Want some actionable tips on how to get your dog to sleep with you?
While most people are looking for the opposite – how to keep your dog off the bed or off the couch – some of you love your pet so much that you want them right there beside you throughout the night.
I’ll confess that I’m personally not in this camp.
My wife and I have to set up barriers across our bedroom door each night to stop the dog from coming in. Instead, he either sleeps by our door or on the floor of one of the kid’s rooms.
Our dog is a German Shepherd and Lab cross, so he’s big and stinky and we don’t want him anywhere near the bed. Plus we live in the country so he’s always finding dead rabbits to roll in and eat. He’s not one of those big dog breeds that don’t shed.
Definitely not having a sleepover with him. BUT, for those who want it, here are 5 tips on how to get the dog to sleep in bed with you.
Dog Sleeping In Bed
It’s important to realize that your dog might not immediately take to sleeping in the bed – something you’ve probably already realized if you’re reading this.
Or, you’ll find that your dog wakes you up a lot through the night shifting about, so it’s more of a case of ‘how do I get my dog to sleep in bed through the night.’
1. Pick The Right Size Mattress
Before doing anything else, you need to make sure you have the right-sized bed for you and your dog – and your Mr or Mrs if they’re in the picture.
It’s going to be difficult sharing a single bed with a Great Dane or other large breed dogs.
If your dog feels cramped or uncomfortable in the bed, this was cause them to continue waking and shifting, or even to go and find another spot in the house.
Ideally, if you’re sleeping in bed with a dog, pick king over queen, or at the very least a queen over a single.
2. Take The Dog To The Toilet Before Bed
This really goes without saying, whether the dog is sleeping in your bed or anywhere else in the house.
Ensuring they’ve been out to the toilet before knocking off for the night will ensure they sleep well through the night and won’t wake you to go to the loo.
Older dogs will be better at this than younger ones.
My dog, for example, didn’t learn to sleep through the night without needing to go to the toilet until he was 8 or 9 months old.
We would get woken up each night by him wining at our door to be let out (at least he did this rather than going on the floor)!
3. Start With A Dog Bed In Your Bedroom
If your dog is hesitant to sleep on the bed with you, start by simply moving his or her dog bed into your bedroom.
Put it at the end or to the side of your bed until they get used to being near you at night.
Once they have settled into a good routine like this, you can then shift the dog bed onto the end of your bed and see what happens.
Most likely, your dog will be ready to jump up and join you on the bed.
4. Train Them From A Puppy
If you start keeping your dog in your bed overnight from when they are a puppy, it’s unlikely they’ll grow out of it later on.
The problem, of course, is toilet training.
You can lay out a lot of puppy pads on your bed to catch any accidents and perhaps set your alarm for 1 or 2 points in the night when you can wake up and take them out to the toilet.
This option requires a bit more sacrifice to start off with, but you’ll have a loyal bedmate for life after a short time.
5. Reward Your Dog With Treats
It’s the best training method out there – give your dog a healthy treat whenever they perform the behavior that you want to see.
When your dog jumps up on the bed after a command to do so, reward them.
Chippin Dog Treats, such as the Silver Carp Training Treats pictured above, are a great healthy option you can use.
This particular type has silver carp, sweet potato, and cranberry – all great for a dog’s skin and coat, and are caught and manufactured in a sustainable way.
If this doesn’t get the dog sleeping in bed with you, nothing will!
Dog In Bed FAQs
Is it bad to let your dog sleep with you?
Generally speaking, it’s fine to let your dog sleep in the bed.
Some owners find it helps them with their anxiety and provides a deep sense of comfort through the night.
The downsides are that dogs tend to be dirtier creatures than humans, so more frequent bed sheet changes ought to be done. Also, dogs have a different sleep cycle than us, so that can lead to broken sleep for both pet and owner.
Why shouldn’t a dog sleep with you at night?
As already stated, the negatives are for hygiene and quality of sleep reasons.
There are some mild dangers of sleeping with dogs, including increased allergy issues (if you get this around dogs), a greater likelihood of fleas, worms, or diseases, and a decreased quality of sleep (which leads to other problems).
Why does my dog sleep on me?
Many dogs are extraordinarily affectionate, and they want to be closest to those they have bonded with.
I work from home and my dog follows me wherever I go. While I’m working on the computer he’s asleep on my feet; if I’m inside and he’s outside, he has to follow me from window to window depending on the room I’m in.
Dogs will sleep on you or against you as this is how they would be in a pack – all curled up beside and on top of each other.
Can dogs sleeping in the bed ruin your relationship?
There are many cases of a dog sleeping in bed ruining a relationship, and if it’s coming to this it’s best to kick the dog out of the bedroom.
In my opinion, your spousal relationship should come first, and your dog will learn to sleep quite happily in the living room.
Where should my dog sleep at night time?
The answer to where your dog should sleep at night depends on each individual household.
For the most part, in their own bed in a common area is ideal. It’s a bit sad if they’re outside on their own, as they are pack animals.
Keep them close, but not too close is my philosophy!
My Dog Sleeps Against Me
If you want your dog to sleep in bed with you, follow these tips to get started.
If you have had enough of your dog sleeping against you, do the reverse!
Train them out of the habit, and do what we do, put a low barrier across your bedroom door at night – they’ll get used to it quickly.
Finally, check out these dog supplements from Native Pet and you will see they even have some for helping dogs sleep. Might be just what you’re looking for!