Dogs are pack animals and very social. This doesn’t stop when you turn off the TV and decide to go to bed. For most dogs, if it were down to them, they’d be snuggling you all night, sharing warmth, and keeping each other safe.
Where should my dog sleep is a question all dog owners have to ask themselves at some point. Does it matter if they sleep with you? Will it change their behavior? And what about puppies — where should they sleep during the first night? These are all important questions with pretty simple answers!
Is it ok for my dog to sleep in the bedroom with me?
Really, the answer to this is: it’s up to you. Each human and dog are different, meaning they have different sleeping patterns and habits. Your dog sleeping in the bedroom with you might not be such a good idea if you’re not compatible sleep partners.
Actually in my bed?
It can be really nice going to bed with your pup. You can both feel extra comfort, warmth, and a sense that the bond between you is growing. For many dog owners, knowing their dog is right next to them makes them feel secure and actually gives them a better night’s sleep.
There are, however, a few negatives to be considered too. Whilst there’s little evidence that dogs sleeping in your bed creates unusual behavior, it can exacerbate this unwanted behavior if it was already a problem. It doesn’t help pups that suffer from separation anxiety if they get to spend all night with you too. This might make it harder for you to leave for work in the morning, or for them to spend time alone.
Dogs that show particularly aggressive or dominating behavior normally, could become possessive over your bed too — which wouldn’t be great for you. As with many things with your pups, it’s important to set boundaries with them so that they know what’s yours and what’s theirs.
When thinking about the question of where should my dog sleep, personal preference is also really important. Do you love the smell of your dog enough to smell it for 8 hours? Are you happy with washing your sheets more often (because let’s be honest, you don’t know exactly where your dog has been)?
It’s also important for you to think about possible allergies. Allergens can build up overnight, so if you are a sufferer, it might be more helpful for you to let your dog sleep in another room.
On the bedroom floor?
This could be a happy medium for those who want their pups close, but don’t actually want paws in their face. When a dog sleeps in the bedroom they feel comforted by you sleeping so close. This comfort can give you both a better quality of sleep.
A dog bed in the corner gives your pooch a soft place to sleep, their own ‘possession’ and it’s good for their body as the soft material helps prevent joint and bone pain. It’s also good for you as it’s much quieter than a crate when they move during the night.
A crate is a really good way of helping dogs that aren’t yet housetrained to have a nice night’s sleep close to you. They’re often dark and give your pup the sense of being safe and in a cave — which speaks to the wolf in them. It’s also the perfect way of getting your dog used to traveling, they’ll be able to sleep wherever they go.
Depending on their personality and history, confining a dog in a crate might make them particularly nervous. Speaking soothingly to them and constantly making sure they know you’re close by could help relax them.
Where should my puppy sleep on the first night?
Is a good question, and one that lots of new dog owners worry about. Seeing as your little puppy won’t yet be housetrained, most say it’s important they’re in a crate. This way you’ll avoid any unwanted accidents or chew disasters during the night.
The best way is to have them in a crate by the side of your bed. You might even want to put it on a chair so they can see you and then over a few days lower it to the floor. It’s important they know you’re close so you can comfort them and so they don’t develop any separation anxiety.
Over time you can train your puppy to sleep wherever works best for the two of you but they need to be housetrained and to feel comfortable.
Wherever you think your dog should sleep at night really depends on you and them. You both need to get a good night’s sleep and whether that happens with them in the bed, in the bedroom, or in a separate room altogether, is up to you!
Where does your dog sleep? Let us know below!
I’m Charlotte, a content and copywriter from the North of England and currently living in Berlin. Animals have always been a huge part of my life, so writing about dogs is a total pleasure! I love all kinds of dogs and their cheeky personalities, but I’d have to say Weimaraners are my favourite!