When my wife was putting forward her presentation on what our life would be like with a dog, slide number 5.2 said something along the lines of ‘The dog will sleep downstairs.’
I was quite keen on this. We don’t have kids, I value privacy and prefer not to be shout-whispering ‘Go toilet!’ in the garden at 4am.
In a development that many pet parents will recognise, a few months after we got Brewster, our wonderful cockapoo, he was regularly spending the night taking up more than his fair share of our bed.
And I like it (most of the time). I’m not a great sleeper and I often find his ‘little old man’ snoring a comfort, outweighing the occasional paw in my face. Sometimes (the best of times) he’ll put his head on my pillow and we spoon, like a grown man with a living teddy bear. My wife is embarrassed for me.
Brewster still spends a good chunk of the night in his own bed on our bedroom floor because he thinks any temperature above freezing is tropical. But we usually get at least an hour or two of company.
I’ve yet to meet anyone with a dog, couples anyway, who hasn’t addressed the ‘Dog in Bed’ question. I know some whose answer was an adamant ‘No’; others where one partner sneakily allows bed visits when they’re spending the night alone; and others who gladly welcomed the idea.
Many, though, like us, journeyed from being unable to deal with the cries of lonely and frightened puppy a floor below us, to ‘he can sleep on the floor,’ to caving in – and, in my case, being disappointed if I don’t get my face licked when my alarm goes off (by the dog, I hasten to add).
So that’s how it is in our house, but in answer to the question ‘Should my dog sleep in my bed?’ it’s a resounding… ‘It’s up to you’. To help you decide, here are some pros and cons.
It can increase bonding between you and your dog.
It’s good for both your and your dog’s emotional wellbeing and mental health.
Being close to or touching your dog reduces your blood pressure.
It can keep both of you warm in winter.
It can make you sleep worse.
It can increase existing dominance issues.
If your dog isn’t well groomed or house trained, things can get unhygienic.
A big dog could take up most of your bed.