Question:- 'Where should dogs sleep?'
Answer:- 'It depends on the dog, his age, behaviour, training and of course your own preference.'
So let's have a look at the alternatives, some of which are - in a dog bed; on the floor; on furniture; in a crate; sharing your bed or free roam to do whatever it wants.
Would you let your dog share your own bed?
Firstly, if you have a partner, are you both happy with this sleeping arrangement, as it may prove none too easy to change?
If your dog moults, your bed is going to get a bit hairy, and those hairs will probably transfer to your clothing. You may also breathe them in when you sleep which may not be too healthy. But none of that may not worry you.
Some animal behaviourists are against sharing a bed with your dog as they look on dogs as a pack animal and so have a natural tendency to be 'top dog' They will therefore try to take over the bed by shoving you out of the way. Others say this is nonsense - the dog just wants to cuddle up and get warm.
However, if you are a light sleeper you will soon notice that a dog generally does not close its eyes and then never move until the morning - they do move, they do jump on and off the bed, pant, roll over and all the things that we do (perhaps we don't pant quite so much!).
But if your dog is well behaved and a good sleeper then you may love its company and enjoy the sleeping arrangement. You may want to train your dog to sleep alongside you, rather than on your head or your feet - you want to move around as well!
If your dog spends the night jumping on and off the bed, or if it is not house trained, then sleeping in your bed may not be ideal. Perhaps he should have a crate or a pen.
A crate or playpen can give security and safety.
You would probably expect us to extol the virtues of a crate or playpen, but they are very good!
Especially if you have a puppy which is still in the housetraining stage then a dog crate or puppy playpen can be a great help.
Older dogs also love their crate as a special safe and secure place as dogs are basically den animals, and the crate becomes their safe den!
You will probably find that if you leave the crate doors open then your dog will come and go as it pleases, but it will spend a lot of time in the crate by choice.
At nightime you may or may not want to put the crate in your bedroom - especially if you don't allow your dog to sleep on the bed - as then you both can have an undisturbed night's sleep in a comfortable place.
Of course, your dog can have its own bed or basket.
There are so many beds to choose from that finding the right bed for you should not be too much of a problem. Watch your dog as it sleeps - does it curl up, stretch out, prefer a head rest, or does it lie on its back with its paws in the air? See which position it favours, and choose the bed with that in mind.
If your dog is the outdoor type and continually muddy, then think of a waterproof bed which can easily be hosed down and cleaned.
Or of course there is the tried and trusted wicker dog basket, and also a camper bed which will keep your dog away from a draughty floor.
A bed is a very important choice. We all know how good it feels to get a good night's sleep, so choose carefully.
Or just give your dog the freedom of the house at night!
Be careful if you choose this option, and ask if your dog is well trained, well behaved, mature, housetrained and not likely to get into trouble or mischief. What dangers are there in your house for an unsupervised dog? Check the risks.
Are you happy if your dog sleeps on the furniture? If so, no problem - the dog will be comfortable. Of course it may prefer to sleep on the floor, or on a blanket or vetbed on the floor - or all of these.
If there is more than one pet in the household, they may want to share - are you happy with that? We are sure you are!
And then of course there is the Vetbed 'family'
Vetbeds are a top of the range dog bedding recommended by vets. They are great because they fit into almost any sleeping arrangement. They can be purchased cut to size to fit into a dog crate, or you can buy a piece cut from a roll to the length you need. Vetbeds can be used anywhere - inside a dog bed or basket for that extra bit of luxury; just on the floor so your dog can lie out; or even on your bed to protect your sheets and duvet, Available in a huge variety of sizes, colours and patterns. Check this site for details.
Then, of course, there is the tried and trusted Flectabed. This is a range of dog bedding filled with a refglective material which reflects the dog's own body heat, and so keeps your dog nice and warm. Again it can be used with standard dog beds, dog crates etc. We have used it for years with our scotties and can swear by it.
Posturepal is a specialist bedding which can be used wherever your dog sleeps. It is an orthopaedic bedding which again can be used whichever sleeping arrangement you have chosen. So if your dog is old, stiff, or has special needs - check it out on our site.
It's your decision.
Where your dog sleeps is ultimately up to you. Think about all of the points above and consider the hazards - remember that you will be asleep so not in close control. You probably don't want your dog to rummage around the waste bin, or jump up on working surfaces to eat whatever food is there, so choose carefully. A dog bed within a dog crate or playpen may be a great choice - but every dog and home is different.
Here's to a good night's sleep for all!
Stock photos courtesy of Dreamstime.com.