We often see pet owners on social media letting their dogs and/or puppies sleep with their owners. However, is it safe to let your puppy sleep with you? What are the benefits and drawbacks? How safe is it and how should I do it properly?
This article will help you in preparing your puppy to sleep beside you in the bed. After all, not only is it a good bonding experience for the pet but it is also a way of comforting you as the owner.
Ways to Know Your Puppy is Ready for the Big Bed
Not all puppies can sleep beside you on the bed – especially very young puppies. So, how do you know if your puppy is ready to sleep on the bed? Here are some pointers to consider:
1. They’re just the right size
Puppies that are too small and fragile could easily fall and get squished, so if you think your puppy is still too minuscule to sleep with you on the bed, by all means, don’t!
2. They can fend for themselves
If your puppy seems to have a good reflex when it comes to not falling off the bed, it means that they can fend for themselves. Puppies are like babies and kids – it will take some time before they can develop reflex skills to avoid falling off the bed.
3. You don’t hear your puppy crying in the crate
If your puppy seems independent and relaxed when they are in their crate and you no longer hear yelping and crying, it is probably a sign that you can take them with you on the bed.
4. Your puppy no longer needs midnight potty breaks
By 4 months of age or older, puppies can usually hold it in throughout the night. If your puppy doesn’t need potty breaks in the middle of the night anymore, it is a sign that you can safely take them with you on the bed to sleep with you. House-training a puppy is crucial before sleeping with them on the same bed.
How to Do It Safely
When it comes to sleeping with your puppy, you should exercise caution and safety. Here are some safety tips when doing so:
1. Ensure that they are ready to sleep with you
As mentioned above, you should only let your puppy sleep with you once they are ready. Make sure that your puppy is potty-trained and house-trained before you let them on your bed to avoid accidents and other mishaps at night.
If you are unsure, you can ask your vet, local breeder, or fellow pet owner about the best age of your puppy to hop on the bed. Usually, if the puppy can fend for themselves and are not too delicate or fragile, then they are okay to sleep with.
2. Make sure that there are no environmental distractions
When you sleep with your puppy, make sure that there are no distractions around you. Aside from turning off the lights and closing the windows when needed, the bed should be warm and cozy for them to snuggle in.
Some pet owners may also dress up their puppies for bedtime, but this depends on your preferences. Putting up dresses at night is okay for puppies that have shorter coats and are susceptible to the cold.
3. Don’t completely remove crate sleeping in their routine
So what if you decide not to sleep with your puppy anymore? Putting them back on the crate could be difficult if they have been used to sleeping by your side. That’s why pet experts advise alternate crate sleeping and hopping on the bed.
In this way, you are training your puppy to be flexible between bed and crate sleeping. You don’t have to worry about your puppy whining in the middle of the night looking for the warmth of your bed because you’ve trained them to work with both types of sleeping setups just fine.
4. Ensure a cozy environment for your puppy
Puppies need a lot of comfort and coziness so make sure your bed is just right for them. As mentioned above, dressing up your puppy is okay but don’t overdo it, especially in the summer. Consider their coat thickness as well because they might feel too hot when you dress them up too much.
5. Do you have a tiny breed? Use a separate crate instead
To avoid problems, it’s best to use a separate crate by your bedside for a tiny puppy breed instead – for safety purposes.
Will My Puppy Pee in My Bed?
We all have the question and anxiety of whether or not the puppy will ruin your sheets when you sleep with them. Puppies will only pee in your bed if:
- they are not properly house-trained or potty-trained
- they drank too much water
Long story short – train your puppy to go potty so that they won’t ruin your beddings.
Benefits of Letting Your Dog Sleep with You
With that said, what are the benefits of letting your dog sleep beside you on the bed? Here are some:
1. Sleeping with your dog alleviates anxiety and depression
2. You get better sleep due to oxytocin from your dog
3. It helps you feel safe and secure if you live alone
4. Sleeping with a dog may help people with insomnia
5. People with PTSD and/or frequent nightmares can be somehow relieved
6. You’ll have a sleeping companion if you’ve been lonely for a long time
7. Experts found a higher sleep efficiency score in individuals who slept with their dogs
8. Sleeping with a dog helps with mental health issues
9. Dozing off with Fido may help reduce blood pressure
10. It’s a great bonding experience!
Why Your Puppy Shouldn’t Sleep in Bed with You at Night
On the other hand, sleeping with your puppy does have challenges and drawbacks, such as the following:
1. People with allergies will get triggered by pet dander
2. When not trained properly, your puppy could develop separation anxiety
3. Your puppy might form resource guarding on their bed spot
4. Dogs that aren’t properly trained might ruin your beddings