Does your dog sometimes share your bed with you? If you have ever experienced this, your picture-perfect view of bedtime snuggles with your pooch might’ve shattered when they wound up taking over the whole bed, leaving you with just a corner, fighting for the covers. After dealing with this a few times, your pooch might be relegated to the floor for life, leaving you with the question… Do dogs need beds?
For your own sake, and especially for the comfort of your dog, consider the benefits that come when you get your dog a bed of their very own!
When it comes to sleep, dogs aren’t so different from humans. When you’re tired, you probably crave a comfortable bed that can lull you right to sleep. And if your bed leaves you feeling more comfortable, rested, and feeling more safe and secure than, perhaps, a random hotel bed does, you know how important it is to have a bed you can call your own.
Do Dogs Need Beds?
Dogs are the same way. Just as people crave their own beds, dogs have the same needs for comfort, consistency, and having a “place of their own.” And when you consider that young puppies sleep anywhere from 15-20 hours per day, they’ll love you even more when they have their own quiet nook!1
Some people may think that getting a dog a bed of their own isn’t necessary. After all, there are plenty of soft surfaces around. And while that may be true, none of these places are really theirs. Your canine may love sleeping on the couch, but you probably don’t want them napping there when you have company over. In this case, the couch isn’t really “theirs,” so by giving them a dog bed, you’re helping them understand where it is okay for them to relax whenever they need to.
So, do dogs need beds? The answer is yes.
Here’s why getting your dog their own bed is important:
It’s understandable that you want puppy cuddles in bed with you, especially if your dog is extra snuggly. You’re not alone. According to a survey by the American Kennel Club, 45 percent of respondents said they welcome dogs in their bed!2
But just as housetraining and feeding your dog is all about consistency, bedtime routines should be no different.3 And for that consistency, consider crate training your dog. Crate training can help with behavior, and it may help your dog feel safer and more secure, like they’re back in their primal wolf den!4 A crate with a comfortable bed may also help relax your dog, since they only need to “protect” their own space, rather than your whole house.5
Also, if your dog tends to have separation anxiety when you leave (think barking, destructive chewing, or howling), consider giving them a “reward” on their bed prior to leaving, like a puzzle treat. This may not only help with their separation anxiety, but will also make them the happiest puppy on the block.6
Comfort is King
Does having your dog in bed with you help you fall asleep? If so, that’s great news for you, but have you thought about your dog’s comfort, and how sharing a bed may affect their nighttime habits? Maybe you thrash around or snore. But the simple fact may be that your bed is too hot to be comfortable for your dog.
There are plenty of dog bed options available that are not only comfortable, but that help dogs regulate their body heat a bit better, resulting in a better night’s sleep.7 There are even cooling and heated beds for your dog for those hot summer days and cold winter nights!8
Do your homework, and see what sizes and styles of dog beds are available. Chances are, you’ll be able to find a good sized bed for your pooch. Also, if you’re up for it, take your dog to the pet store with you and let them pick a bed out!
Just like people, a dog’s needs change as they get older. For your new puppy, a durable bed that can withstand chewing or active use may be ideal. But for an older dog, something that provides joint comfort and relief is ideal.9 Many beds designed for older dogs have multiple layers (and pillows) that reward your pup after a fun day of being your best friend.
Even if you and your dog sleep comfortably together in your bed, getting up and down from the bed can be dangerous, especially for smaller dogs.10 So, if hanging out with your dog in bed is something you love, maybe invite them up while you read before bed, then gently pick them up and set them down on their bed for a good night’s rest.
Sleep on It
At the end of the day (literally and figuratively), both you and your dog want a place that will provide rest and respite that leaves you feeling safe and secure. And while you may not mind the dirt that your four-legged companion drags onto your comforter when she joins you in bed, it is nice for her to know that she has the option to hop down any time she is ready to curl up in her own bed. When she drifts off to dreamland in her own bed, she’ll have yet another reason to know that she is cared for and loved.