Feature Image Credit: Kelly Mulligan Gibson
There are a few reasons dogs like to sleep with humans, but there are a few questions that come with this, such as should you allow your dog to sleep with you? Or why do they like to sleep with humans?
How old should dogs be before you let them sleep with you and should you even let them sleep in your bed? With so many breeds and dog bed rules to follow, this can be a confusing topic.
While some dog owners just give in and allow their dogs to sleep with them in their bed, others are doing their research and that’s how you got here!
You’re in the right place because below you will find all the answers you need about your little buddy when it comes to bedtime – so keep on reading!
Do Dogs Like to Sleep with Humans? / What Does it Mean When Your Dog Sleeps With You?
The answer is yes! There are a few reasons why your dog wants to sleep with you:
It’s in their nature. Newborn pups will huddle together after birth, as this allows them to feel secure and cozy. Your dog likes to sleep with you because it is a sign of affection and closeness.
They enjoy your company and consider you as a member of the pack. If your dog likes sleeping with you they are showing you loyalty, trust, and wanting to protect you.
The reason why they want to protect you while you sleep together is that if you were out living in the open this is when you are most vulnerable.
Dogs are very sociable animals by nature. When they establish a bond with humans, they will want to follow you everywhere.
This means even sleeping in the same bed. Sleeping in the same bed as you also means you transmit security and confidence, so they see you as a mentor and guide.
Your bed will be one of the warmest places for your dog to settle down and get cozy for the night. However, the main reason your dog wants to sleep in the same bed as you is because they love you.
Sleeping in the same bed will help strengthen your bond. Your dog is showing a sign of wanting to get close to you.
On the other paw, if your dog doesn’t sleep with you it’s not a bad thing. Most of the time it is probably because they are hot or can’t get comfortable and fall asleep.
Is it Bad for a Dog to Sleep in Bed With You?
There is no reason it would be bad for your dog to sleep in your bed, it all comes down to personal preference.
It is important to maintain proper hygiene of your dog, especially if they are coming from the outside. This is because if you don’t then your bed will have dirt, possible bugs, and parasites.
A top tip is regular brushing and medicine such as vaccinations and deworming schedules should be performed by the vet to avoid the presence of parasites.
Your dog could disturb your sleep. According to a study, more than half of dog owners have said that their dog wakes them up at least once in the middle of the night.
Dogs can be bed hoggers. Yes, even the smallest ones. They can claim your pillow or your side of the bed, forcing you to sleep on the wrong side of your bed.
Allowing your dog to sleep in your bed could also disrupt training. Especially if it is still a puppy as it is a risk of them having a potty accident on your bed.
It may not be a good idea to let your dog sleep in your bed if you have allergies. Sometimes sleeping with your dog may increase your allergies due to your dog going outside and exposed to pollen and dust which clings to their fur.
Should You Pet Your Dog While Sleeping?
You’ve probably heard the term “let sleeping dogs lie” however, is there any truth in it?
This depends on your dog’s personality and how they were trained as a puppy.
For example, if as a puppy your dog was trained that sudden disturbances during sleep are non-threatening, however, if they were not then petting them while they sleep could frighten them.
Your dog could also be dreaming about something so a sudden touch could startle them, so verbally waking your dog is probably the best way and then you can pet them.
Dogs are very much like humans, they need sleep and just like you, they do not like to be disturbed.
Do Dogs Dream?
You’ve probably seen your dog’s feet twitch or make noises while sleeping, but does that mean they are dreaming?
There are two types of sleep: one being REM which is rapid eye movement and non-REM sleep.
During REM sleep your dog’s eyes will move randomly and rapidly and during this time they are difficult to wake as they are in a deep sleep stage.
Studies have shown that dogs do dream, their sleep pattern and brain wave activity is similar to humans.
Like us humans, dogs enter a deep sleep stage, this is when their breathing becomes more irregular and has REM (rapid eye movement).
When dogs dream they have involuntary movements taking place. Your dog may move its legs meaning they are likely dreaming about running or a whine or whimper when excited.
Researchers have shown that smaller dogs dream more than larger dogs. However, puppies will tend to dream the most as they are processing huge quantities of life and experiences.
Yet, it is not known exactly what dogs dream about, but is believed to be similar to human dreams such as replaying activities.
It is also possible that your dog could have a nightmare/bad dream such as dreaming about a fear like being alone or getting into a fight with another dog.
Why is Your Dog Touching You While Sleeping?
Dogs use body language to communicate as they cannot talk.
Researchers have all concluded that while your dog is asleep and is touching you this means they love you, they love being close to you and feel comfortable around you.
Another reason your dog is touching you while sleeping is a sign of affection. This tends to be the case if your dog gets you to rub its tummy before bed.
As mentioned previously, dogs are used to being in a group and while a puppy, they huddle together for warmth and protection.
So, touching you while it sleeps could mean it feels safer and they won’t feel vulnerable.
If your dog picks to sleep with you in your bed over its own bed it most likely means it is seeking comfort. As well as if your dog rests his head on you.
Your dog may be suffering from separation anxiety and touching you will allow them to know when you are leaving.
If your dog is showing signs of being anxious when you are heading out it could be due to separation anxiety.
Your dog could just be waiting for something from you. This is likely the case if your dog does it more around the same time that you would give them something such as food or playtime.
So, the overall question was “does your dog sleep in bed with you?” and the answer is it all depends on you and your dog’s personality.
There is no right or wrong answer, as some people may love snuggling up in bed with their dog while sleeping while others may not be due to reasons such as allergies.
Studies have concluded and shown that dog’s behaviors and habits are similar to humans such as REM and probably not wanting to be woken while asleep.
Researchers have also shown that a puppy’s behavior will come depending on their upbringing.
Therefore, while there are a couple of factors you should consider, the decision is yours.
You are the one who knows your dog the best and that’s why you should consider both your dog’s preferences and your needs before making the decision.
Do you let your dog sleep with you? Do you give your dog his space in your bed?
If you have any questions, ideas, or things that could improve this post, feel free to leave a comment below! Also, don’t hesitate to share this post on social media to help everyone sort this dilemma!
All the best,
Founder/Creator: Love A Rescue Dog?
“Saving one animal won’t change the world, but for that one animal, the world changes forever”