Should you let your dog sleep in your bed? As with many topics, there are diverse opinions on this issue. If you’re a dog owner, you’ve probably received views and advice from both sides of the debate. But what does science say about it? Either way, your dog will adapt to your opinion because, ultimately, you are the boss. Here is a list of pros and cons:

PROS

  • Besides the joy of spending more time with it, studies show that sharing your bed with a dog can improve your sleep. Sleeping in good company can soothe anxiety, promote comfort, lessen feelings of loneliness, and warm you up on cold nights.
  • It’s not just about feeling safe at night (although that can be a big plus). Being around a dog increases your production of oxytocin, a hormone associated with happiness. What could be more adorable than seeing them doze in complete serenity so well by our side!
  • Your dog can also benefit greatly from sharing your bed. In short, there is a chance that everyone will derive nothing but comfort and happiness from it.

CONS:

A lot of misinformation circulates about the consequences of sleeping near your dog. People are scared that they can get diseases or parasites, but it’s actually very rare if you and your dog are healthy and have made all your vet appointments minimal risk.

  • If your dog shows signs of aggression, reactivity, or territoriality, it is best to put it to sleep in a dog bed or its crate. Even though sharing the bed doesn’t seem to cause these behaviors, it could exacerbate them.
  • A sheepdog that shares its sleeping place with its human housemate may develop an excessive protective instinct that can take on undesirable proportions. In some cases, he might even become jealous and aggressive towards the owner’s partner. For example, the dog pushes the partner of its owner out of bed or even completely prevents it from lying down. If your dog exhibits these kinds of behaviors, you should no longer let your pet sleep in the bed to avoid bigger problems.
  • The canine sleep cycle is also not the same as that of humans, so the quality of rest for both could be affected. People with asthma and allergies should not share a room with their dogs. You should also observe proper hygiene strictly. This is all about deworming your dog regularly and ensuring he doesn’t have any ectoparasites like fleas and ticks. In some instances, your canine can infect you with Lyme disease.

In summary, if your dog is healthy, shows no signs of aggression or territoriality, and sleeps through the night, chances are good that sleeping with it will be to your advantage. You decide what’s best for you and your dog — you know it best!

Dirt, hair, and drool can also weigh in your decision, as can the size of your dog. It’s one thing to sleep with a Miniature Poodle at your feet, but a 35-kilo Bernese Mountain Dog is a whole different beast — but oh so reassuring, that said!