To sleep or not to sleep with your dog is a question that often comes back and which does not put, in general, everyone in agreement.
Some people will have no problem sleeping with their pet, while others will hate it (so to speak).
What can be confusing when you look at the issue is the inconsistency between the different points of view but also the other studies conducted on the subject: at the same time, we are warned about the possible diseases that can be caused by the presence of a dog, its hair and everything it drags on its back (transmission of zoonoses, which are infections that can be transmitted from animals to humans), and at the same time we are told that sleeping with your dog can prevent, or even cure many ailments. I am thinking in particular of the studies carried out on the positive impact of the presence of a dog with children during their development: lower risks of asthma and allergies, for example.
So to the question of whether sleeping with your dog is a good or bad idea, I would answer that it will depend on the health and hygiene of your pet first, but also your comfort and desires.
If you want to sleep with your dog: go ahead! And if you prefer your dog to sleep in his basket, either at the foot of your bed or in a room at the other end of the house: so be it!
It’s your dog, it’s your relationship and your “home”, so it’s up to you to decide what you prefer, what you want to forbid or allow. Moreover, you can also not choose and sometimes accept that your dog sleeps with you and still forbid him access to the room some nights.
When would sleeping with your dog be a bad idea?
If your spouse disagrees, this may seem silly, but you should never impose this practice on someone who does not want to co-sleep with a dog.
If your dog is in an approximate state of hygiene or if it is infested with external parasites (fleas, ticks, lice, etc.).
If you are unable to get your dog off your bed when you want to.
If your dog does not respect your space/quietness and begs for attention constantly during the night.
If your dog starts growling when you ask him/her to get off the bed or when your spouse gets in the bed.
If your dog has physical problems and jumping in and out of bed will only make his pain worse in the long run.
If your dog is a large breed, for obvious reasons of space.
Also, to return to the positive impact of having a dog around a child, you should never let a dog sleep in a child’s bed. Indeed, even if your dog is the nicest in the world, he can never be trusted 100%. In general, whether it is for the night or for any other time of the day, the golden rule to respect is to never leave a child alone with a dog!
Some tips and recommendations when you want/accept your dog to sleep with you
Tip #1: Ensure you wash your dog and take him to the groomer regularly for obvious hygiene reasons. Also, please pay special attention to the care of his eyes and ears and brush him regularly.
Tip n°2: always invite your dog to come and sleep with you; you must be the one to initiate it! It should not be a reflex for your dog to climb on your bed as soon as you go to your room. Do not hesitate to place a basket in your room to indicate to him to go in his place when you wish it.
Tip #3: Don’t hesitate to sleep without your dog at times so that he doesn’t develop bad habits and take this space for granted! If you don’t feel like sleeping with your dog one day, he shouldn’t feel bad about it.
Tip n°4: moreover, your bed is above all YOUR bed, do not let your dog consider this space as his own and as being his basket. Your bed is either forbidden or a shared area! But under no circumstances should your bed become your dog’s basket!
To conclude, as you will have understood, there is no right or wrong answer when it comes to the question of whether or not it is good to sleep with your dog. You have to make sure that the hygiene conditions are correct, that your dog can accept the fact of not sleeping with you sometimes and that he does not consider this space his own.