What do you think about the dog sleeping in bed? Should your Morkie sleep in your bed? Pet parents are split on this one – just over half of us let our dogs share our beds. What are the pros and cons of sharing your sleep space with your pup?

In just two generations, dogs have gone from sleeping out in the barn (or garage) to sharing our beds in more than 50% of households. How did they make that leap? And is it a good idea to share your bed with your pets? A look at the pros and cons, plus everything you need to know about canine sleep!

Dog sleeping in bed!

Dogs have slept with people for tens of thousands of years since we all huddled ’round the fire watching for saber tooth lions. Wait, wasn’t that the Flintstones? 

In any case, dogs in sleeping areas have served two basic purposes for many centuries: warmth and guardianship.  Even the smallest Morkie will let out some fierce barking if she senses an intruder.


Fred Flintstone has just struggled to put their “dog” Dino out for the night.

Oh oh! 13% of couples with dogs admitted in a study that they argue about whether or not the dog should be allowed in bed.

Pros and cons: Dogs in your bed

For the YES side

√  There’s no real scientific evidence that your sleep quality is worse with a dog in the bed. Good sleep efficiency is pegged at 80% and studies have shown that a dog in your bed doesn’t really reduce that score. In some cases, it can edge it up a few points.

√  As long as you’re both healthy, scientists say it’s perfectly safe.

√  “This is my baby! Why would he sleep on the floor?!”

√  Suffer from insomnia? A dog’s rhythmic breathing can help YOU fall asleep.

√  Dogs can give us a sense of protection, regardless of their size.

√  Cesar Millan, the star of the reality TV show “The Dog Whisperer” thinks it’s just a matter of personal preference. However, inviting the dog onto the bed can help confirm your role as pack leader, he says. Just don’t let the dog think it’s HIS bed or you’ll have real dominance problems.

√  It’s universal. From ancient times to today, in virtually every country in the world, there are dog owners who wouldn’t have it any other way: the dog stays in the bed.

For the NOs

×  It has to be mutual and unanimous; if one partner doesn’t want a dog in the bed, you can bet sleep will indeed be interrupted.

×  Young children, the elderly or adults with any kind of comprised immune system shouldn’t share, says Dr. Bruno Chomel, a professor in the department of veterinary medicine at the University of California. Dr. Chomel has studied the relationship between having pets in the bedroom and increased rates of Pasteurella infection, ringworm and even bubonic plague, which can be transmitted by fleas. “Our conclusion was, we strongly do not recommend this practice.”

×  Some psychiatrists see the dog as an impediment to intimacy. Who gets the snuggles? Your Morkie or your partner?

×  Your Morkie doesn’t shed but he can still carry allergens in from outside, and have dust on his fur. If you’ve got allergies, it’s obviously not a good idea to have them right in your face.

×  Once you start, you can never stop. Try changing sleeping places with a dog who’s been in your bed for a few weeks, let alone years. Forget it!

For the undecided… a healthy compromise?

Dogs sleeping in your room, just not your bed.

A study from the Mayo Clinic compared adults who slept with a dog in their bed, and elsewhere in the bedroom.

Thanks to motion-tracking devices, sleep monitors and personal stories it seems that having a dog in the bedroom didn’t  necessarily compromise sleep quality.

    80% sleep efficiency is considered good

    • People with dogs in the room – show a sleep efficiency rate of 83%, so slightly above good.
    • People with dogs right in the bed – still hit 80%, so there haters-of-dogs-in-bed!
    dog sleeping in bed

    Everything you need to know about how dogs sleep

    Want to read more about how much dogs sleep, stages of their sleep and lots more – check out the Sleep Institute’s extensive info here.

    Casper, manufacturer of wonderful mattresses, has a cute article to check out: 10 Dog Sleeping Positions+ Their Adorable Meanings

    And what about the dog’s point of view? Does he like sleeping in your bed?

    Oh yes, there’s no doubt a dog loves to get into bed with his human. It’s instinctual and part of being in a pack. But more than that, sleeping with people means an excellent vantage point. A raised bed gives the dog a good view of potential danger. Other reasons dogs love it:

    • warmth
    • a better bed (let’s face it your dog’s bed may be deluxe memory foam, but it’s not a Perfect Sleeper 🙂
    • company – what dog doesn’t want company 24/7
    • great smells!


    Why does my dog sleep against me?

    Like hard up against me!

    Experts at the SitMeansSit.com website tell us it’s because your dog is very comfortable and secure with you, likes your warmth and feels safe.

    True or False?

    Dogs sleeping in our bed is a bad idea.

    True… ish. Dogs could disturb our sleep and they could pass along rare cross-over germs. But overall, dog lovers agree: it’s all worth it.