Cuddling with the dog and dozing off on the couch is a great way to relax on a lazy weekend afternoon. But bringing your dog into bed regularly might make you lose out on sleep, experts say.
Here are three reasons your dog shouldn't spend the night in the big bed.
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Reason #1: Allergy issues
Letting your dog into bed can make your allergies flare up, even if you aren't allergic to dogs.
Dust and pollen can stick to their fur and end up on your pillows and blankets. This could lead to symptoms like sneezing or itching.
Reason #2: You'll both sleep better
Unlike humans, dogs tend not to sleep through the whole night. Instead, they get up several times and go back to sleep.
This could cause trouble for your sleep schedule if you're not sleeping in one long stint.
You could wake up cranky the next day and not even realize your dog is the reason you missed a good night of sleep.
Multiple studies have said having a dog in the bed increases the likelihood of being disturbed or awoken during the night.
Reason #3: It can worsen behavioral problems
If your dog is having behavioral problems and you let them into bed, they may get the wrong idea about who's in charge.
That can lead to impulsivity and disobedience.
In an interview last year, Matt Beisner from the National Geographic TV show "Dog Impossible" recommended finding a comfortable place for your dog to sleep outside your bed, especially for a newly adopted dog.
His website, The Zen Dog, suggests a few options that will reduce behavioral issues:
- Containing or crating the dog so they won't go on the bed
- If you let the dog come into bed sometimes, you should also politely ask them to leave when you're ready. And then praise them when they do.
- You can also do a "seven-day reset" where you keep the bedroom door closed for a week, so your dogs don't have the opportunity to get in bed. After those seven days, if your dog is still jumping on the bed, politely ask them to get off the bed again
This doesn't mean you have to get all mean like Will Ferrell in the iconic SNL skit "Dissing Your Dog." It just means when your dog wants to get in your bed, politely direct them to their own instead.