Dogs bring so much joy to our lives… until they decide to hog the bed and cause sleepless nights. Keeping your dog off your bed may be the best solution, but if you’re wondering, “Can it be done if my dog is already used to sleeping in my bed?” The answer is yes! Though it may be easier said than done, you can train a dog to stay off your mattress during bedtime.
Reasons for Not Letting Your Dog to Sleep in the Bed
Before we discover the ways you can prevent a dog from sleeping in your bed, let’s explore the possible reasons why you don’t want a dog sleeping with you. If you have many pets, you might not all comfortably fit in your bed. Plus, one pet might feel he is favoured above others if he gets to stay on the bed while the rest stay on the floor. In some cases, dogs may also end up biting their sleeping companion when they get startled or when they feel they need to defend the space or a particular person. Senior dogs may also have arthritic joints, weak hips, or poor bladder control, making it difficult to jump onto/off the bed or stay in bed throughout the night.
If you’re a light sleeper, sudden movements, loud snoring, and overcrowding from your dog might wake you up. These can cause you to lose quality sleep and affect your health in the long run. Plus, you don’t know what bacteria, virus, pollen, or particles your dog may be bringing onto your bed and sharing with you. Not to mention, dander may also trigger allergic reactions in sensitive people.
5 Tips to Stop Your Dog From Sleeping In Your Bed
As a dog owner, it is up to you to decide if your dog should sleep next to you in bed. There is no right or wrong answer. It is simply a matter of preference. However, if you feel a change is needed with your current sleeping setup or you want to introduce a no-sleeping-in-bed policy to your newly adopted shelter dog, you can try these 5 ways:
1 Find the right bed for your dog.
To keep your dog off your bed, you must first give him a sleeping space to call his own. Purchase a comfortable bed that fits your dog’s measurements, his special needs, and one that can accommodate his favourite sleeping positions. Aside from the mattress shape and dimensions, don’t forget to check its thickness and the materials used for it. It should not sink to the floor when he lies on it, and at the same time, it should be cosy enough for him to sleep in no matter what the climate is.
2 Put his bed in an ideal spot.
Your dog doesn’t need to lie in your bed to feel secure. As long as he can see you and knows you’re nearby, he can feel safe and relaxed. Position his mattress within or close to your sleeping quarters, so you can keep an eye on him throughout the night.
Observe his resting habits throughout the day and position his bed in an area that he already stays in. Make sure the particular spot doesn’t get drafty, keeps cool throughout the night, and stays shaded from the sun.
3 Train your dog.
Teach your dog how to go to his bed and how to stay off yours. You want to establish boundaries and teach him where he should automatically go for bedtime. Using simple commands, train him how to go “up” or “off” your bed. Give him a treat each time he follows your command, and eventually wean off the treats once he gets the hang of it.
If it is his first time to use his bed, take him out for a walk just before bedtime. Without removing the leash, lead him to his new resting spot and train him to “go to sleep.” Place a treat on his bed (try these homemade treats!), and reward his actions with positive words.
4 Make his bed/the floor more appealing.
Aside from placing treats on his bed, you can also add bolsters, blankets, and his favourite stuffed toys. Show him that it’s more fun on his mattress by petting him when he sits there. Do not pet him or pay attention to him when he’s on your bed. Coerce him to get off it by calling out his name, dangling his toy, and playing with him when he is finally on the ground.
5 Limit his access to your bed.
The fastest way to keep your dog off the bed is by leaving your bedroom door closed or by placing a baby/pet gate as a physical obstruction. If you own a tall dog, make sure he won’t be able to climb or jump over the barrier. You can also place his bed within a metal fence or opt to put him in a crate until he gets used to the idea of not sleeping beside you.
Though cats and dogs are different creatures, you need the same amount of patience, consistency, and positive reinforcement when training them to stay off your bed. Be sure everyone in the household agrees to this sleeping arrangement so that it’ll be easier to implement it. If someone secretly lets the dog sleep on their bed, you’ll have a hard time carrying out this rule.