Should I let my dog sleep with me?
Do you allow your pets to sleep in your bedroom?
I thought this would be an interesting topic to discuss, especially for people who have recently adopted a puppy or dog. How do you decide where the pet will sleep?
I love the idea of my pets sleeping with me, especially in the bed. But my dog and two cats are way too disruptive. Sleep is important, and with my pets in my bedroom I don’t sleep well.
Our typical routine is to put our cats in the spare bedroom at night. They bother us otherwise. My dog Ace sleeps on his dog bed in the main living area of our apartment where we can’t hear him snoring, licking himself, gagging (from licking himself!) or shaking his body and ears around.
Dogs as protection
I like the idea of my dog being loose in our apartment at night because he does provide some amount of protection if someone were to break in. I know Ace would never actually attack or bite anyone, but at least he’s a big, black dog with a deep bark.
If my dog were at all destructive at night, I would have him sleep in his crate. But, he never chews things, never gets into the trash and never has accidents. Because of this, he gets to be free at night and when he’s home alone.
When we get another dog at some point, that dog will most likely sleep in a crate until we know he or she can be trusted. If we get a puppy, there is no question about it. The puppy will sleep in the crate for at least six months to form good habits.
Update: We have a puppy now, and yep, he sleeps in his crate!
Dogs in the bed, with permission
I’m not opposed to dogs sleeping in the owner’s bed at night as long as the dog is not possessive of the bed or possessive of the owner. This can be avoided by creating the simple rule that the dog is allowed on the bed only with permission such as “up!”
If the owner doesn’t want the dog on the bed, that’s OK too!
This is not about being “dominant.” It’s about setting simple rules so we can live peacefully with dogs.
And if the owner doesn’t want the dog on the bed, that’s OK too! The dog doesn’t get to decide. The human gets to decide.
There’s no way we could let Ace sleep on our bed. He is an extra gross dog who sheds and drools all the time. He always has black, “drool crust” stuck to his jowls, along with fresh drool. He would ruin our comforter and sheets in about a week if he slept on our bed. Yuck.
Because of this, we created the “no dogs on the furniture” rule from day one and it’s worked out well. Ace actually seems to prefer his dog bed because that’s his routine.
Where do your cats sleep at night?
Our cats are really naughty. Beamer begins meowing (howling!) to eat at about 5:15 a.m. unless he’s in his cat carrier. So, most nights we put him in his carrier, especially on weekends. He doesn’t howl in there, so that’s where he sleeps. I throw a blanket over it so he can’t tell when it’s light out, and I leave a loud fan on.
Our other cat, Scout, is usually quieter, but if he’s in our bedroom he starts sneezing (yep!) around 5:30 because he wants to eat. And if we close him out of our bedroom he cries on the other side to get in. So … he also has to be closed into the spare bedroom at night, often in his carrier as well.
Many dog owners put their dogs in crates every night, so I do not feel bad at all that my cats have to go in theirs. I actually get a fair amount of people who tell me they don’t sleep well at night because of their cats, and I always recommend putting the cats in another room or in their cat carriers. Why wouldn’t you?
So, that’s our routine. About once a week or so, I let Scout or Ace sleep in our bedroom and I wake up every hour to Ace licking himself or snoring or Scout stepping on me or walking around on the bed. Then, I’m reminded why they’re usually not allowed to sleep with us.
So, what do the rest of you do?
Do you let your dog or cat sleep in your bedroom?
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