Why your dog likes to sleep in the same bed as you

Kövess Péter

2024. February 4 - Photos: Getty Images Hungary

So you bought them the most comfortable bed in the world, but they’d rather sleep in bed with you? This could be the explanation.


A dog likes to join their human in bed, but somehow has an exceptional talent for taking up as much space as possible at the expense of the owner (mysteriously, smaller dogs can do this too). If you are familiar with this situation, you’re not alone. A recent survey showed that 76% of owners allow their pets to crawl into bed at night despite possible discomfort.

Most dogs love to sleep in the bed with their owners

This is why your dog wants to sleep next to you in bed

According to experts, the primary reason may be that dogs are social creatures that live in packs in the wild. This includes sleeping together with other members of the pack, which helps them feel safe and protect each other from the elements and predators. They instinctively like to sleep with people they trust and with whom they have strong bonds.

Nowadays, this role is filled by humans, so it’s only natural that your pet will want to snuggle up to you or at least snuggle into bed with you while you sleep.

Even as a pup, they have the instinct

Professional dog trainer Nicole Ellis notes that puppies like to sleep next to their siblings, so it’s not so surprising that when they grow up, this habit lives on. “For many dogs, it’s a safe, comfortable feeling to sleep in the same bed with their family.” – explains the trainer.

Here are some more reasons that may explain your dog’s behaviour.

1. It becomes part of your routine

Animal behaviourist Erin Askeland says that even if sleeping in bed is not part of your dog’s routine, it can quickly become a habit and soon become a part of their everyday life: “If you let your dog into your bed once or twice, it can easily become a daily habit.”

2. They love your smell

Your partner may not be thrilled when you sweat while you sleep, but your dog certainly doesn’t mind – quite the opposite.

“In the home, the bed is usually the place where your scent is the most prominent, and your pet is so odour-oriented that they like to sleep in a place where they can smell it from up close.”

Dogs love to be close to humans for several reasons

3. Releases hormones

The bond between humans and dogs goes beyond emotions and has a physiological basis. In addition to feeling safe, loved and trusted, dogs also like to sleep with their human companions because physical proximity to their owners releases oxytocin and dopamine, hormones of love and happiness. “These hormones are more abundant in animals that have a strong bond with their owners.”

4. Relieve anxiety

In dogs with anxiety, sharing a bed with the owner is therapeutic. In other words, direct contact with a trusted person relieves stress and reduces anxiety. The reverse is also true. If a dog cannot be close to their owner to protect them, it can cause anxiety.

5. You find it comfortable

Even if you’ve bought your pet the world’s best bed, he’ll probably find your bed so comfortable that nothing else can compete. “Many dogs like to sleep in comfort, on fluffy pillows, surrounded by soft blankets.”

It also allows the dog to literally snuggle in, which gives a nice warm and safe feeling – like being in a cave.

The bed provides sumptuous comfort for your dog

6. Provides a better view

Another advantage of sleeping in a bed over on the floor is that for the dog it is more beneficial to sleep in a slightly higher position. This way, they can keep an eye on who is coming and going around them. Also, they get a better view of the window if necessary.

How to decide if your dog should sleep with you

Experts say there is no right or wrong choice in this area. But there can be pros and cons to letting your pet sleep in bed. Being around a dog can help you relax and give you a sense of security. But at the same time your dog can also push you out of your bed. If they tend to move around or snore while you sleep, they may wake you up more than once. And if you are allergic to dog hair, sleeping together can make your symptoms worse.

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