An important part of every dog’s training is for them to understand where they’re allowed to sleep. Owners have a few options to consider including dog beds, crates, blankets, furniture or even your own bed! Whichever you choose will depend on a couple of factors like the dog’s age and how well they’re trained.
Check out these pros and cons to help you determine the best place for your pup to catch some Z’s.
Crates in or out of the bedroom
Sleeping in a crate is highly recommended for puppies. Furry companions that are new to the family are still in the process of being potty trained and learning the house rules. Your home is a completely new environment, and puppies need structure in order for them to adjust. Over time, puppies will learn that going in the crate means it’s time for bed. This not only establishes a daily routine but also teaches them discipline.
It’s not a good idea to give your puppy full access to the house while they are still being trained. As an owner, you’re responsible for teaching puppies the difference between a sneaker and a chew toy before they’re allowed to roam unsupervised. If you let puppies sleep outside the crate too early in their training, you could wake up one morning to ripped pillows and ransacked closets!
One potential issue with crates is they can exacerbate anxiety in older dogs. Once the dog is old enough to obey house rules, you should let them choose where they feel most comfortable sleeping at night. Crates can feel restraining, especially if they’re placed somewhere other than your bedroom. You don’t have to let them onto your bed, but keeping the bedroom door open and placing a blanket on the floor gives your furry companion the freedom to be close while enjoying their space.
Dog beds and blankets
Dog beds and blankets are great choices for adult dogs. Now that your pup knows how to settle down for the night, they can sleep anywhere in the house. Determine which room makes them feel the most at ease and establish a safe space with either a dog bed or blankets on the floor. There’s no right or wrong answer for where your dog sleeps—it all comes down to what works best for them.
Sleeping without a crate allows your dog to come and go as they please. Adult dogs have earned their owner’s trust enough to roam around the house without supervision. If your house has a doggy door, your pup can go outside for a bathroom break all on their own, so you don’t have to wake up in the middle of the night. Allowing your dog some autonomy shows you trust them to behave while you’re not present.
Living room couch
This sleeping arrangement comes down to the owner’s personal preference. Some dog lovers let their furry friends on the couch, while others do not. Many believe well-trained pups have earned the privilege of joining their human companions on the furniture. In this case, it’s okay to let your dog have the couch to themselves at night.
Letting dogs use the couch as a bed might not be a smart choice for everyone, though. Dogs with behavioral problems need firm boundaries, and if owners let their energetic pups sleep wherever they want, they may be reinforcing a lack of discipline. If you don’t let your pup on the furniture, make sure you provide another comfortable sleeping arrangement in an area away from the couches.
The owner’s bed
Despite some dog owners’ belief, there’s nothing wrong with letting Fido sleep in your bed. The common belief is that it will lead to behavioral problems and make the dog forget you’re the one who’s in charge. The truth is that dogs and humans sharing a sleep space doesn’t necessarily create behavioral problems. If anything, it can strengthen your bond, keep your both warm and let you share plenty of snuggles!
There are still some drawbacks to dogs sleeping on their owner’s bed, though. First off, you’ll have to get used to the constant presence of fur and dog odor. And that’s not all—some dogs carry parasites that can pass on to their human companions. If you two are going to share a bed, make sure the dog has all their vaccines and isn’t going after squirrels in the backyard.
You know your dog better than anyone else. It’s up to you to decide when your pup is ready for the transition from crate to bed to couch. If the current sleeping arrangement doesn’t work, maybe it’s time to switch things up. Experiment with different sleeping spots until you find one that’s perfect for everyone in the household.