How to Safely Sleep in Bed With Your Dog
Owning a dog is rewarding, but it’s also serious business, and requires you to make a ton of important decisions along the way. What will you name your dog? Will you feed them kibble or fresh food? Will you hire a trainer or try to teach them basic obedience on your own? And (most importantly) will you let your pup sleep in bed with you?
The last question may seem silly, but it’s actually something many pet parents put a lot of thought into (and disagree on quite a bit). On one side, there are those people who don’t want dog hair all over their sheets, are worried about the germs dogs bring into the bed, have a dog who’s a total bed hog, or simply don’t want their dog on furniture in general. On the other side are the dog owners who find comfort in the extra cuddles, enjoy the sense of safety and security, and feel that sleeping in bed with their pooch helps deepen their bond.
While it’s ultimately a personal choice whether to allow your pup in the bed or not, there are a few ways to guarantee safe, restful sleep for both you and your dog if you decide to share your slumber with them.
Keep ‘em clean
Though it’s pretty gross to think about, dogs can be harbingers of dirt, germs and parasites, thanks to the mud, allergens and poop they’re exposed to outside. That’s why it’s crucial to keep your canine clean if you plan on letting them sleep in bed.
After each walk or outdoor play session, be sure to wipe their fur down with dog-safe antibacterial wipes to remove germs and dirt on the surface of their coat. Even better, keep their paws and legs clean and germ-free by putting on a pair of dog boots before they head outside. Our new Deluxe Easy-On Boot Leggings are designed to protect your pup’s paws from rain, mud, germs, allergens, burrs, harmful chemicals and other ruff stuff, so they leave the mess outside and keep your home (and bed!) clean.
Wash and protect bedding
Even if dog boots keep your pup’s paws spotless, they’re still likely to shed on your sheets, meaning you should wash them on a regular basis to prevent fur from piling up. It’s also smart to use a water-resistant mattress protector, so you have an added layer of comfort and protection that will extend the life of your mattress and make any necessary clean-ups a little easier.
Create space and set boundaries
Just because you want your canine to cuddle up in bed doesn’t mean you want them hogging your pillow the whole night. Set aside an area that’s dedicated to your dog, whether that’s at the foot of the bed or beside (rather than on top of) you. You can even add a bench at the bottom of the bed for your pup to move to after a little snuggle time, or place a dog bed on the floor near your bed in case they decide they want their own space to stretch out in the middle of the night.
Don’t let them overheat
Dogs’ body temperatures run higher than humans (anywhere from 101 to 102.5°F). That means they’re more likely to get hot in the middle of the night, and therefore should not be allowed to sleep under the covers. Not only can sleeping under the sheets cause them to overheat, but it’s also more likely to disrupt your sleep if they start panting and rustling around at 3am.
Establish a nighttime routine
Just like humans, our furry friends have a circadian rhythm that tells them when to go to sleep and wake up. In order for both of you to get the most restful sleep possible, it’s helpful for your dog’s rhythm to align with your own. The easiest way to make that happen? Try going to bed around the same time every night!
And while you’re at it, make sure a late-night potty break is part of the bedtime routine. This is especially important for puppies or senior dogs, who may need to go to the bathroom more regularly than the average pooch. By giving them one last walk or trip outside before snuggling up in bed, your dog can empty its bladder and get rid of any excess energy (making it more likely that they’ll sleep through the night soundly).