A good night’s sleep is priceless, both for pets and their parents.
But even the experts don’t agree on where your pet should sleep. Some say your dog should sleep in his or her kennel at night, safe and confined. And let cats sleep in the living room. However, some experts think it's fine to let your pets sleep with you.
Start puppies off right
Resist the temptation to have your new puppy sleep with you. A comfortable kennel, kept next to your bed, will let him or her feel safe and still reinforce that you are the pack leader, which will make training easier as you go along.
As she or he grows into doghood, and you want to share your bed, start with short spans of time together on the bed—as you hit the snooze button in the mornings, for example. Just be sure to reinforce your role as leader.
One of the best ways to keep things peaceful is to get your dog on a schedule from the beginning. If you routinely walk him or her, have regular feeding times, play times, and bedtime, your dog will appreciate it. When he or she knows his basic needs are being met, he or she will comply, which makes dog and owner happier.
The Master's Bedroom
Whether or not your pet sleeps in your bed has to do with personal preference and your pet’s behavior, sure. But it really boils down to who is in charge. To your dog, the bed is where the pack leader sleeps. And you don’t want anyone to be confused about who the pack leader is.
Basically, you allow your dog to sleep on your bed. If your dog starts leaving little room for you or, worse, becomes aggressive about his or her part of the bed, you have some work to do. A dog who feels possessive of the bed may be a dog who’s forgetting his or her place in the pack.
Cats are meant to hunt in the cool of the night, under cover of darkness. And chances are, while you’re at work all day, your cat is probably napping away. Which means the chances of kitty sleeping through the night are slim.
It’s fine if your cat is well-mannered while you sleep. Some are particular about being disturbed by their humans during sleep and can react with bites or claws. Not conducive to rest, obviously. Your sleeping form can also make for perfect pouncing practice.
Let peace reign.
If you do let your pet sleep on the bed, experts agree that it’s a good idea to reinforce your status as leader by ordering him or her off the bed every once in a while. This reminds your pets that it is your bed, not theirs, and you decide who sleeps where.
If you have cuddly pets, consider yourself lucky; you’re ahead. But if your dog’s a bed hog or your feline is frisky at night, take heart. With a little extra effort, you’ll discover a way everyone can get a good night’s sleep.