Why Does My Dog Sleep With Me?

By Ameera Mills. September 12, 2018
Why Does My Dog Sleep With Me?

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Does your dog always sleep next to you or in the same room? There are many reasons why dogs choose to sleep with or close to their guardians. The reasons for this are strongly based on the type of relationship you have with your dog. For example, a dog will most often sleep with the family member they most strongly relate to. If you are this person, consider yourself lucky!

If you want to know why your dog sleeps with you, keep reading this AnimalWised article. We will be listing the 6 reasons why your dog likes to sleep with you, in addition to mentioning whether this is a good or bad habit.

You may also be interested in: Dog Sleeping Positions And What They Mean

Why does my dog like to sleep with me?

There are many reasons that can explain why your dog sleeps: close to you, in the same room as you or on your pillow. However, all of these reasons can be reduced to the concept of dog attachment. This concept revolves around the attachment dogs are capable of feeling for their guardians. This relationship that is commonly considered exclusive to humans can also occurs in animals, especially those that experience a domestication process.

Studies such as the one conducted by Topál, J., Miklósi, Á., Csányi, V. and Dóka, A. the famous Ainsworth Test for children [1] proved this concept. This study was carried out with more than 50 dogs and their owners. It showed that the majority of these canines felt an attachment to their guardians as a child would with their parents.

1. Dogs are social animals

The first thing you must understand in order to comprehend why your dog sleeps with you, is that dogs are social pack animals. This means that if in the wild, they would sleep in groups. Dogs are not solitary animals, and therefore them wanting to sleep with someone is instinctive and natural to their species.

In fact, if you live with more than one dog and the relationship between them is good, you've probably noticed that they never sleep alone. The majority either sleep with their humans or sleep together in the same bed or, at least, in the same room.

Why Does My Dog Sleep With Me? - 1. Dogs are social animals

2. They want to protect you

As already mentioned, dogs are herd animals. This means that they instinctively watch over their own and protect one another. When asleep, that is when we are most exposed and vulnerable. Therefore, many dogs prefer to sleep near or with their humans to protect them in case something happens. Again, this is natural when it comes to the canine species.

Why Does My Dog Sleep With Me? - 2. They want to protect you

3. It helps them feel safe

If your dog always sleeps with you it means that they feel secure and confident with you. Being a reference figure, they feel that they can trust you and feel safe. This is why you will find that your dog will sleep or follow you everywhere.

4. They look for warmth

Dogs love to feel warm, this is the reason many dogs to sleep under the sheet with their humans. This search for heat can also be noticed during the day, when they lie down in warm and sunny areas. Take a look at our article on why dogs like sun for more.

Why Does My Dog Sleep With Me? - 4. They look for warmth

5. Your dog doesn’t like their bed

Have you checked if your dog’s bed is comfortable? Another reason why your dog may sleep with you is because they don’t like or feel comfortable in their own bed. If this is the case, it is likely that they will try find anywhere else to sleep, like your bed or the sofa.

If you believe that this is the reason your dog sleeps with you, consider getting it another bed and place it next to yours with a blanket. For more, take a look at the article on how to teach your dog to sleep in its own bed, specifically if you want them to stop sleeping in yours.

6. Your dog is showing you love

Simply put, if your dog is sleeping with you it means they love you. They love the warmth that you transmit, they feel safe with you, they want to protect you and transmit affection to you. Sleeping together is one of the greatest demonstrations of love and, in addition, can help to strengthen the bond between you and your animal.

Why Does My Dog Sleep With Me? - 6. Your dog is showing you love

Is it bad to sleep with my dog?

Sleeping in the same bed as your dog is not a bad habit, as long as consideration and hygiene are taken into account. For example, if your dog is dirty, they will carry dirt and germs into your clean bed which can cause illness. In addition, we suggest brushing your dog’s hair appropriately so that they do not she dead hair onto your bed.

On the other hand, do not neglect preventive medicine. Remember that there are parasites which dogs can transmit to humans, such as fleas and ticks. Therefore, make sure to deworm and vaccinate your dog according to your veterinarian’s recommended schedule.

Regardless of hygiene, you must consider whether actually sleeping together provides adequate rest for both you and your animal. If you find that by sleeping with your dog you don’t receive sufficient rest, opt for placing their bed close to yours. By doing this, you are still within distance but have your required individual space.

If your dog suffers from separation anxiety, sleeping together is not recommended. By sleeping with your dog you reinforce this negative behavior. If your dog suffers from any behavioral problem, we recommend consulting an ethologist or a canine educator in order to treat the problem accordingly.

If you want to read similar articles to Why Does My Dog Sleep With Me?, we recommend you visit our Facts about the animal kingdom category.

  • Miklosi, Á. Dog behaviour, evolution, and cognition. Segunda edición.

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