Sleeping With Your Dog Over Your Partner: Why 1 in 4 Chose this Sleeping Arrangement

Woman sleeps in bed with her dog

We’ve all been there — having woken up in the middle of the night next to your partner snoring like a motorboat, or comfortably wrapped in your blankets, leaving you with just the pajamas on your back. Compared to the sound of co-sleeping with their fuzzy, four-legged family members, the choice was easy for a lot of sleepers when it came down to who they’d rather sleep beside. The Slumber Yard conducted a survey through that garnered over 2,300 respondents who answered whether or not they’d rather sleep beside their dog or their partner. Interestingly enough, 1 out of 4 said they’d rather snooze with their pooch.

Article Summary
  1. Why People Choose Their Dog Over Their Significant Other
  2. Generation X Was Most Likely to Pick Their Pet, But Gender Was Split 50/50
  3. Is It Okay to Sleep With Your Dog?
  4. Benefits of Sleeping With Your Pup
  5. How To Maximize Sleep With Both Your Partner And Dog
  6. Training Your Dog To Sleep In Bed With You
  7. Your Dog Needs More Sleep Than You Think

Why People Choose Their Dog Over Their Significant Other

Besides the fact that dogs are cuddly and adorable, there are a few reasons why survey respondents chose their dog over their significant other as their preferred sleeping partner.

  1. 32% said it was because their partner snored
  2. 29% said their partner took up too much space
  3. 29% said their partner moved around too much
  4. 22% said their partner steals the sheets
  5. 16% said their partner sleeps hot and makes them hot
  6. 14% said their partner sleep talked

While older or brachycephalic dogs like pugs, bulldogs and other pups with smooshed faces are more prone to snoring, there are plenty of other reasons why people thought their dogs made better co-sleepers than their life partners. So even though you love your partner to death, you may not be in love with their sleeping habits.

Generation X Was Most Likely to Pick Their Pet, But Gender Was Split 50/50

From the sample of 2,383 survey respondents, the age group most likely to kick their partner to the couch or spare bedroom was Generation X, including those from 41 to 56 years old. It panned out to be 31% for Gen-X vs. 23% or less for the other generations. Results were unclear on why this may be the case, but one can speculate that a good night’s rest is harder to come by as you get older. In addition, sleep patterns change, and sleep disorders like sleep apnea or insomnia tend to worsen, making a resting pup more and more enticing to sleep next to.

When it came down to gender, it seems men and women were equally as likely to pass on their significant other. However, the study was evenly split on who chose their hound over their housemate as their preferred sleeping partner. Aside from the fact that the figures are the same, it’s not that surprising — men and women alike are big fans of doggie cuddles.

Is It Okay to Sleep With Your Dog?

In our survey, 60% of people who said they slept with their dog reported doing it at least once a week, and 40% said they slept with their dog every single night. However, the question of whether or not you should sleep with your dog has long been up for debate. One side argues that pet dander can collect, it can be bad for allergies, and your dog can disrupt your sleep. And, while you probably shouldn’t be sleeping right next to your pup if you suffer from serious allergies, there are ways to get around these concerns if you’re somebody who benefits from sleeping with your dog.

Natural and organic latex mattresses are a good option for pet owners because they’re antimicrobial and hypoallergenic, so they will help prevent the build-up of dander, bacteria, and even mold within the bed. Interestingly enough, there was also a 2019 study that found infants who lived with a dog were 90% less likely to have food allergies later in life. Even more surprising is that of the infants who lived with two dogs, none reported food allergies later in their lives.

Sleeping with your dog is more of a personal choice, and there are science-backed benefits that you might find outweigh the negatives.

Benefits of Sleeping With Your Pup

The participants in the Slumber Yard survey who said they allowed their dog to sleep in bed with them at night cited their primary reasons for their choice, and a large portion of them said it was to strengthen the bond between them and their dog. Here is a look at all of their answers:

  1. 47% said to strengthen their bond
  2. 39% said it was because they feel more comfortable
  3. 37% said it reduces stress
  4. 37% of women said they felt safe with their dog while 27% of men said it was for safety
  5. 31% said it made them feel less lonely
  6. 26 % said it improved their quality of sleep
  7. 25% said their dog cannot sleep without them
  8. 17% claimed other as their reason

Dog owners aren’t just crazy about their pups. Science has even verified many of these claims. For example, in one study, patients who suffered from PTSD experienced fewer nightmares and a night of more peaceful sleep while sleeping with their dogs. Sleeping next to your pup also releases a chemical in your body called oxytocin which causes an influx of theta brainwaves. They’re a feature of REM sleep and can help promote a night of deep, restful sleep. Oxytocin can also help relieve anxiety and stress.

So, sleeping with your dog sometimes can be a win-win. They get to cuddle up next to you in your comfy bed, and you both get to reap the benefits.

How To Maximize Sleep With Both Your Partner And Dog

Three is a crowd, and if you’re trying to sleep with both your partner and your dog(s), there are simple things you can do to ensure you’re all getting the proper sleep you need.

  1. King or CA king size bed – the bigger, the better in this case. Sharing a bed with a dog on a queen-size mattress might not be the most comfortable and might even force you into some weird positions at night could promote back pain. So, a bed with plenty of space will eliminate this problem. Also, keep in mind that a CA king has more space on the bottom for your pet to snuggle up by your feet, while a standard king is wider.
  2. Memory foam mattress – Consider a memory foam mattress or a memory foam topper to help absorb the movement from your partner or your dog. Memory foam is great at deadening motion across a mattress, keeping you from constant disturbances at night.
  3. Take your pet out to pee – This is pretty obvious, but make sure you’re taking your dog out before you go to bed every night, so they aren’t stuck holding it — or worse.
  4. Designate sleeping spots – Guide your pet to a certain spot on your mattress where you want them to sleep so they don’t disturb your sleep. You can do this with treats and commands, or try putting a small dog bed where you want them to sleep on your mattress.
  5. Buy a mattress protector – A mattress protector is a good investment to keep your mattress as clean as possible, free of dirt, dog pee, or any other mess your dog might make while sleeping on your bed.

Training Your Dog To Sleep In Bed With You

Experts recommend crate training a brand new puppy to ensure safety and discipline. However, you might want to let them sleep in bed with you once they’re old enough and finished with potty training. Once both of you are ready, try removing the blankets from his or her crate and putting them on your bed. Encourage her to lay down on the blankets using treats or simple commands. You might want to keep the crate open and nearby during this training so your pup can retreat if they’re feeling uncomfortable.

Don’t take it personally if you have an old dog that won’t sleep in bed with you. They love you. They may just not love your mattress. It might be too soft, too firm, or even too hot. You also might move around too much for their liking if they’re a light sleeper. In this case, keeping their dog bed or crate in your bedroom near your mattress might be the best compromise.

Your Dog Needs More Sleep Than You Think

Whether you choose to sleep with your dog in bed with you or you give them their own sleeping space, you want to make sure they’re comfy, too. Just like humans, dogs need a certain amount of sleep to function at their fullest potential. 7-9 hours is the recommended dose for humans, but dogs need around 9-13 hours every day. Sleep is important for body restoration, rejuvenation, and even information retention and memory. Of course, it varies by breed and size, but here’s an idea of how many Zzzzz’s your puppy, adult, and or senior dog should be catching:

  1. Puppies – Sleep is essential for a puppy’s development and should get at least 11 hours a day.
  2. Adult Dogs – Depending on size, most adult dogs will need between 8 and 12 hours of sleep.
  3. Senior Dogs – Like puppies, older dogs tend to sleep more and get up to 18 to 20 hours a night on the high end.