Figuring out the sleeping arrangements for a new puppy can be confusing. You will want a new puppy to feel safe and secure, but is there a nagging voice in your head saying, don’t do it, don’t let the puppy sleep in your bed!
In this article, we will look at some pros and cons so that you can work out your answer to the big question – should you allow your puppy to sleep with you?
In this article, we will discuss:
- Your puppy’s first few nights away from mum
- Where should you put the puppy’s bed?
- Is it okay to let a puppy sleep with you in the beginning?
- How to establish bedtime rules for your puppy?
- Are there any benefits to letting a puppy sleep in your bed?
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Your Puppy’s First Few Nights Away From Mum
On the first night, it will probably be your puppy’s very first time spending the night being away from his mother and litter mates.
It is natural for him to feel lonely and anxious. He doesn’t know what’s going on, and he will pine after what he is used to until he finds comfort in his new situation.
These are some of the things your puppy will be missing:
- Familiar smells
- Familiar faces
- The warmth of the litter
- His mother’s heartbeat
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There are a few tricks that you can use to help your new pup settle in and feel more at home on these first few nights.
Ask the breeder if you can leave a blanket in with the litter a few days before you go to pick your puppy up. Then you can take the blanket home with your puppy, and it will have all of the smells he is used to.
An empty bed is nowhere near as warm and cozy as snuggling up with all of the warm bodies of his litter mates.
You can try to replicate this by adding soft toys to your puppy’s new bed and including either a pet-safe heated blanket or hot water bottle covered with plenty of fabric so that your pup doesn’t get burnt.
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You can also make use of pet blankets that can to retain body heat, like fleece.
A smart trick is to wrap an old fashioned ticking clock up in a blanket and put it in the bed so that the puppy thinks it is his mother’s heartbeat.
Another thing you may want to try before bringing your new puppy home. give your breeder an article of clothing that has been worn a couple weeks before you bring to new family member home. This allows your puppy to learn your scent and have something familiar from day one.
Where Should You Put The Puppy’s Bed?
Whether you decide that your puppy is going to sleep in your bed or not, every dog needs a bed of their own.
It is their place of comfort where they can go to chill out whenever they want without being told to move. But where should you put it?
The best place for your puppy’s bed is somewhere out of the way where he can have access to see what is happening in the room, but not have to be part of it or have his nap disturbed.
The most popular place for the dog bed tucked away in the corner of the living room. This is perfect because when the family is settling down in the evening, your puppy will have his place to settle down, but he will still be able to be with you.
If you really can’t decide where you want the dog bed, you can always purchase a variety of beds for different rooms, this way if you do want your puppy to sleep within earshot, but not necessarily in your bed, you can have a dog bed in your bedroom.
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Wherever you put the dog bed, make sure that it isn’t in the way of people walking by, and that it is in a draft-free spot. If you have a pet crate, you can even cover it partially with a blanket so that your dog has a cozy cave.
Is It Okay To Let A Puppy Sleep With You In The Beginning?
The thing with puppies is that they need consistency. They don’t understand it when the rules change.
So if you decide to let a puppy into your bed to sleep with you in the beginning because you want to comfort it, they are not going to understand or accept when you introduce the “real” rules of “no dogs in the bed” later.
If sleeping with your dog isn’t something that you see yourself being okay in the long run, then you are setting yourself up for a tough time if you bend the rules, to begin with.
Ask yourself why you are letting your puppy sleep with you.
- Is it because you feel sorry for them?
- Do you think its what they need?
- Do you feel guilty?
None of these are good reasons to let a puppy sleep with you.
The only good reason is that you have made a joint decision with whoever you share your bed with that you both to share your bed with your dog, permanently, regardless of how big he gets, or how much he stinks.
How To Establish Bedtime Rules For Your New Puppy?
The only way to establish clear bedtime rules is to follow this 3-step process:
- Define the rules and the reasons for the rules
- Make sure everyone knows and agrees with the rules
- Follow through with the rules and be consistent
If you have children or a sentimental partner who feels sorry for the pup, it is essential not only to define the rules but also to provide clear reasons for the rules.
This will help them to understand that the rules are there to make sure that the puppy is happy and feels secure. You can explain to children that a dog’s den or bed is like their bedroom.
It is a place to keep their toys, hang out in, and get a perfect night’s sleep.
If anyone has a problem with the rules, let them talk about how they feel and try to come to a compromise.
For example, maybe someone feels like they won’t bond with the puppy if they don’t let them sleep in the bed.
You can show them other ways to bond with the puppy, for example, giving a child sole responsibility of feeding the puppy his breakfast in the mornings.
Most importantly, everybody must understand that if they bend the rules, then they are only going to confuse the puppy and make him unhappy and cry louder.
Here is an example of what your bedtime rules might look like:
- No talking to or petting the puppy after lights out.
- If the puppy cries in the night, ignore it.
- Don’t sneak your puppy into bed with you.
- No sneaking treats to the puppy after lights out.
- No feeling guilty that the puppy is alone in his bed.
Are There Any Benefits to Letting A Puppy Sleep In Your Bed?
Letting a puppy sleep in the bed with you isn’t completely forbidden. If you are okay with it, then there is no problem.
You might even find that your dog doesn’t want to sleep in your bed as he gets bigger, he may prefer to spread out on a cold floor in another room. Some dogs are just independent.
Sleeping with your dog can be rather pleasant too. If you are a single person, then the body heat and breathing of a dog in the bed can be therapeutic and help you to sleep, especially if you suffer from anxiety. They can keep you warm in the winter too.
If your dog is already in the bed with you, then he is less likely to wake you up in the morning by bounding into your room and waking you up with slobber. Many dogs are very lazy in the mornings and will only wake when you do.
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Allowing your dog to sleep with you can make them feel more bonded to you as you are behaving more like a pack, with everyone sleeping together.
There are always cons to having a dog in the bed, too, though.
For example, there is the potential for overheating and restlessness if your dog likes to be under the duvet, but then gets too hot and needs to go on top, and then cools down and wants to get back under. You could end up with very fractured sleep.
Your bed will probably get dirty more quickly, and you will feel bits of grit on the sheets from your dog’s walks.
When your dog gets fleas (every dog gets fleas at least once in their lifetime), you might not want them in the bed, but if that’s the only place they are used to sleeping, you could have a problem.
Puppies grow into bigger dogs and take up more space. And even if you have a little dog, you will be surprised at just how much of your bed they will take up.
The bottom line is that there is no right or wrong answer when it comes to deciding whether you should let a puppy sleep with you.
The question is, what is right for you? Thinking carefully about your decision is a great idea, though, because it can help to alleviate a lot of stress in the long run. Sweet dreams!