It’s late, time for bed, and you are excited for the comfort of your big, soft mattress, the perfect temperature control in your bedroom, and keeping the shades pulled so you can sleep in. You get up from the couch and your dog follows. No, no, Rex, you sleep there. You point to a ratty old mat covered in chewed up toys, right by the drafty window. Plush blankets? None. Extra padding? Only if he pulls over a sofa cushion. All right, you give up. The dog can sleep with us tonight.
Okay, so maybe your dog’s bed isn’t so dreary, but we bet they still think yours is better.
If You Co-Sleep You Are Not Alone
Across the globe, 14 to 62 percent of pets are allowed to share the bed with humans. Of the 165 million dogs and cats in this country it is estimated that over half of all pets sleep in bed with their humans. Amongst these statistics the numbers skew towards smaller and medium dogs (sorry, Great Danes), but in some cases people open up their beds to multiple animals.
Why It’s Cool to Snuggle with Your Pet
Sleeping close to your pet will encourage a strong bond between you and your furry loved one. You will become more attuned to one another and your schedules of eating, exercise, and even using the bathroom will sync up more closely. Plus your pet will appreciate the higher thread count.
What Can Go Wrong when Your Dog is in Between the Sheets
The major problems with co-sleeping with a pet are social and biological. First let’s deal with the social. As endearing as it is to wake up with a giant dog butt in your face you may want your bed to be a place where you can relax alone or with your significant other in peace. Your kids got their own beds eventually and your dog can handle it as well.
If you do decide to let your dog into bed with you remember that they have had a full day of running outside and can be dragging along with them ticks, fleas, and other parasites. Ensure your dog is coming to bed alone with a good flea and tick treatment.
Important Rules for Sharing Your Bed
While there aren’t too many reasons to say no to your dog there need to be strong guidelines set to ensure this sleeping arrangement goes smoothly.
1. Make sure that your dog is comfortable with your commands for “on” (to jump on the bed) and “off” (to hop off). Some people report being kicked out of their own beds when they get up to use the bathroom and their pet has taken over every corner.
2. Allowing a dog into your bed means you have to vouch for their cleanliness. A dog can be carrying pests like ticks or fleas or just a whole bunch of dirt. If your pet goes outside they probably need to be wiped down before bed.
3. Finally, remember that pets are creatures of habit. If you set a precedent of frequent co-sleeping they will be offended if you kick them out a few nights later.
When the wind whistles ominously outside of your home as those early summer storms kick up, or lightning illuminates your windows on a stormy night, there is no greater bravery booster than getting to snuggle up close to your pet. With these tips in mind, go get under those covers!