Most dogs nap wherever and whenever they want during the day. But is that okay when it’s nighttime, and the rest of the house is sleeping? Or is there generally a better approach. Here is everything you are going to want to know and consider.
So, where should your dog sleep at night-time? There is no one definitive place a dog should sleep; it depends on you and your dog’s preferences and is context-dependent. You can keep them in a separate room in a dog bed or crate. Or, let them sleep with you in your bed or in your room in general. Where you and your dog sleep best, is advised.
Ultimately, it’s completely up to you where you want your dog to sleep.
And while that might seem daunting to decide, you should start to find out what works with a little bit of trial and error.
And consider the pros and cons of the options too.
Of course, you may need to take your dog’s age, health status, personality, or temperament into consideration.
Besides, we do all want to sleep!
Nonetheless, read on and learn the best tips to find out the best sleeping arrangements for both you and your dog.
Should Dogs Sleep In Your Bed At Night?
It’s up to you whether you want your canine sleeping in your bed at night or not. Some owners like the added warmth and sense of security. And others find co-sleeping disturbs their sleep and leaves them with hair-covered sheets.
A recent survey of 23,000 dog owners shows that roughly half of the owners let their dogs sleep in their beds with them. This leaves the other half of owners opting to sleep alone.
This could be down to their choice or down to their pets. There is no right or wrong answer to this.
Either way, there are pros and cons to letting your dog share your bed (co-sleeping).
Pros Of Sleeping With Your Dog
Some pros include increased restful sleep, added warmth, and a sense of security.
Human-animal interactions and their effects have been the focus of scientists for decades.
And studies show sleeping with a pet results in reduced anxiety and stress in humans.
Cortisol is an important hormone, and it’s in charge of waking us up in the morning.
But too much of it, along with higher heart rates, are two indicators of anxiety.
Cuddling with anyone, including your pet, at night releases oxytocin into your body. This hormone is a ‘feel good’ hormone and helps boost your mood.
And it’ll lower your heart rate, leaving you happier and relaxed to go about your day.
Although it’s seen as a pro and a con, the added warmth your dog gives you at night can be comforting or discomforting.
If you’re prone to chill at night, your canine can be your personal heater.
Dogs are usually light sleepers by design.
They have evolved to listen out for any potential threat to themselves or their pack (i.e., their family).
Knowing this provides a sense of security which allows you to sleep peacefully.
Cons Of Sleeping With Your Dog
However, some cons are poor or disrupted sleep, too much heat, hygienic concerns, and excess hair left behind by your dog.
But if you’re known to overheat during sleep, this added warmth could disrupt your sleep.
Letting your dog sleep in your bed may not suit if you’re someone who moves a lot during their sleep.
Lots of people move and shift positions in their sleep, so they need the freedom to do that.
Having a body at the end of the bed will restrict that range of movement, causing poor sleep.
Another downside to having your dog in your bed at night is that they will leave behind hairs.
Every breed sheds hair, and it gets left on bedsheets in the morning. This can aggravate allergy symptoms in their owners.
And the fact that there are dog beds for shedding dogs out there, it can make a lot of sense to invest in one of those, instead.
Why Do Dogs Want To Sleep With Humans?
Dogs may want to sleep with humans for closeness and to keep warm. They still have a pack mentality and want to stay close to their pack to protect themselves and you from harm.
From an ancestral point of view, dogs usually sleep close together. They provide each other with the much-needed warmth and protection.
Your dog wanting to sleep with you is an example of one of those inherited traits. They consider you to be part of the pack and want to protect you.
They also see you as the alpha, so they want to be as close as possible to you. They’d be able to protect you from harm as you sleep.
When your dog sleeps with you, it’s because they want to show you their trust, loyalty, and affection.
But, if your dog doesn’t want to sleep with you, it’s not a negative sign against you.
Each dog is unique in their personalities, and it may just want to have its own space.
Or they find sleeping with you too warm for them to settle to sleep. Or your bed is too soft for them to relax on.
There’s a whole host of possible reasons why your dog may or may not want to sleep with you.
So try not to be disheartened – usually, there’s a valid reason for it.
Should Dogs Sleep In The Same Room As You?
Your dog sleeping in your room depends on you and your dog. There is no harm in having your dog sleep in your room, but they could be disruptive if you’re a light sleeper.
Having your dog sleep in your room might help ease worries about what might happen if you left them alone.
But just because you want to sleep in your room doesn’t mean they have to share the bed with you.
If you have the space, you can choose to keep a dog bed or crate in your bedroom.
It’s a comfort to have your pet close to you during the night. But, for many reasons, it might not suit either of you to share the bed.
Giving your dog their own bed or crate could be a happy compromise.
