There’s nothing better than snuggling with your pup at the end of the day. Pets improve our mental health and their snuggles certainly make us happier, so it’s common to let them sleep in our beds at night.
Excellent sleep hygiene involves having a great bedroom routine and environment that promotes interrupted sleep. There are certain habits you can develop to have great sleep hygiene, even when sharing the bed with your dog.
In order to help you maintain great sleep hygiene while sleeping with your dog, we have curated a guide full of tips for bed-sharing with pups.
Best Practices for Snoozing With Dogs
Here are 7 tips for a restful sleep that you’ll want to follow in order to keep you and your dog happy and healthy.
1. Maintain a Healthy Distance
It’s natural to want to be close to your pup during the night, but this can have negative consequences. Dogs easily startle during the night, which can interfere with your sleep if they’re too close.
Aside from minor sleep disruptions, when dogs startle they can bite or scratch without warning. This may put you at risk if they are too close to you.
2. Keep Everything Clean
There’s nothing more comfy than warm, clean sheets. This is even more important when you bed-share with your dog. Dogs carry lots of germs that warrant frequent sanitization of your bedding. You should wash your bedding at least once a week when sharing a bed with your pup.
3. Establish a Shared Routine
Having a bedtime routine will positively affect both you and your dog. It will help your dog learn how to cooperate at bedtime and in no time, they’ll know the drill. Not to mention, routines are great for improving your sleep quality and brain function.
4. Exercise With Your Dog
If your dog hasn’t been walked all day, they will likely have leftover energy at bedtime. This may cause them to wake up throughout the night, interrupting your sleep. It’s best to help your dog get their energy out before snuggling up in bed. Plus, taking a quick jog with your dog can be a great bonding activity.
5. Know When to Say No
Repetition is crucial to helping your pup learn the bedtime drill. If you don’t want your dog to lay on the pillow next to you, be sure to consistently keep them off of it. Otherwise, they may get confused and won’t learn your boundaries. Once your dog understands the bedtime routine, it will lead to better sleep for both of you.
6. Switch Up Your Layout
Make sure you have enough space for both you and your dog to sleep comfortably. Consider upgrading to a larger bed if you have a larger dog to ensure that you both have adequate room.
7. Give It a Test Run
Dogs are light sleepers by nature, which can cause them to wake up several times in the night. This may disrupt your sleep. Pay attention to how you feel the morning after sleeping with your dog. If you feel tired, it may be time to try a new sleeping arrangement for your pup.
FAQs: Dogs and Sleep Hygiene
If you’ve never slept in the same bed as your dog before, the idea might concern you a bit. We’ve addressed some common questions about sleeping with your pup to help you feel comfortable with this new arrangement.
Is Sleeping With Your Dog Risky?
This common myth about bed-sharing with dogs has been debunked by many dog behavior experts. Bed-sharing with dogs is not dangerous, as they are domestic animals. As always, make sure that your dog is comfortable in the bed to keep them from getting frightened, causing them to act out.
Is Sleeping With Dogs Gross?
Sleeping with dogs is often frowned upon because some consider dogs “too dirty”. In reality, as long as you wash your sheets as you are supposed to and make sure your dog is healthy, there is nothing dirty about sleeping with your pup. If you’re still worried about your dog bringing germs to bed, try laying an extra sheet at the foot of the bed to add additional protection.
Why Does My Dog Want to Sleep Right Next to Me?
In short, when dogs make close contact with you it’s a sign of affection and love. They feel safest when they are reassured that you are around. It’s up to you whether you want to accept this act of affection or not.
Will Sleeping With My Dog Negatively Affect My Sleep Hygiene?
Ultimately, only you can decide if your dog is interfering with your sleep hygiene. If your dog is frequently interrupting your sleep or making you less comfortable in bed, it may be best to determine another sleeping arrangement. In general, having your pup in bed will not negatively affect your sleep, but it’s up to each individual’s discretion.
Overall, having your dog closeby is a great way to de-stress, which is why many of us let them crawl into bed at night. If you found this guide helpful, check out Tommy John’s visual below for more valuable information about sleeping with dogs.