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Should You Let Your Dog Sleep in Your Bed? 3 Pros & Cons of Co-Sleeping With a Dog | Pupford

December 27th, 2023

Filed under Podcasts

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Stumble into any community or group of pup parents (online or in person) and you’ll likely hear the debate about whether you should let your dog sleep in your bed!

Some of us LOVE having our dogs sleep in the bed.

Some of us HATE the idea of our pup potentially disturbing our sleep.

While we won’t come to a complete resolution, because it’s a personal decision, my hope in this article is to clearly explain 3 pros and cons of letting your pup sleep in your bed. After that, it’s your life (and your bed). 😀

Oh, and of course, we’ll cover what the research and data have to say about this co-sleeping dilemma!

Related Reading: Dog Sleeping Positions

Here’s what this article will break down:

  • 3 pros of letting your dog sleep in your bed
  • 3 cons or drawbacks of letting dogs sleep in the bed
  • 7 tips for safe co-sleeping with your dog if you decide to do so

Let’s get right to it. ⬇️


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many pup parents debate about whether or not dogs should sleep in the bed

Before we dive into all the pros, cons, and data about having your dog sleep in your bed, let’s look at some fun survey results we got back from our Instagram!

Of course, this is self-reported and our followers on Instagram surely skew toward the ‘dog lovers’ type of pet parents.

We asked, “Do you let your dog sleep in your bed?” and got 312 votes.

30% of people said their dogs sleep in their beds.

We also asked, “Does your dog sleep in your room?” and got 310 votes.

76% said their dogs sleep in their bedroom.

I truly found these statistics interesting, I thought more of our Instagram followers would let their dog sleep in their bed.

Want to contribute to our mini-study?

Now, let’s look at the pros and benefits of letting your dog sleep in your bed. 👇


Beyond “I just like having my dog in my bed”, there are some strong arguments for having your pup sleep in bed with you.

Some of these arguments have data to back them up. Here are 3 main reasons you may want your dog to sleep in your bed:

  1. Comfort, relaxation, and strengthening your bond
  2. Warmth
  3. Protection and security

Let’s look at each in detail below.

🐶 Don’t miss out, sign up for the 100% free online training course 30 Day Perfect Pup. Sign up here! 🐶 


Some people self-report in studies that having a dog sleep in their bed provides comfort and relaxation that helps them sleep!

There are numerous studies that show a positive correlation between being near and petting dogs and our mental health, brain activity, and overall moods.

We also know that having a dog in your home can improve physical health, heart health, and even blood pressure.

So, those benefits should apply to our dogs being in bed with us!

cuddling a dog can be great for relaxation around bedtime

While it’s not always that simple, many pup parents who let their dogs sleep in their beds cite the comfort and relaxation their dogs provide as the biggest benefit.

This can be especially true of individuals without another human in their beds. The comfort of having another animal near you is something deeply rooted in our psyche that can’t be underestimated.

And many pup parents feel that having their dogs in their beds can increase attachment and strengthen their bond.

I personally love being able to pet my dog before dozing off to sleep. It’s comforting!


While I didn’t fully understand this benefit until I was married (I truly always run hot, my wife is the opposite), many people LOVE the warmth a dog provides.

There is something cozy and sleep-inducing about snuggling up to a warm pup.

The fact is dogs are warmer than us! A dog’s normal temperature is about 102 degrees, ours is around 98 degrees.

That natural warmth is amazing for individuals who always seem to “run cold”.

And on that note, having a dog sleep in your bed may even help you save a few bucks on your heating bill. If your dog is keeping you a bit warmer, you may be able to run the heat a little less.

I’ll take some money savings wherever I can! 💰

🐶 Don’t miss out, sign up for the 100% free online training course 30 Day Perfect Pup. Sign up here! 🐶 


dogs sleeping in your bed can provide protection and security’

Dogs can provide a real sense of protection and security.

While I don’t love being woken up while sleeping, there have been instances where my dogs alerted me to a serious safety concern. Having them in our bed led us to be alerted more quickly than if they were in a different room.

Especially for those who live alone, having your dog in your bed while sleeping can ease safety and security concerns. Of course, a dog isn’t a replacement for an alarm system or something of that nature, but dogs do offer some protection.

At the very least, a dog’s bark can alert potential intruders or problem-makers that you are home. That alone can sometimes be enough to keep your home protected.

I’ve had to stay at some less-than-ideal lodging while on road trips, and having our dogs in bed with us provided a valuable feeling of security.

But, of course, to all things, there is a counterargument. So, let’s look at some of the drawbacks of having your pup snuggled up in bed with you at night!


I personally love sleep. I recognize it as something that can play a huge role in how I feel, think, and act on a daily basis (research does as well).

