Three Dog Night – or, Should You Let Your Dog Share Your Bed?

Dog owners and their significant others sometimes disagree on the answer to this question. If it’s just you and your pooch, there is less of an issue. Here are some factors to consider when making the decision about sleeping with your best (furry) friend.

1. Allergy

If you are one of those who has an allergy to pet dander, then sleeping with your dog or cat is probably not the best choice. Still, if you (or your pet) have a strong desire to spend that time together, you need to be sure to launder all bedding frequently. And most importantly, see your healthcare provider for suggestions on allergy medication.

2. Sleep disturbance

Do you usually fall asleep quickly, and sleep through the night? While it may seem that your dog is always sleeping, her sleep patterns are different from humans. She may sleep for a few hours, then get up and play. During the night, she may sleep longer between periods of wakefulness, but her sleep will not be as deep as yours. If her restlessness causes you lost sleep, then you might need to insist that she sleep in her own bed.

3. Intimacy

Significant others (of the human variety) don’t always agree about this topic. One may really want their pet in bed with them, and the other might be intensely negative about the idea. You have a lot to work through if it comes to interfering with intimacy between you and your partner. But that’s probably beyond the scope of this blog post!

4. Accidents

Sometimes even the best trained animals have accidents, particularly when they are not feeling well. Can you handle cleaning it up if it’s in your bed?

5. Multiple dogs

Do you have more than one dog? Or both dogs and cats? For some, the more, the merrier. And for others, it can become a circus with multiple pets sharing your bed. It has less to do with how much you love them, and more to do with recognizing the purpose of your bed is to get enough sleep!

6. Warmth

Dogs have long been used to keep humans warm on cold nights. They have a normal body temperature a few degrees higher than humans, making them something of a living electric blanket. When it’s really cold, you might be willing to trade some sleep for some warmth!

In the end, you need to choose what works best for you, your partner, and your pets. There really is no “right” answer to this question. How do you handle it?