Have you ever spent the night on an uncomfortable mattress? Chances are you spent the whole night, turning and tossing and the next day complaining about how stiff and sore you feel. Sleeping comfortably is essential for us, but so it is for our dogs.
As a responsible dog parent, you know how much having a good bed means to your dog. You even bought a high-end dog bed and proudly displayed it. Nevertheless, your dog sneaks into your bed and sleeps there whenever it has a chance. I bet you keep wondering why does my dog sleep so close to me? Well, the most straightforward answer is – because it adores you.
Why dogs like sharing the bed with the owners?
Well, there are several reasons explaining this habit.
Your dog loves you
We already mentioned that this is reason number one why dogs like sleeping with us. Dogs are extremely social animals that thrive on human contact, attention and affection. And, this is the simplest answer to the question of why dogs sleep close to us.
Your dog is true to its ancestral wolf heritage
If researching why does my dog sleep with me, many explanations will refer to the dog’s natural instincts. We all know that the mighty wolf is our modern dog’s ancestors. We also know that wolves are pack animals and all pack animals prefer sleeping together. This is practical because of several reasons – including protection and heat accumulation.
Your dog is protective of you
A dog’s protectiveness can also be related to its ancestral heritage. Namely, both wolves and dogs tend to fiercely protect their packs. But why do dogs sleep close to humans? Simply stated, our dogs consider us members of the pack and are naturally inclined towards guarding us at all times.
You positively reinforce sleeping together
This is something we often do unintentionally. For example, imagine the following situation – you lay in your bed, and your dog sleeps in its dog bed, you call it, and when it comes to you, you pet it or talk to it in a sweet and affectionate manner. By doing so, you encourage the dog to come to the bed and join you. Over time, the dog will link the petting and talking with coming close to you. All in all, unintentional positive reinforcement may be the reason why your dog prefers sleeping close to you.
Your dog has separation anxiety
Being alone is something dogs with separation anxiety cannot cope with. They are overly attached, and unless constantly with the owner, tend to exhibit signs of distress. Separation anxiety may hold the answer to why your dog sleeps closely with you. However, if your dog has separation anxiety, it will show other symptoms besides insisting on sleeping with you. As a serious behavioral issue, separation anxiety must not be underestimated.
Why do owners like sharing the bed with their dogs?
We determined why dogs like sleeping with us, and now it is time to say a word or two about why we enjoy sharing the bed with our furry canine babies.
The first and most obvious reason is that we love them and want to spend as much time as possible with them. What is more, sharing the bed with our dogs influences our psychological state positively. To be more accurate, when we sleep with our dogs, we feel more insecure and less lonely. Dogs are quite protective of us, and having our personal security next to us makes us feel safe and protected.
Ultimately, there is some practicality in sharing the bed with our dogs. Namely, the dog’s body temperature is much higher than ours. Therefore, when it is cold, the dog’s body can serve as a personal heater. There is even a phrase, a three-dog night, which indicates it is such a cold night that one would need three dogs in the bed to stay warm.
Is it a good idea to let my dog sleep so close to me in bed?
We are trying to humanize dogs ever since we domesticated them. However, our humanizing efforts have reached their peak recently. Allowing our dogs to sleep with us is a good example.
A survey by the American Pet Products Association found that nearly half of the dog’s sleep in their owner’s beds (62% of small dogs, 41% of medium-sized dogs, and 32% of large dogs).
But, is it a good idea to let your dog sleep so close to you? Unless you are allergic, there are no scientifically supported reasons why not. However, do not forget to treat your dog against internal and external parasites on a regular basis.
It should be noted that sleeping with your dog during shedding can be messy. Sleeping with puppies and older dogs prone to accidents can also be messy.
Why my dog suddenly wants to sleep next to me?
If your dog used to be independent and suddenly started insisting on sleeping in your bed chances are something changed. We may not even see what changed, but as creatures of habit, dogs are susceptible to even subtle changes. This could include changes in your working schedule, changes in your daily routines, or even interior design changes. Determining what triggered your dog’s behavior can be tricky. It may require a professional dog behaviorist’s help, mainly if there is a reason you do not want or cannot have your dog sleeping so close to you.
When dogs want to sleep with us, it means they love us. When we allow them to sleep with us, it means we love them even more. Sleeping together is a good way of strengthening the relationship. That is unless your dog snores a lot and keeps you awake all night. Or, perhaps you are the one that snores and your dog does not like the disturbance.
Do you let your beloved canine baby sleep close to you in your bed? Or do you have a dog bed in the bedroom? Or maybe you sleep in entirely separate rooms? Let us know in the comments below.