Some of us believe there is nothing better than snuggling with our fur baby at bedtime. But not all share that sentiment even though the love we have for our dog is undeniable.

Dogs have been sleeping with humans since ancient times. It is thought that the ancient people slept with their dogs to stay warm. If it was very cold, more dogs were used to keep warm. A “three dog night” is now used to describe a very cold night.

Since we have other means to keep us warm nowadays, we don’t rely on dogs for warmth.  But is it a good idea or is it safe for our dogs to sleep with us?


According to a survey by the American Pet Products Association, close to half of all dogs sleep with us. It does appear, that smaller dogs sleep with us more so than larger canines.

Another survey by a mattress company found that the majority sleep at the foot of the bed. Almost a quarter of dogs sleep next to their owners. A smaller percentage slept on a pillow at the head of the bed or under the covers.

Do we sleep better or worse with our dogs in bed with us?  A Mayo Clinic study revealed that we sleep only slightly better with our fur baby on the bedroom floor. The great news is that, overall, there did not appear to be significant sleep disruption with our dog in our bed.

What is surprising is that the size of our bed dog did not seem to make any difference in our sleep quality.  Since our dog can be a source of security, some of us feel that our sleep is improved with our canine buddy snuggling with us.

There are certain situations when our dog should not be allowed to sleep with us. Owners that have allergies to dogs should keep them out of the bedroom as much as possible.

A dog who snores loudly all night and a puppy that is not potty trained are not good bed partner choices. Owners who suffer from health conditions that result in a decreased immune system should be wary as there is a possibility of catching a disease from their dog.

It is important to note that, if we are healthy and assuming that they are up to date on vaccinations and worming, the risk of catching anything from our dog is rare.

Sweetest of dreams to all bed partners!  Even if it is a “three dog night”!

dog asleep in bed




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