Where Should My Puppy Sleep at Night?
It is so easy to get confused about the littlest things when trying to raise a puppy. So many people will tell you so many different things, that it becomes difficult to choose the right one. When it comes to sleeping arrangements for dogs, what should be a simple decision becomes complicated due to various ideologies and philosophies on animal behavior. Some people love having their dogs sleeping in the same bed with them, but they were told it would make the dog feel like the king of the household, thus they need to assert their own dominance. Some other people believe dog crates are inhumane, while others fear if their dog sleeps in a doggy bed it would not be as disciplined as the crate dwellers. So, Where Should My Puppy Sleep at Night?
Which one is the right one, and is there a right one? Well, the question we should ask instead is ‘What is best for my dog?’, because the truth is, choosing the right place to sleep has to be a personal decision. And to make that decision, it is important to have the facts. So let’s get into some of the pros and cons of the different options.
Should a Dog Sleep in Your Bed or Where Should My Puppy Sleep at Night?
Before we entertain the idea of a dog sleeping in your bed, let us discuss your sleeping habits. Do you roll over in your sleep? If your answer is yes, then the answer to the lead question is no. Obviously, you shouldn’t risk smothering your puppy in your sleep, so nothing else matters. If your answer is ‘no’, keep reading.
After considering the dog’s safety, we should also consider yours. If your dog is still being housetrained, you don’t want to wake up with a pile of a stinky brown substance on your fine linen, or worse. Some of you reading this know what I’m talking about. That is the kind of situation that makes people angry and they lash out at the dog, which could physically or emotionally wound the dog and your relationship with it. If your dog is still in the biting phase, you also probably shouldn’t have it in bed with you. Before you can consider having your dog in bed with you, it must have completed some basic training.
Advantages of Sharing Your Bed with Your Dog
Despite what the alpha dominance trainers would tell you, there are benefits to letting your dog share your bed or instances where it is advisable. For example, you may have heard the heartwarming story of a seven-year-old boy with Type 1 diabetes, who got saved when his service dog jumped into bed and got his mother to wake up and attend to her son. If strict dominance rules had been enforced and the dog wasn’t allowed in bed, that story could have ended very differently. But thankfully, this was a well-trained, very observant dog.
That isn’t the only life-saving benefit of having your dog in your bed. Dogs are an excellent security system, able to pick up on sounds and movements outside your door, while you’re dreaming about your celebrity crush. Many homes have been saved from intruder attacks because the sudden movement of their dog getting out or into bed alerted them to a stranger’s presence. This is also why it is good for your dog to be in your room, even if it isn’t sleeping in your bed, but more on this later.
The security you feel when a dog sleeps with you can go past the physical. Sharing your bed can give you a sense of calm and comfort, and can ease feelings of loneliness. Throw me a virtual high five if you’ve been there.
Many dog owners have also reported that they sleep better when their dog is with them because of the way it feels or breathes. Feeling its warm furry body, or hearing its rhythmic breathing could help get you much-needed rem sleep.
Lastly and most importantly, some dogs like it. The sense of security and comfort we feel goes both ways. When dogs are scared they often want to run into the arms of their bigger pals, the same security comes when they share a bed. Making your dog feel safe, loved, and comfortable is your most important duty, so if allowing it in bed would accomplish that then go ahead.
[Related, check out the Best Dog Beds and Houses]
Disadvantages of Sharing Your Bed with Your Dog
If you’re still bothered by the question “Where Should My Puppy Sleep at Night? ” an important lesson in dog training is that no two dogs are the same, so do two owners. One person’s advantage could be another’s disadvantage. While sharing your bed could be good for you or your canine friend, it might be bad for anyone else. Some dogs have been known to become territorial in bed, feeling it is their place to protect from anyone new trying to share the bed with you. In some cases, this protection can turn aggressive, and that can really damage your human relationships or get someone injured. This attitude can be corrected through training however, so not all hope is lost.
Another problem could be the transference of ticks. Other health problems could be triggered in people with pre-existing conditions such as allergic reactions and asthmatic attacks. Even though your dog cries to be in your bed, you probably shouldn’t risk your health to please it.
Most people who sleep or have tried sleeping with their dog in bed have reported disruption of sleep. There are different reasons for this, including restless sleeping dogs, loud snoring, and in my own experience, the occasional nightmare. I didn’t even know dogs were capable of having nightmares!
Making Do With A Dog Bed or Crate
If you are not going to let your dog sleep in your bed, your two main options are a crate or a doggy bed. Sure, you want your dog to sleep in a bed, but who said it has to be your bed? A doggy bed is a comfortable alternative, with a lot of the appeal of your own bed, sans your pleasant company of course. A crate is what many trainers and veterinarians would recommend for a young puppy, especially one that has not been house trained yet. So, you could transition from the crate to the doggy bed, once your puppy knows when and where to use the toilet.
Advantages of Using A Dog Bed or a Crate
The first advantage of this set up is your dog gets a comfortable space it can call it’s own. It is important for your pooch to have a permanent place of residence, which won’t be altered no matter who comes to your life or if you can no longer accommodate your dog for health or social reasons.
A follow-on benefit is you both get a comfortable night’s sleep. If either of you is disruptive sleepers, it would be best to make separate sleeping arrangements. If you are a restless sleeper, then your dog will be protected from unwanted kicks in the middle of the night. You can visit a sleep therapist to help you figure out why you are always fighting zombies in your sleep, but a doggy bed would probably be cheaper
The space between you means you are protected from ticks, while your dog is also protected from whatever contagious sickness you might have.
Disadvantages of Using A Dog Bed or a Crate
The disadvantages here, as you would guess, are the reverse of letting your dog sleep in your bed i.e. loss of comfort, loss of security, etc. However, when comparing a dog crate to a bed, then you have more glaring pros and cons. For example, it is easier to housetrain your dog with a crate than a doggy bed. You can also make the argument for which one is more humane. We covered the topic of using crates on another post, so please read that for more information.
Despite all the back and forth, you might also find that your puppy prefers sleeping in one over the other irrespective of your wishes, which isn’t a disadvantage per se, just more personal preference. Again, it does not have to be either-or. Once your dog is properly trained, you can move it to the doggy bed.
In theory, dog crates are the preferred option for most breeds to sleep in for the first few months of life. In reality, there are too many factors to consider, such as your dog’s temperament, how you want to train your dog, which one helps you and your dog sleep better, and which will build a stronger bond between you.
What is of more importance is not what your dog sleeps on, but where. If you own a puppy that has just been separated from its doggy family, it would feel very lonely and would whine all night if it isn’t kept close by. Your puppy could sleep in a crate or a doggy bed next to yours, or if you don’t mind, you could sleep on the floor for the first few nights to get it acquainted. Again, allowing your pup on your bed before housetraining is complete is a disaster waiting to happen. You don’t have to be on the same bed, but knowing you are close will help your puppy sleep better for its first few nights in its new home, and that is what matters most.
[Related, check out the Best Dog Beds and Houses]
# Where Should My Puppy Sleep at Night?