The thought of “bad” sleep scares me. So, let’s look at how a dog sleeping in your bed might negatively affect you!

Here are some of the main drawbacks of co-sleeping with your dog:

  1. Noise & movement can negatively impact sleep
  2. Disrupting intimacy
  3. Diseases, cleanliness and potty accidents

Let’s dive into each one below. ⏬

🐶 Don’t miss out, sign up for the 100% free online training course 30 Day Perfect Pup. Sign up here! 🐶 


dogs can sometimes wake us up while sleeping nearing us

One study, of self-reported dog parents, found that those that slept with their pets in their beds took longer to fall asleep and were more likely to wake up tired.


Even in that same study, there were no significant differences in sleep quality or feelings of tiredness throughout the day in co-sleeping (with dogs) vs non-co-sleeping individuals.

One of the most data-rich and thoroughly conducted research pieces on dog-human co-sleeping returned some interesting results. One limitation of this study is that it only conducted research on 12 individuals, all of who were female.

This study used actigraphy data, a small watch-like object that measures sleep, from 12 dogs and their humans over an average of 10 days.

The data essentially showed that roughly 50% of human movement throughout the night was accompanied by dog movement. Dogs more strongly influenced human movement during the night than humans influenced dog movement.

Dog movement also tripled the likelihood of the human transitioning from a non-moving state to a moving state.

humans were 3x more likely to move while sleeping when their dog moved in the same bed

Oddly enough, despite the data presented, humans rarely reported that their dog interrupted their sleep. It may be that the humans in the study have just become used to it and stopped noticing it. Or, it may not be a huge factor dictating sleep quality.

If we try to look objectively at how a dog can affect our sleep, it likely does. Even if at least slightly!

On top of the movement of our dogs in bed, there are also noises. That can come in the form of barking, growling, or even unintentional sleeping noises like snoring or whining in their sleep.

Choosing to have your dog sleep in your bed with you will likely lead to a potential for more night-wakings and movement. You just have to decide for yourself if that negative point is outweighed by the positives we discussed above. 😀


Generally speaking, our most intimate experiences typically take place in bed. Anyone who has tried to enjoy an intimate moment and has had their dog walk in knows just how… er… weird it can be.

And if you at any point meet a partner who isn’t used to dogs or dislikes dogs, that can present an even weirder dynamic.

While you can of course confine your dog (like in a crate) during these moments, it’s not always feasible or simple to accomplish. When a dog is used to being allowed to be on the bed when they want, it can be hard to draw a line for certain instances.

Plus, a dog in the bed isn’t the cleanest thing overall (more on that later). A dog mess of any kind (slobber, hair, etc.) could be a real mood killer.

So, while there are things you can do to make this less of an issue, it is something you should consider before letting your dog sleep in bed with you!


having your dog sleep in your bed can introduce dirt and germs

While it’s not extremely common, some zoonotic diseases can be more likely to spread when we share our beds with dogs. The proximity in this shared space can lead to unwanted germs being spread.

If your dog is laying on or near your pillow at any time then you lay your head on there to sleep, it presents some risks.

And if we want to be as honest as we can, dogs can be a bit gross.

There’s slobber, the constant shedding, licking their butts (sometimes right near our pillows), and the list goes on. And while we humans aren’t always squeaky clean, we also aren’t (typically) eating poop, rolling in mud, or laying on the sidewalk without clothes on…

Dogs are exposed to different germs, dirt, and grime than we are as humans. I mean, they walk around without shoes on! 😅

One of the biggest drawbacks of your dog (especially a puppy) sleeping in your bed is the potential for potty accidents and throwing up in the bed.

I can tell you from personal experience there is little worse than rolling over after a good night’s sleep and plopping your hand in a pile of vomit.

Or pee.

Or dog poop.


Not only is it gross, but you certainly risk ruining your mattress (more on that below). And more importantly, you also set a young pup up for failure when it comes to potty training. Every time they have a potty accident it makes successful potty breaks just a bit more difficult.

Pro Tip: If you’re gonna have your pup sleep in bed with you I 100% recommend having potty pads in your nightstand drawer or by your bed. While you won’t be able to catch all the accidents, it’ll certainly help you catch some of those throw-up episodes!

Related Reading: Potty Pads for Dogs: A Guide

So, take some precautions to try and keep your bed as clean as possible. Let’s dive into 7 tips for safe co-sleeping with your dog below. ⤵️

🐶 Don’t miss out, sign up for the 100% free online training course 30 Day Perfect Pup. Sign up here! 🐶 


If you decide you want your dog to sleep in the bed with you, there are some tips to follow! These will not only help keep your dog safe but also keep you and your bed protected!

