Tag Archives: sleeping with dogs

Go ahead! Sleep with your dog!

Should you sleep with your dog? What are the benefits? Are there problems or issues you should know?

Personally, we do sleep with our dogs. Not only in our room, but in the bed. And, depending on the dog and his personal preference, under the covers. And we’re not sorry.

Research is with us

Sleeping with your dog is actually good for our health. The benefits of sleeping with your dog include lower blood pressure, reduced insomnia, increased calmness, security, warmth, and even less depression. In all the research we did preparing for this post, we only found one article, written by an admitted germaphobe, that listed some reasons not to. And this person actually cited bubonic plague, spread by fleas, as a reason not to allow his dog in bed. 

The simple answer would be to make sure your dog doesn’t have fleas! 

Calming all around

It only takes a few minutes of petting a dog to lower blood pressure. We’ve all noticed the sense of calm we get when our dogs are next to us and we, even unconsciously, reach for them and start stroking their fur. Our dogs also seem to know when we need special comfort. How many times has your best caretaker been the dog who won’t leave your side when you’re not feeling good?

French Bulldog Teddy sleeping
Hope’s dog Teddy preferred sleeping under the covers

Research has also shown that women, in particular, find it more soothing to sleep with their dogs than with their human partners. We have a theory that women are too considerate of their human family and will sacrifice their own space, comfort, and even leg room, to accommodate their partners. With their dogs, women in our theory are more likely to claim their fair share. We love having that warm puppy snuggled up against us – but we make them stick to their own share of the night real estate!

Safe and sound

A few years ago Hope went to an out-of-town agility trial and shared a hotel room with a friend. It turned out the friend snores like a band saw. The one night Hope and her dog managed to fall asleep before her friend, her friend complained the next morning about Hope’s dog’s snoring! Too funny! 

And it’s true that some of our dogs have snored. And we’re not alone in finding the sound soothing – just part of the regular routine. The “white noise” of a normal, cozy night. 

We think part of being able to relax is knowing you’re secure. Since dog’s senses, especially hearing, are so much better than ours, we can rely on our dogs to let us know if something isn’t right. So many news stories feature heroic dogs who woke their families when there were house fires. Not that we’re throwing out our smoke alarms – but dogs are an extra layer of security.

Upshot? Go ahead! Sleep with your dog

Nowadays dogs are considered part of the family. And we know that both our dogs and we do better when we’re together. Our first dog was relegated to sleeping in the kitchen. Fortunately, those days are gone. However, our dogs aren’t getting their own rooms. You have to draw the line somewhere!

Torque’s a hog

My dogs sleep with me. In my bed. Under the covers and everything.

Well, Teddy sleeps peacefully and calmly under the covers at my left side. Sometimes he’s in touch, most if the time it’s enough for him to be nearby.

Torque, on the other hand, is taking some time to get our routine worked out. One of the dilemmas is that he “runs hot.” I don’t know if it’s because he was a winter baby, or just his metabolism, but he’s always much warmer than Teddy – or me.

Things start out fine. We all get in bed and snuggle down. But Torque not only has to be touching, he makes it his business to be smashed right up against me, the entire  length of his back against my side. And then I get too warm and inch away. And Torque snuggles right back into me. And I inch away. And he inches back. Until Teddy, on my other side, is smashed against the wall.

We sort this out – basically I shove Torque back over to the other side and reclaim the middle for myself. And then Torque gets too hot and climbs out from under the covers and smashes up against me on top of the covers. And the inching starts again. Until Teddy and I are, once again, smack up against the wall and Torque not only has the center of the bed, but all the covers.

So I wake up, cold, coverless and smushing Teddy. And shove Torque back over, yank the covers out from under him. Tenderly cover Teddy. And the inching starts again.