One Hundred Reasons Why You Dog Shouldn’t Sleep On Your Bed

A quick survey: does your dog sleep on your bed?

No?

Really?

Come on, be honest.

Sometimes?

What, like once a month?

Once a week more like it? Maybe more?

Well, maybe every day. But only in the mornings.

We all vaguely understand that sleeping a dog in our bad isn’t good. We all feel a little embarrassed that we let it happen.

So is it such a terrible thing? Well… yes. And to prove it i wouldn’t just give you one reason why. I will give you 100 reasons.

1. Dogs spread diseases. just before Fido curled up next to you and licked your face, he rolled in his own poo, licked his bottom and chewed on an old rotten bone. Now you are sleeping with all of those germs.

2. Dogs spread parasites. Fleas, mites, intestinal worms and ticks to name a few. I love dog. But i don’t like their parasites. I hope you feel the same way.

3. Even the best house-trained dog can have an accident. Unless you like waking up in a warm, yellow puddle. Or worse.

4 to 100. Sleep equality means rank equality. This is in my opinion the main reason Not to sleep with your dog. Ever noticed how in the wild the dominant animal chooses the top-most position? That would be your bed. By sharing it with Fido you are saying ‘Fido is my equal’. But these is no equality in the dog world! If you are not the upper rank, then you must be the lower rank. That means Fido is in charge. This is a very important, highly underrated behavior management factor. Want to stop your dog pulling on the walk, refusing to come when called and jumping up on you? Sleeping on your bed could be a bigger factor then you imagined.

I could go on but if I haven’t convinced you yet, I probably never will.

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About Dr Vadim Chelom

Dr Vadim Chelom is a Registered Veterinarian, a writer and an educator

12 comments

  1. Collegedog

    Hi there,
    I find it interesting that you are of the opinion that dogs and people have ‘ranks’, could you explain what research backs up this theory, and what sleeping next to each other has to do with it?

    Also, how many diseases can we actually contract from our dogs, that are common?

    My housetrained dog would not pee on my bed, and if he were to have an accident, he would not pee where he slept. Dogs keep their sleeping areas clean and hate to eliminate in them, so I’m surprised you think that a full grown, healthy, housetrained dog would pee on your bed.

    Respectfully,
    -Collegedog

    • Dear College dog,

      The concept of social rank in an animal colony is widely recognized and sighted in Animal Behavior literature. You are welcome to do your own research on the subject or for a brief overview the Wikipedia has a good article here (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Social_status)
      Sleeping on the bed with your dog will not in itself establish the dog as a superior group member but it makes a big contribution and in my opinion, the people who let their dog sleep on their bed often do other things which contribute to the dog seeing himself as a senior group member. So not sleeping the dog in your bed is a good start.

      A (brief) list of diseases you can catch from your dog includes Listeriosis, Leptospiroses, Salmonellosis, Lime disease, Brucellosis and Toxocariasis, and that’s not including intestinal worms. (I am happy to elaborate on these individual disease for you at a later time). And that’s just what I could come up with in 10 minutes of thinking time.

      Once again, you can get infected without sleeping next to your dog but having the prolonged unconscious contact would make the infection more likely.

      You are right, house trained dogs will not normally pee where they sleep. But I was talking about something else – incontinence. Incontinence is very common in dogs -up to 40% prevalence in some studies. And it happens usually when the dog is asleep and relaxed. That’s when ‘accidents’ (some of them Very large) are most likely to happen.

      A lot of people are very defensive about co-sleeping with their dog. Possibly because it goes to the core of where they see the dog as part of the family. But this shouldn’t make the topic taboo. I believe it’s important that such topics are discussed in the open, especially when there is a significant health factor involved.

  2. Danielle

    Thanks for keeping us dog owners informed. Keep up the great work!!!

  3. Rebecca Sullivan

    Dr. Chelom,
    I work on show in America, Home and Family. I was wondering if you are ever in the US or plan to be. We are a live show based in Los Angeles, and I would love to introduce you to our audience as a renowned dog specialist and cover your books as well.

    Just wondering…
    Rebecca Sullivan

  4. Reagan

    How do you keep your dog of the bed?

  5. Me I don’t like our dog sleep in our bed their fur is not good especially to those people with asthma..I let them sleep in their dog pillow in the sofa. Thanks by the way in sharing this informative article.

  6. Rachelle

    Hello. I’ve just come across you’re article. I totally agree. Love it! My question, if I may digress, is about my cat. He does sleep on my bed. Am I fooling myself that this is at all different than my dog?

    • Hi Rachelle,
      Cats and dogs are indeed are very different. Cats can display dominance in ways much more subtle then dogs. And sometimes not so subtle. Ultimately, I think it depends on other factors. Does you cat exhibit dominant behavior? Does he try to bite and scratch you? Pounces on you? Hisses if you hold him in a way he doesn’t like? If the answer is ‘No’, i don’t think you should worry. If you do find that his dominance is becoming a problem, stopping him from sleeping on your bed is one of the steps you can take to change this behavior.

  7. Ryan

    Dude this is the worst list I’ve ever read.

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