Here are 7 tips for safe co-sleeping with your dog:

  1. Potty & crate training first
  2. Wash your sheets and pillowcases frequently
  3. Invest in a waterproof mattress cover
  4. Practice proper dog hygiene
  5. Teach your dog boundaries, an invitation should be required
  6. Provide a dog bed or crate near your bed
  7. If you have a really small dog, consider not co-sleeping

Let’s check out each tip below. 🔽


dogs should be potty trained before sleeping in your bed

To protect your bed, be sure to crate train and potty train your dog before you let them sleep in the bed. (See the section above for my mistake on this.)

While it can be tempting to let your little puppy snooze at night with you, it will likely lead to potty accidents in your bed. And speaking from experience, that is NOT a fun time.

You risk rolling into their potty mess while sleeping, ruining your mattress, and ultimately creating bad habits for your dog’s potty training.


Dogs can be dirty, gross, and slobbery. Certainly, if you’re letting your dog in your bed then they’re gonna track all that in.

To help avoid the spread of your dog’s germs and dirt, wash your sheets often. And ideally, wash your pillowcases more frequently.

This small step can make co-sleeping with your pup less gross and of course, safer!


This tip is probably the #1 most important thing to do if your pup is going to sleep in your bed.

Seriously, the investment is worth every penny to protect your mattress. Just trust me and learn from my bad experiences. 😁

PS- I tried a bunch before landing on this mattress protector. It’s actually quiet and comfortable.


a dog receiving a bath to stay clean and healthy

This is a whole topic in and of itself but practice good dog hygiene.

Give frequent baths and use a shampoo that repels bugs and insects.

Trim your dog’s nails to help keep them free of dirt and to avoid them accidentally ripping your blankets/sheets.

Consider washing your dog’s paws after being outside and brushing their coat daily.

These are just a few tips, be sure to check out our daily dog health tips here.

Practicing proper dog hygiene can make having a dog sleep in your bed a much cleaner experience!


Sometimes the key to happily living with our dogs is learning to set boundaries. Limiting your dog’s freedom is a way to set them up for success.

It’s best if your dog learns to only go on your bed when they are invited. You can find many techniques to teach your dog boundaries.

The important thing is to make sure your dog understands that the bed isn’t a given and they must be invited to come up. This can help you avoid territoriality that sometimes happens when dogs sleep in our beds.

🐶 Don’t miss out, sign up for the 100% free online training course 30 Day Perfect Pup. Sign up here! 🐶 


When you have your dog sleep in your bed it’s still a good idea to give them an alternative option, ideally in the same room.

That could be a dog bed, a crate, or even a comfortable rug or blanket placed near your bed. If your dog gets hot or uncomfortable, it’s good to give them an alternative to your bed.


very small dogs can sometimes sustain injuries when co-sleeping with humans

If you have a very small dog there are some extra risks for them sleeping in bed with you.

If you roll over at night and don’t notice them, you could cause an injury.

If a blanket gets moved around and they get covered, it could be tough for them to breathe.

If they end up under the covers, they may struggle to get out.

So if you have a very small dog be mindful of their safety in your bed.

Important Note: Dogs shouldn’t sleep with their heads under the covers, no matter their size. It creates a risk of them not having enough air and overheating.


There is no perfect answer to whether you should let your dog sleep in your bed.

Some studies show almost no change in sleep quality between co-sleeping vs not.

Other studies show an increase in night wakings when co-sleeping with a dog.

choosing to let your dog sleep in your bed is a personal decision

Overall, we need more data and research to understand the effects of sleeping with dogs in our beds! There is a swath of data for human co-sleeping, but not so much for dogs.

With the large increase in the number of households with dogs, we should look to improve our understanding of the human-dog co-sleeping arrangement.

As a recap, here are the benefits of letting dogs sleep in your bed:

  1. Comfort, relaxation, and strengthening your bond
  2. Warmth
  3. Security & protection

And on the flip side, here are the downsides of letting your dog sleep in your bed:

  1. Noise and movement can negatively impact sleep
  2. Disrupting intimacy
  3. Diseases, cleanliness, and potty accidents

At the end of the day, this is a personal decision! It’s your dog, your bed, and your life. But it’s essential to be aware of the potential drawbacks of letting your dog sleep in bed with you.

Ultimately, you are the one who lives with the consequences, both good and bad. 😀

Be sure to vote in the poll at the beginning of this article about whether you let your pup sleep in your bed!

Any funny stories about letting your dog sleep in your bed?! Tell me in the comments!

PS- If you need help with training (including crate & potty training), sign up for 30 Day Perfect Pup. It’s a 100% free online video course taught by Zak George. Sign up here! 


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