Dogs typically love human interaction. Hence the coined phrase of being a man’s best friend.
One’s love for pets, especially dogs would always create a desire to nurture and not merely pet them.
The decision to let your dog sleep with you in the bedroom is a matter of choice. Preparation is key so that pets and owners alike get used to this new norm. For those who are more inclined to do so, here are a few things to consider before taking the plunge.
Does your dog sleep at the same time as you do?
Dogs are no doubt lovable, fuzzy little furballs. However, some of them are not used to sleeping at the same time as their owners. This can lead to disturbances for you in the night. Thankfully, this is preventable through training.
You can start training them by providing a set time for them to sleep. Similarly, you can also set them a schedule for feeding and potty time similar to yours. They will soon understand this and acclimatize to your time. This will take effort on both you and your pet, but you will see improvements after at least a month. Consistency is the key.
Make sure your dog is prepared for the night.
Like us humans, dogs also have things they need or need to do before sleeping. In order to facilitate a good night’s sleep for your pet, you need to provide them everything they may need.
For most dogs, providing them with their bed and favorite toy is usually enough. Dogs have a keen sense of smell, and these are enough for them to feel at ease. Plus, being with their owners is also a big bonus for them.
You may also give them a way to their water and food bowl if they need to, just in case. Some dogs might crave late-night snacks. Don’t let them get used to it, though. It might lead to obesity which could cause illnesses later on in life.
Adjust your room for your dog.
Dogs are naturally curious about their surroundings. If your dog is new to your room, you can expect them to check every nook and cranny.
Sometimes, however, there are places inside your room that you don’t want them to access. There may be cases where some of these areas may be dangerous to your dog.
As such, you need to make sure that your room is ready for your dog. Remove any potentially harmful substances and sharp objects that are easily within your dog’s reach. Similarly, make sure to block up any areas you don’t want your dog to access, such as trash bins.
After a few months, your dog will get used to the boundaries you have set for them. You can then start removing the blockades slowly, and they shouldn’t disturb your stuff after a while.
Are you prepared for the effort?
No doubt that having a pet dog is a huge responsibility. However, having them sleep with you is another story for some people.
Training a dog to sleep with you is a rocky start for most. You can expect your sleep to be interrupted for the first few weeks. Disturbances such as these can hamper your rest somewhat. If you are not prepared for this, reconsider training your dog at another time.
Training your dog may take weeks up to months. It is recommended that you train them if you are not particularly busy. Summer vacation and the holidays are good long periods of lenient time.
Does your dog have an outbreak of fleas or ticks?
For most outside dogs, having some fleas or ticks is unavoidable. This is usually mitigated by medicated powders and other topical products. In this case, it is usually fine to have them sleep inside your room.
However, some dogs unfortunately encounter a heavy outbreak of such parasites. Though still curable, the large amount of these pests means that they will fall off from the dog’s fur. This means that certain areas of the house may be contaminated with ticks or fleas. This is a health hazard for both you and your dog.
If your dog is an unfortunate victim of these circumstances, having them sleep inside your room is not an option. It may hurt for you and your dog, but this is for the better. After your dog is cured, you can both hug and spend time catching up on lost time.
Every pet owner has been faced with the dilemma of whether or not they should co-sleep with their fur babies. At the very least, they wonder about letting them stay in the same room while they sleep. Especially in the case of dogs where size can vary a lot, this question has raised different concerns and answers. Even professionals are split on this issue.
For most people, they would love nothing more than to snuggle up to their pups after a rough day. Most of us already treat our dogs like our child, so what’s so bad about sleeping next to them? It turns out that it’s a little more complicated than can be answered in black and white.
There are a lot of factors to consider before making this important decision. And yes, this is important because it sets a precedent for future behavior and habits. To make the decision a little easier, let’s take a closer look at the vital questions that need addressing.
How is your sleep?
Sure, you love your dog… maybe more than yourself, but you need to prioritize your wellbeing first. After all, you can’t take care of your pup if you’re barely awake anymore.
Does having your dog in the room disrupt your sleep at all?
Yes: It can be tough to sleep beside a pooch. You might not be comfortable with the odd leg or bottom that will inevitably make its way towards your face. You might be the type to jolt awake at the slightest disturbance. Your dog could be a loud and fretful sleeper. There are many instances that would bring you and your dog’s discomfort.
If that’s the case, then you’re both not compatible in that setup. Unless your dog needs special attention (as in he’s sick and needs to be taken care of), then there’s no reason to justify disrupting both of your sleep.
No: If your answer is a resounding no, then let’s move onto other concerns. I mean, if you can sleep comfortably, then that’s all we need to know.
Are you allergy-prone?
I’d ask that question in all caps if I could. This probably should’ve been my first question, but… Oh well.
Yes: As I said, your wellbeing comes first. You don’t have to necessarily be allergic to your dog. However, you never know where and how they spent their day. Who knows what type of allergens they brought with them? And in turn, they’ll be bringing that allergen into bed with you. Unless you’re keen on bathing them every single night, or you’re fine with constant flare-ups, co-sleeping isn’t for you. Even if you do bathe them, you’ll end up with a slightly damp dog, which is not the best move either.
No: You’re one of the lucky few who aren’t prone to allergies. Congratulations on the genetic lottery win! This means that you’ll sleep through the night without the sneezes and sniffles. You get to reap all the perks of cuddling with your best bud. This leaves you with only one more question.
Do you want this setup to last?
And by set up, I mean the sleeping situation. Assuming that you sleep well and are not allergic, are you sure you can last forever with your dog in the room? I only raise this concern because you will definitely be conditioning your dog to get used to this scenario.
Yes: If you’re a hundred percent on this, then good. Be prepared for your dog to always be begging to sleep together. Don’t be surprised if he starts pawing at your door on the rare occasions that you do want to be alone.
No: In case you haven’t considered this reality, then now’s the time. Think of how distressing it could be for your dog to be uprooted from his daily routine of co-sleeping. There might also come a time when you just can’t let him sleep in the same space anymore. The only one who loses, in that case, is him, and that’s just sad.
Don’t worry though, because you can still work this out. Simply don’t let co-sleeping be the only option for him. Create an alternate routine where you let him sleep separately from you. So, when the time does come, no one is anxious and no one gets bothered.
Loopholes to every problem
In every situation, there is usually a middle ground. The grey area, so to speak, and this case is no exemption.
“What’s the loophole?”, you might ask. Well, if you really refuse to part with your dog at night, fine. No one said they had to be in the same bed as you. Just give them their own spot in your bedroom, and be comforted by their presence instead of crowding together in bed. Train them to stay within their area, so that you still maintain some control over the situation.
You might still encounter problems here and there, but you can’t have it all if you’re aiming for the middle ground, right?
Whatever floats your boat
In summary, letting your dog sleep in your room or bed is really up to your personal preference. Of course, there are pros and cons, but that’s just the way things are in life.
If you’re willing to power through the inconveniences you come across, then go for it. Either way, it’s no one’s loss because I’m sure you’ll still find more ways to bond with your pup.