bud when you settle down for the night. If your dog growls or even tries to nip you every time you move beside him, say “no” firmly in a warning tone. If he continues, maybe you need to reconsider your decision to allow him in your bed.
When you’re training your dog, (like suggested on the Woof Dog blog), a good pre-bedtime technique is to have him wait beside the bed while you get ready. Then, once you’ve gotten settled yourself – with no whining or scratching from him in the meantime – then invite him in. It’s just good manners, really.
Consider a doggie bed
You’ll still have the security and companionship of a dog in your room, without the growls or slobbers of him sleeping right beside you. Dog crates offer up a useful compromise and will keep your puppy happy if you choose the right one. The result? Sounder sleep, without the squabble.
Make sure he’s potty trained
This is an important fact to remember if you’ve got a young pup. Their bladders are tiny and eight hours is a long time to hold all that lovely warm milk you gave them! Even if they are trained they may too little to jump off the bed and go where they’re meant to. So either sleep separately and get them properly trained before graduating to the bed, or get your mattress cleaning products ready.
Let him ruin the romance
If you find it weird having your pet in the room while you’re…errr…enjoying ‘special time’, then put them outside. Simple as that. You don’t want your relationship to suffer because puppy eyes trumped bedroom eyes.
If it doesn’t bother you, give the dog a toy to distract them while you have your own playtime.
Continue if it’s affecting your sleep
Unfortunately, although dogs can make great bedtime companions, they can also be responsible for making you sleep-deprived – which has all kinds of physical and mental effects. They might make irritating noises, they might snap at you in the night, and they might disturb your sleep patterns with near-constant bathroom breaks. Not to mention all the space they take up on your bed or the fact that they probably hog the duvet.
And don’t even get me started on the dogs.
Seriously though, if your dog is really affecting your sleep at night, have him sleep on the floor instead. And if you still can’t get any kip, well, you might have to sacrifice that feeling of security for a decent slumber.
Remember – a well-rested owner is a happier, healthier owner. So do whatever you have to do to sleep soundly. That way, your pooch will continue to be a friend for life.
Does your dog share your bed? Tell us in the comments below!