A new study about co-sleeping with your pets

A recent study examined the practice of sharing a bedroom or bed with a dog. While the authors suggest that more research is needed, they compared sleeping with a dog to the practice of sharing a bed or bedroom with a child.


The current concern about co-sleeping with a child focuses on the child suffering from poor health, impaired functioning, developing problematic behavior and sexual dysfunction. However, there is not enough evidence to determine if there are negative effects of co-sleeping with dogs or other pets.

According to the study, the benefit of co-sleeping with both pets and children are saving resources, keeping warm, and feeling safe. It is a practice that has been going on for many years.

When it comes to sharing a bedroom with a dog, as an animal behavior consultant, I recommend letting a puppy sleep in a crate in the bedroom to help the puppy bond with the family and feel safer in a new environment. After the dog is trained and under control, it can be allowed to sleep on the bed with a family member. However, if the dog is not trained it can become possessive of the bed or other furniture to the point of becoming aggressive if a family member wants to move the dog. Whether it is good or not depends on many factors, including the dog’s temperament and the owners ability to train and control the dog.





2 thoughts on “A new study about co-sleeping with your pets

  1. Yeah I agree it’s not necessarily a bad thing to let a dog sleep with you in bed provided it doesn’t become something of an abnormal crutch for dog or owner I guess – just as it shouldn’t be with parents that are still sleeping with their 7yr old children every night.

    I’ve always let mine sneak onto the bed now and then or just decided “C’mon pup let’s go and have a snuggle” because it’s nice to curl up and have a really long sleep together once in a while. My take on it is that it’s a “now and again” privilege and not their rightful place. As long as they understand that and respect it by moving off when asked I don’t mind but if ever there’s a disagreement, grumble or they refuse to budge when asked their arse would be straight downstairs on their own bed and they wouldn’t get invited to come up again for a while.

    Suppose it’s the same with sofa privileges too. I allow them up on the sofa but if I asked them to move even if just for a second to look for something and they don’t get off – they’re off in a heartbeat and don’t get invited back up.

    Owners whose dogs become aggressive and start dictating what they do and when to the point some are fearful of going to sleep in their own bed at night just baffle me. Never had an issue with it though to be honest.

    Accidentally shoved my dogs off the sofa or bed without meaning to once or twice and jolted them clean out of a deep sleep which I felt bad about and went “Ooh sorry!!” and they just got off, flopped on the floor and went straight back to sleep!


    • Thank you for your comments. I agree with you that there has to be limits. I am especially concerned with parents who allow their babies/children to sleep with them all of the time. The same with pets. There has to be limits. In the case of pets and children, they will not learn to be on their own if they never sleep alone. In pets, it can contribute to separation anxiety. Again, it all depends on the temperament of the pet.

      Liked by 1 person

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