However, depending on the dog, they may not be sound sleepers throughout the night. They might be loud snorers or shifters during their sleep.
Or they may decide they need to patrol the house, and their movement could wake you up. And it might even be worse if you sleep with the door closed.
They will cry and paw at the bed and door until you let them out. And then do the same thing when they want to return to bed.
If you’re a light sleeper, need your door closed, or have a nocturnally active dog, sharing your room won’t work.
Where Is The Best Place For A Dog To Sleep At Night?
There is no right or wrong answer to this, as it all depends on your dog’s preferences. They might prefer to sleep in a plush crate or are happy to sleep on some old blankets. They may need a separate quiet room or prefer to be in earshot of everyone.
Where your dog sleeps best depends on many factors like their age and their personality.
If your dog is a puppy, it’s best to keep them close to you during the night as they’d feel scared being alone at night.
Puppies don’t like the dark and need company to be safe. But, you might not want them to get into the habit of sleeping with you.
Instead, you can set up a dog bed or crate at the bottom of the room for them to get used to.
Or, if you have an older dog who happily settles in a separate room, consider letting them sleep in with them.
So long as you’re confident the older dog will behave around the puppy.
Adult dogs are much easier to find a place for them to sleep. They’re well trained and housebroken, so where they sleep is down to your preference and theirs.
It might be a crate in your room or a pile of blankets in the sitting room.
Or they might settle down with you at the start of the night and then move to the floor as the room temperature lowers.
Whatever you decide, ensure your puppy/dog is safe at all times and there is nothing in their environment that could cause them harm if they were to access it under the cover of darkness.
Whether it’s a poisonous plant, products with chemicals, sharp scissors; you get the idea.
Just ensure that everything potentially dangerous is put away; or they are sufficiently shut off from them.
Should I Leave My Dog In A Crate At Night?
Keeping your dog in a crate during the night can be beneficial for you if your dog is happy to sleep there. If your dog is prone to causing trouble during the night, a crate will contain this behavior. And it’s a great tool to potty-train puppies through the night.
Sometimes there is a perception that a dog crate isn’t a nice place to keep your dog, but that doesn’t have to be the case.
You can line the crate with soft blankets and pillows. And leave the door open so they can roam around during the night if they want.
Dogs don’t seem to fit the criteria, but they are considered den animals. They like to snuggle up tight to feel safe and protected.
Training your dog to sleep in a crate (even with the door kept open) will meet this need. And provide them a sanctuary to retreat to when they feel frightened or overwhelmed.
Dogs like to keep their sleeping area clean, so they’re not going to want to urinate or defecate close to it.
Keeping them in a closed crate will teach them to wait to relieve themselves until the morning. Especially handy for puppies.
Another bonus to your dog sleeping in a crate is that they won’t have an issue sleeping if you bring them on vacation.
Or if you need to move the crate to a different room when people visit.
So long as they have their crate, they’ll be happy.
Other Sleeping Best Practices For Your Dog
What other sleeping practices you implement depend on your dog’s personality. Some dogs are prone to anxiety, so including music in their bedtime routine might help. Or give them a nightly chew, so they know it’s time for bedtime.
Dogs love routine, especially those with anxiety or abandonment fears. They are intelligent animals and will learn their bedtime routine quickly.
This could include soothing meditative music, a night-time chew, or a bedtime command.
After they’ve learned their routine, they’ll recognize the cues and settle down for the night.
Wherever your dog sleeps at night, whether it’s in your room or in a crate, is ultimately your decision, and your dog’s.
Both of you have your own preferences so finding these out is the best bet for restful sleep for you and your dog.
And once you get it right, you should soon notice, perhaps with some deep sleep tail wagging.
Either way, this is a decision you should not take too lightly; dogs do love a routine, and changing it can be difficult once it begins to set!
And just remember to keep everyone safe.
Letting your dog roam around the house at night is generally not a good idea.
And dogs wake up easily too. So just ensure they can remain settled!
- Do Dogs Get Cold At Night? [This Is What You Need To Know]
- Should I Let My Dog Roam The House At Night?
- Dog Suddenly Wants to Sleep Alone [Why & What It Could Mean]
- Why Has My Dog Started Pooping In The House At Night?
- Dog Throwing Up Only In Middle Of Night [Why & What To Do]
- Can Dogs Have Night Terrors? [Everything You Need To Know]
I am an experienced pet owner with decades of experience owning a number of different pets, from traditional pets like dogs and cats, to the more exotic like reptiles and rodents. I currently own a Cockapoo (pictured) called Bailey. I am also the main writer and chief editor here at Pet Educate; a site dedicated to sharing evidence-based insights and guidance, based on my vast pet ownership knowledge, experience, and extensive research.