Whenever a dog changes its habits, it can be both concerning and frustrating for an owner, especially if the new habit is not one that you particularly enjoy dealing with. You might be worried that something has happened to your pet, either physically or mentally, to change its behavior, and this can be alarming if you don’t know what it is. It’s always advisable to speak to a vet if you are worried about your dog, even if the worries are currently minor.
Have you ever ended up asking yourself “why does my dog want to sleep with me all of a sudden?” because your dog constantly seems to want to get into your bed and cuddle up as soon as you lie down? Not everyone likes having their dog in their bed, but even if it’s something you enjoy, you might be puzzled by the sudden behavioral shift, and concerned that it could mean something more worrying.
Sleeping alongside your dog can be fun, but it can also be problematic, and may lead to loss of sleep and restless nights. If you don’t want to let your dog sleep beside you, you might feel guilty about refusing, and want to know exactly what is prompting this behavior in the first place, so you can find other ways to meet your dog’s needs.
Why Does My Dog Want To Sleep With Me All Of A Sudden?
There are a few explanations for your dog suddenly wanting to hop into bed beside you, but the biggest is that dogs are pack animals, and wild dog packs sleep together for safety, companionship, and warmth. Your dog may decide that your bed is the perfect spot to be if something has frightened it, or you may have inadvertently encouraged it in some way, and then permitted the behavior, allowing it to become a habit.
It’s not unusual for a dog to suddenly want to sleep beside you; dogs do not like being on their own, and most prefer to be with their owners at all times. Night is often viewed as a time when the pack is more vulnerable because the members are asleep, and therefore your dog may feel that it needs to be close to you, to provide mutual safeguards that will keep you and it safe from predators. By lying close to you, your dog knows it’s keeping you safe and you are keeping it safe.
Your dog also might decide it wants to sleep in your room because the room it usually sleeps in is uncomfortable in some way, and it has discovered your bed is soft and warm. If it is feeling anxious, this is more likely to drive it to come to you for security and reassurance, so if anything has startled your dog recently, this could explain its sudden switch in behavior.
Should I Let My Dog Sleep In My Bed?
On the whole, it is usually fine to permit a dog to sleep in the bed with you, provided this arrangement allows all parties involved to get enough sleep. If the dog is restless, loud, annoying, or takes up all the space, it may be a bad idea, because it can be a hard habit to break, and your dog might feel put out if you suddenly stop letting it sleep in your bed. In general, however, co-sleeping with your dog isn’t a big issue, and may even have some benefits.
For example, some people find that they sleep better with their dog nearby, especially if the dog sleeps at the foot of the bed, providing security and companionship. This can also help to establish strong bonds with the dog, and may bring psychological benefits, especially if you usually sleep alone – humans are group animals too, and sleeping alongside another being can be soothing.
Co-sleeping also allows you to spend more quality time with your pet, which could be particularly good if you work long hours and otherwise have limited time with your dog. Although you will both be asleep, you will benefit from the closeness and trust involved in sharing a bed, and this should give your dog a sense of security.
What Are The Downsides Of Letting Your Dog Sleep In Your Bed?
There are a few disadvantages associated with co-sleeping, and it’s worth being aware of these before you start allowing the dog into your bed, since it could be a challenge to break this habit if you change your mind later. One of the biggest issues is that your dog may not be very clean, even with regular brushing and washing, and this can bring dirt and pollen into your sleeping environment, which may trigger allergies or disrupt your sleep. You can mitigate this by regularly washing the sheets and keeping your dog as clean as possible, but it’s still a potential problem.
The other issue applies mostly to light sleepers; if your dog rolls over, kicks, scratches, squirms, or otherwise moves around, you’re likely to be woken by its behavior and this could lead to tiredness and grumpiness, and may even have an impact upon your health. You should be aware of your sleep requirements and your dog’s habits before sharing a bed.
There are a few other problems some people claim can arise, such as separation anxiety and dominance issues if you permit your dog a high-ranking spot on the bed. However, these are generally considered untrue, and it’s thought that a secure, happy dog won’t display any problems as a result of being allowed to sleep in your bed.
So, if you’re wondering “why does my dog want to sleep with me all of a sudden?” you should think about whether your dog has recently undergone any trauma that may have startled it, or whether the dog’s room is potentially uncomfortable for it. It’s likely that your dog just wants to sleep beside you because it evolved to be part of a pack, and this means it wants to be close to you as much as possible, especially at night.