Where Does Your Dog Sleep?

Learn where your dog should sleep at night time.
By Karen B. London PhD, December 2011, Updated September 2020
where dog sleeps at night time

Dogs are social animals. Most of them feel comfortable being near the rest of the family and that includes at nighttime. Humans, too, often enjoy having their canine companions with them while they sleep.

Many people have their dogs in their room on a dog bed, in a crate or on the floor by the bed. Others allow them the foot of the bed. Still others snuggle with their pup right next to them, even under the covers. They keep you cozy while making you feel safe, secure and very loved. It’s a wonderful feeling to have dogs snuggle up at night, or even during a nap. So, where should a dog sleep?

According to a study published by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 14 to 62 percent of the 165 million dogs and cats in this country sleep in bed with humans.

Advantages of Sleeping with Dogs

The advantages to having your dog near (in the same room) you while you sleep are many. They are less likely to become stressed either by being alone or in response to something startling, whether it’s lights from cars going by or a thunderstorm. In the morning, you’ll know when they have to go out right away or if they are sleeping in that day without having to leave your bed to check.

If your dog is in or on your bed, any cold weather will seem a lot less harsh with a living furnace right next to you. Sharing sleep is one way to feel really close to each other, and that’s always a plus.

GET THE BARK IN YOUR INBOX!

Sign up for our newsletter and stay in the know.

Email Address:

Other positivies include:

Disadvantages of Sleeping with Dogs

On the down side, some people find a dog keeps them awake, either because the dog snores, or because there is not enough room in the bed or enough covers to go around. It can cause considerable friction in a relationship if one member of a couple loves having a dog in the room or on the bed and the other person doesn’t.

Other Reasons Include:

  • If they aren't house trained
  • If you have severe allergies
  • If you are a light sleeper
  • If you have a new dog
  • If you or your dog have health issues or open wounds

Where Should Your Dog Sleep?

As with most things, it's a personal preference.

In some families, there are dogs with bed privileges and dogs who are given their own comfy bed or a spot on the rug. The guardians should make this important decision. Sometimes size influences a dog’s sleeping position, with extra large dogs interfering too much with sleep. In other cases, it’s dogs’ behavior that determines whether or not they are welcome on the bed–for example a dog who is aggressive when woken up. Dogs who settle down and sleep calmly all night are welcome in the big bed while dogs who spend the night walking around or who mistake the comforter for a tug toy are more likely to find themselves sleeping on the floor.

Read More: How Long Do Dogs Sleep?

I like having dogs sleep in my room, and I think it’s usually best for the dogs, too. Large dogs, those who hog the bed and dogs who crawl all over us at night have a standing invitation to enjoy a cozy dog bed on the floor next to me or the crate in our room. Little dogs, calm dogs and dogs who won’t impersonate a cat by trying to play with us in the middle of the night have usually been permitted on the bed.

Most dog owners can enjoy the comfort and companionship of their furriest family member through the night. But if sleep is evasive, you may want to take a closer look at what’s keeping you up at night.

Where does your dog sleep and why?

Karen B. London, PhD, is a Certified Applied Animal Behaviorist and Certified Professional Dog Trainer who specializes in working with dogs with serious behavioral problems, including aggression. She has authored five books on canine training and behavior.