Getting a new dog brings a lot of change. You have to feed it, take it for walks, and play with your dog every day. One thing that new dog-owners fail to address is the sleeping situation.
Where should your dog sleep at night? There are several factors to take into consideration, such as the age of the dog, where you want it to sleep, not to mention where it wants to sleep. Your security and the comfort of the dog are also major factors to consider when determining where your dog should sleep at night.
We will discuss these issues and figure out what solution will work best for you and your family.
Where Do You Want Your Dog To Sleep At Night?
Let’s start off by asking, “Where do you want your dog to sleep at night?” You may want your dog to sleep either in your bedroom, (or one of your kid’s bedrooms), or you may want your dog free to roam the house at will. There are basically two reasons why people want their dog to sleep in their bedroom at night.
- Sense of Protection
Because dogs have such a great sense of hearing, smell, and can see things in the dark that we can’t see, we tend to have a greater sense of protection by having them nearby. It goes without saying that if your dog is fast asleep, you can rest assured that you can sleep without any concern.
The moment your dog hears something, (their sense of hearing is 4 times that of people), they will immediately alert you. That’s plenty of time to grab your baseball bat.
- Cuddle Factor
Sometimes falling asleep, cuddling up next to your dog is both comforting and let’s your dog know that you love him. There’s certainly nothing wrong with that.
When your dog has the freedom to roam the house, however, there is even a greater sense of security, because your dog can look through the windows, and notify you of anything out of the ordinary, because they are very light sleepers. Rest assured, that they will alert the rest of the family should there be any danger.
Where Does Your Dog Want To Sleep At Night?
Because dogs are relational, your dog *may* want to sleep in your bedroom with you. The more important question, however, is “How does your dog want to sleep at night?” Answering that question will tell you where your dog wants to sleep at night.
We’ve been talking about the location of your dog at night, but what about the comfort of your dog? It is true that your dog can easily take a nap on the floor, (even hard-wood floors, or ceramic tile floors in hot weather), but is that the most comfortable place to sleep? I’m guessing not.
It’s not uncommon for us to find our dogs sleeping on the couch, or on our bed. Why? Because the couch or bed is far more comfortable than sleeping on the floor. I could be wrong, but I’m pretty sure that a dog would rather sleep in comfort, wouldn’t you?
I would think that the dog would probably prefer that all bedroom doors in the house were left open after everyone has gone to bed, sot that he could freely roam wherever he wants. Why? Because he knows the responsibility lies with him to protect the family when they are sleeping.
You Need To Consider Your Dog’s Temperament
Like children, some dogs are insecure and would prefer to sleep in their crate or cage at night. I remember the first time I saw someone put a dog in it’s “cage” in the living room of their house. I was stunned, and immediately thought that it was cruel. At the time, I did not realize that this dog saw it as his “safe place.” I hate that term, but it clearly communicates the point.
If given enough room to easily maneuver around, a crate, or cage, can make your dog feel secure and safe, especially if you have company over and their kids want to play “horsey” with your dog. Such a place gives the dog a space to go where nobody else can bother him, a place that he can call his own.
We have a large cage that our smaller dog utilizes. She knows it is hers, and she knows that she can go there anytime she wants. Placing a blanket over the top and sides of it turns it into a fort, and what dog would not like a fort?
One more thing to consider here is “crate training.” Crate training is when a puppy is being potty-trained, and you want to keep your young puppy in a crate at night so as to potty-train it. Dogs will not intentionally poop or pee where they sleep, which is where crate training comes into play.
Be Sure To Consider Their Bedding
There are a few options you have available to you regarding bedding for your dog. First, you want to make sure that their bedding is comfortable. If they are a puppy, they will probably have an “accident” or two, so make sure that whatever option you use, ensure that you wash it at least once a week. You could use any of the following:
- Several blankets
If you find that you have some old blankets that you don’t mind letting your dog use for bedding, this will work in a pinch. It’s probably not the greatest option for the long term, but it will work. Just make sure that you have enough of them for your dog to feel comfortable. Additionally, every day, you will want to check to ensure that there are no loose strips of torn up pieces of the blanket, or mangled threaded strands where the dog could choke on it.
- Sleeping Bag
The sleeping bag is a better option than blankets, but you still need to keep an eye on the sleeping bag to ensure that your dog didn’t rip all the stuffing out of it. Fun as it may be for the dog, it’s still not a long-term solution.
- Dog Bed
Dog beds have been around forever. What makes a dog bed better than the other two options is the material that it is made out of, and its design. Dog beds come in a variety of fabrics and stuffing. They also come in a variety of shapes and sizes, ranging from square, to round, to oval. A dog with a liter of puppies will be very grateful for a large round soft dog bed, as she will more easily be able to keep track of her puppies.
Wherever you decide to allow your dog to sleep, be in in your bedroom, the kids room, or perhaps in the living room of your house, be sure that your dog is very comfortable. If your dog is no longer a puppy, and a little more mature, you may want to consider opening all the doors throughout the house to see where he wants to sleep. He may just surprise you and hop up on your bed.