The temperatures are getting colder, the trees are getting balder: Winter is here! As the Antarctic emperor penguins teach us, the best way to keep warm is to move very close together. So group cuddling is the order of the day. Our dogs are ideally suited for this. Their body temperature is 1-2 degrees warmer than that of humans. Our furry four-legged friends look like breathing hot-water bottles and are an absolute miracle cure for icy feet at night. Taking the dog with you to bed, however, remains a no-go for many, even in winter.
Hardly any other question polarizes among dog owners as much as this one: Is the dog allowed to go to bed with us? In the heated discussions around this topic, two extremes usually meet. Sleeping in a bed with a four-legged friend is unthinkable, unhygienic for some and the most beautiful sleeping ritual for others. Until two years ago, I could not necessarily imagine sharing my sacred sleeping realm with a farting furry nose. When I took a little Continental Bulldog puppy with me, I was determined not to take him to bed with me. Today I sleep on 20 centimeters, while my big dog spreads out on his back and snores under the blanket, occupying the rest of my mattress. Educational maybe not one of my best achievements, but I never said goodbye to my icy feet. We at William Walker want to take a close look at the "dog in bed" issue today. Let's see if I still let my dog into bed with a clear conscience tonight...
The dog in bed - an educational faux pas?
Many dog owners suspect that they would give their dog too much freedom and possibly jeopardize their position as pack leader if they allow him to come to bed with them. This was also my concern when my little puppy moved in with me. In the first months of life dogs need a lot of closeness and especially the first time in their new home is exhausting, stressful and scary for the little ones. Therefore the puppy should spend the first nights close to his human. Since I wanted to offer my little male dog protection in the new environment, I decided to set up my nightly camp on the floor next to his basket. When I woke up at 2 a.m. with a painful back, I had to find out that the dog bed was empty. The little rascal lay stretched out on my pillow, in my bed - and I lay alone on the floor. Maybe it was the tiredness, maybe it was the incredibly cute and so fluffy sight: I lay down in bed with him and the decision was made.
Educatively, it would certainly have been better if I had made this decision and not him - but this is the only "mistake" I can see in retrospect. My dog has developed very well and the common bedtime has become very important for both of us. By showing my four-legged friend in many everyday situations that I am the leader and that I can take away privileges like the bed or sofa from him at any time, he has learned to behave accordingly. He knows very well that he has to sleep alone in the hallway if he starts nightly fur-cleaning actions or does not find rest. In this point applies: A dog that defends its food or lying places, shows territorial aggressiveness or disregards the hierarchy between humans and dog in everyday life, has no place in bed. However, dog training does not stand and fall with the choice of the sleeping place. So if the four-legged friend has received a good basic training and is socialized, it does not matter where the dog sleeps. So why should one deny his exemplary four-legged friend the comfort of soft pillows and Quality-Time with his favourite human?
Is it unhygienic to sleep in a bed with your dog?
A further argument, which could speak against the dog in the bed, is the "other hygiene" of our dogs. Critics even speak of health endangerment of humans by the very close contact with the four-legged friends. Of course, dogs are not as clean as we humans for a long time. But that doesn't make them dirty or unhygienic - unless they have just taken a mud bath or rolled in sheep droppings. Mostly it is only earth, leaves and other natural substances that our animals bring to bed with them. These naturally make dirt and stains, but are by no means disgusting or dangerous to health. On the contrary: This natural dirt can be much "cleaner" than many substances and materials that people come into contact with during the day. After all, many toxic chemicals can be found in very simple everyday objects. Be it the floor covering, wall paint, children's toys or the air we breathe in the city. If you think your dog is unhygienic, you can easily get a grip on this problem with the right care. find out step by step in our instructions for dog hygiene how your dog can be cleaned gently and easily, for example with our William Walker Care-Products.,
The greatest health hazard that a dog in bed can bring with it is mainly in the summer months: Ticks! However, they can infect us humans while having a picnic in the grass as well as our four-legged friends. Therefore, we should not only search the dog but also ourselves very carefully for the vermin after we have been outside. After all, ticks transmit many and serious diseases. So before you get into the bunk with your dog, you should brush him thoroughly - with a fine-meshed flea comb you can usually catch every tick.
You sleep better with your four-legged friend?
When cuddling, dogs and humans can not only warm each other, but the "love hormone" oxytocin is also released - by both. Because even dogs feel demonstrably comfortable and happy in the arms of their loved ones. Studies have shown that many people who share their bed with a dog sleep better and sleep through the night. Whether sleeping together succeeds, depends of course always on dog and dog owner. People who have a very light sleep and feel quickly disturbed, will probably not have a restful night with a four-legged friend in the bunk. Even if the dog is very restless or dreams loudly and snores, it might be better for both sides to spend the night separately. During the day there is still plenty of time to pour out oxytocin together and to counteract the winterly temperatures by cuddling together on the sofa. Fortunately, my dog and I are super bedfellows and sleep wonderfully together. Every evening before going to bed, I rub my four-legged friend with a towel, brush him and clean his paws with a damp cloth. I still have to change my bed linen twice a week. However, I gladly accept the additional work and the space restrictions in bed every day, for what our common sleeping ritual gives me in love, warmth and security.
What do you say to the topic: Dog in bed? Rather a flop or absolutely top? We are looking forward to your opinions in the comments.
By Louisa Knoll
Super geschrieben! :) Wie so vieles muss auch dieses Thema jeder für sich entscheiden und seinen richtigen Weg finden. Für mich selbst ist es absolut selbstverständlich, dass der Hund im Bett schlafen darf. Und das war eine Entscheidung die ich noch vor Einzug des kleinen Welpen immer mit Ja beantwortet habe. Wie hier natürlich richtig geschrieben, hängt es sicher von mehreren Faktoren ab ob das geht oder nicht (Platz im Bett, Größe des Hundes, Pflegezustand, Erziehung).
Als Welpe durfte er nur in einer Box neben dem Bett schlafen, das war bewusst so gewählt bis zur Stubenreinheit. Als er dann stubenrein war durfte er im Bett schlafen. Es ist auch nicht richtig, dass „Einmal Bett, Immer Bett“ bedeutet. Der kleine versteht es schon wenn ich ihm sage, dass er mal im Körbchen oder im Wohnzimmer auf dem Sofa übernachten soll und nimmt es auch einfach an. Das baue ich bewusst auch hin und wieder ein.
Das man sich dann selbst 20cm von der Matratze nimmt und gerade so am Rand liegt mit kaum Decke, kenne ich zu gut. Und der Hund liegt auf dem Rest und hat es bequem. Wer könnte es ihm Übel nehmen. :)
Das Einschlafen funktioniert bei mir mit Hund auf jeden Fall besser, auch wenn ich sonst auch keine Probleme damit habe. Mit dem Hund ist es einfach schöner und oft auch ganz lustig. Stärkt auch die Bindung.
Toller Beitrag liebe Louisa ❤️