You’re snuggled up warmly in your bed, all ready to doze off for the night. With covers draped over you and pillows on all sides of you, you’re the quintessential bug-in-a-rug.
Just as you start to drift off into dreamland, you feel sudden movement on the other side of your bed. Your eyes pop open, and you reflexively flip on the light. What you see is an interesting sight: your pooch has pounced up and made themselves totally comfortable on your bed!
As you breathe out a sigh of relief, questions start swirling through your head:
He has never wanted to sleep in my bed before…why now? Did he have a bad dream? Is he afraid? Does he miss me?
You’re tired, so you don’t read too much into it and welcome him to stay for the night.
But then the same thing happens the next night. And the night after that…and the night after that.
What’s going on?
Your dog may want to sleep with you all of a sudden if they are feeling anxious, too hot, too cold, or uncomfortable in their normal sleeping area. They may also simply miss you or want to protect you or feel protected by you.
In this article, I will discuss some of the various reasons why your dog may want to sleep with you all of a sudden. I will also let you know if it’s advisable to let your dog sleep in your bed with you.
Let’s rip the covers off of this topic!
It can definitely be confusing if your dog has historically slept on their own but now seems to be suddenly and consistently making their way into your bed.
There are many reasons your dog may suddenly want to sleep with you, and most of them are very simple.
Every dog is different, of course, but I want to help you take a journey into your furry friend’s mind to help you figure out why your dog may be climbing into your bed. Some common causes for this may be:
If your dog is crying or pacing at night, they may be feeling anxious.
Trying to sleep with you may be their way of trying to soothe their distress. Your pup may be experiencing increased night-time anxiety if they are left alone a lot in the daytime.
If you suspect your dog is experiencing anxiety, you may want to reach out to your vet. Make sure to thoroughly explain your dog’s behavior and symptoms to get to the root of the issue.
If you’ve recently added a new animal to the family, your dog may feel territorial or even jealous!
Your dog adores you, and they may just want your attention all to themselves. Sneaking in a little extra cuddle at night time may be your pup’s way of feeling closer and trying to cement your bond. This may make them feel better about any feelings of discomfort surrounding another pet joining the family.
Your dog can hear “things that go bump in the night” just like you can. Like a small child may run to their parent’s bed for comfort, your dog may be seeking you out for safety.
What if you’ve checked inside and outside and you see nothing?
Since your dog’s senses are ultra-sensitive, they may be picking up on things you aren’t. This could be something they smell, see or hear that is very real yet harmless. They may be perceiving a threat even if there isn’t one and may be coming to you for protection.
Our bedroom may feel warm to us, yet the air may circulate differently in another part of the house. Your dog may be feeling too hot or too cold in their sleeping area to get a good night’s sleep.
You may want to consider if the season has recently changed. For example, is your dog’s sleep area equipped for colder winter nights, but it is slowly getting warmer outside? If so, your dog’s once perfectly cozy sleeping nook may be causing them to get overheated.
On the flip side, if the weather gets colder, your dog may need more padding or covers to get a comfortable night’s sleep.
Dogs are pack animals, and they recognize you as their alpha. Your dog is dedicated to protecting you; it’s in their DNA.
It’s a primal urge that your pup likely takes very seriously. Maybe your dog feels extra appreciative of you if they begin wanting to sleep with you out of the blue. They may just be trying to take their desire to protect you to the next level by guarding you while you sleep. How precious.
Who doesn’t love, love? As a human, you likely have a job, friends, perhaps a significant other, and hobbies of your own. For your dog, you are their world.
All of their basic care requirements and love needs are likely met almost exclusively by you, and they may want to follow you everywhere at all times. Even if you spend all day cuddling your dog and playing with them, they may not want the party to end.
In the same way, a child may want to extend a hangout with a friend into a sleepover, your dog may want to keep the love train going by hopping into your bed.
If you like your dog sleeping in your bed, I say go ahead! There is nothing wrong with allowing your dog to sleep in your bed with you. Your pup sleeping in the same space with you means more cuddles, love, mutual feelings of protection, and more profound friendship.
If you don’t like your dog sleeping with you, that is perfectly fine too. If you want space to spread out and would prefer to keep that aspect of your life private, that doesn’t make you an aloof, detached, or neglectful pet parent. There’s no shame in wanting to sleep separately from your dog.
The only time I would say that your dog liking to sleep with you could be a problem is if it appears they are doing it out of distress.
If it seems like your dog wants to sleep with you because they are feeling anxious, this may warrant a second look. I would suggest digging deeper and contacting your vet if you suspect your dog wants to sleep with you because, for some reason, they feel afraid on their own.
If you’ve explored all of the reasons above and still can’t seem to pinpoint your dog’s new fascination with sleeping with you at night, the answer may be straightforward:
Maybe your dog just likes it better this way!
Just as we have preferences, your dog may have tried sleeping in your bed once and found they really enjoy it. Your dog may love the warmth, protection, and closeness that sleeping with you brings. If you don’t mind this and their desire seems to be coming from a healthy place of affection rather than fear, there’s no real reason to stop. Sweet dreams!