If you often let your dog on the bed with you in the evening, you know that these cute little buggers make the night’s sleep not so dreamy. People who sleep with pets often get awakened by dream kicking, endless spinning to find the right position and maybe even a growl if their foot comes too close to the pet’s face. Sure, the perks of sleeping with pets are also present, but if you’re a light sleeper, your furry bed warmers might completely ruin your sleep schedule. Here’s how you can sleep soundly with your dog so both of you can wake up rested and happy.
Set Some Rules
The best thing you can do is establish sleeping areas—your side and your dog’s side. When you see your dog using their designated area, reward them with positive reinforcement techniques to encourage this behavior in the future.
Depending on what kind of rules you have in your home and what kind of relationship your dog has with you and their toys, you might want to make the bed a no-toy zone. If your pup knows all the commands like “leave it” or “drop it” and will leave their toys when it’s time to sleep, you can get away with toys, but if your dog exhibits any guarding behaviors, you can experience an unpleasant waking up in the middle of the night. Also, toys with squeakers are an absolute no-no in the bedroom, at least after the lights-out command.
Correct Bad Behavior
Some dogs exhibit territorial aggression, like growling when you touch them in bed or nipping when you cross to their sleeping area. If your dog behaves like this, say a firm “No” and remove it from the bed. When your dog behaves well, praise it verbally and give out treats.
If you sleep with a partner, you might think it’s cute that your dog is guarding you and growling at your partner when they get a little bit close to you. However, a jealous dog can cause disharmony in the bedroom and even injure your partner. Guarding behavior can often lead to biting, so it’s best to leave an experienced dog trainer or behavior specialist to work on the issue.
Invest in a Quality Mattress
Some mattresses are not only lumpy but also cause excessive motion transfer every time you or someone else on the bed moves. This can wake you up and cause serious sleep interruptions, especially if your dog tends to jump on and off the bed during the night. Prevent that by investing in a quality mattress, mainly a latex one that minimizes motion transfer and provides good firmness to both you and your pet. If you need some purchasing help, see the best latex beds here and make your choice. Your educated choice will provide you with a quality product that lasts for years and provide you with the best sleeping experiences, pet or no pet on the bed!
Keep Your Pet Above the Covers
If you share the bed with your dog, it’s best to let it sleep on top of the cover instead of on your sheet. There’s always some debris, dust, and maybe even fecal matter on its coat, and you can even get a zoonotic disease like campylobacter and salmonella infections that can pass from pet to human. It’s also easier for your dog to find a comfy position, leave the bed and move around. This may be tough if you have a dog that likes to burrow under the sheets (dashunds, chiweenies), so it might be a good idea to get a doggy blanket or two just for your pet for that reason.
Give Your Pet Sufficient Potty Time
Before bed, make sure your dog goes potty, so you don’t have to leave the bed at unreasonable times. This will ensure a more comfortable night for both of you.
Sleeping with dogs can be wonderful, but only after you ensure sufficient training and good behavior, so you don’t wake up more tired than before you hit the bed.
Account for Joint and Back Issues with Doggy Stairs or Ramps
Dogs who are younger, have longer legs or have more energy can develop the habit of jumping onto a bed- no matter how high. It’s best to get them trained using doggy steps or a ramp depending on the size and breed to manage potential long term accidents of falling off the bed or jumping off the bed with said equipment. Remember, dogs are going to do what’s easiest and in their muscle memory, so train ahead for this. Also, dogs can sometimes fall of the bed (or a couch) so be mindful of them accidently hitting their head or injuring their back by taking good measure of where nightstands or other hard furniture objects are placed relative to the bed.
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