In case your favorite part of the day is snuggling up to your pooch after a long working day, rest assured, you are definitely not alone! Studies show that nearly three quarters of all pet owners in the US share their bed with their four pawed friends, and many more sleep in the same room, with Fido snug as a bug in his own bed. We seek out the company of our pet by night for many reasons, especially, it seems, when our partner is away. The sense of safety, security, and companionship our dogs can bring is unimaginable to those who aren’t ‘dog people’, and there are many ways that we can enhance the co-sleeping experience.
Reducing Sleep Interruptions
If science had anything to say about it, most of us would probably opt out of sleeping alongside our pooch. A recent study my the Mayo Clinic has found that sleeping in the same room as pets benefits our quality of sleep, especially when Fido actually sleeps close to us, but in his own bed. The main reasons why dogs can hamper sleep when in the same bed are: snoring (which is particularly strong in brachycephalic dog breeds like English bulldogs and Boston terriers), movement, and whimpering.
There is not much you can do to ‘cure’ snoring, but movement can certainly be reduced. Most dogs wake humans up by burrowing in and peeking out of the blanket, as they pursue the perfect temperature for their furry bodies. The best way to beat this habit, is to use a lighter blanket, and keep heating in the home at a comfortable enough temperature so that heavy bundling up isn’t required.
Additionally, take your dog out for her last potty session as late as possible, since dogs often whimper when they need to go.
Try Co-Sleeping in Different Beds
If you find that dog-induced night-time wake-ups are too often or are significantly interfering with your sleep quality, try introducing him to a soft, warm bed. During the day, place the bed close to you, so your he gets used to napping in it. By night, encourage him to stay in his bed; even the most determined of pooches will probably give up after a few tries (though don’t be surprised if you wake up with your pooch snoring happily next to you, head on pillow – dogs can be more resourceful and patient than you imagine, waiting for the right opportunity to snuggle up next to their human mom or dad).
Sleeping near your dog has many benefits; it makes you feel safe, provides warmth, and brings you the best companionship you could hope for. Many people find that they can get a perfectly good night’s sleep with their pooch in the same bed but if sleep disruption becomes a problem, try a different sleeping arrangement for a few nights, with your dog nearby but in his own bed. Who knows? He may celebrate his newfound independence but still be content to know you are right by his side.