Sleeping with Dogs: Hygiene, Health and Happiness

A brown Labrador under our olive green 100% linen duvet cover.

As a nation of dog lovers, we are often guilty of spoiling our furry friends. Playtime, treats and walks are all great times to build a real connection with your dog, but there’s one that often splits the crowd - whether or not you let them sleep on your bed. While some just love curling up with their pup, others aren’t that keen on the idea. So we spoke to ’s Head Vet, Sean, to get the low down on whether it’s a yay or a nay when we’re talking about bed hygiene. 

Are there any benefits to sharing a bed with your dog?

For many dog owners, sharing their bed is another chance to build their human-animal bond. Our beds are soft and comfy, so it’s no wonder our pups love to crawl under the covers. Plus it means they get to be near their very favourite person in the world for even longer. 

During the colder months your dog can also be a great hot water bottle replacement; if they’re prone to sleeping on your lap already, you’ll know exactly what I mean!  

Are there any hygiene concerns?

There are a few concerns worth bearing in mind if your dog likes to cuddle up in your bed with you: 

1. Allergies. If you do have a dog allergy you may prefer to keep your bedroom a dog-free zone and avoid touching or inhaling any pet dander while you’re snoozing. 

2. Ticks, fleas and other pests. Our dogs can pick up unwanted visitors on their travels, even if you’ve used an appropriate treatment. Flea treatment doesn’t mean pests won’t ever land on your dog, rather that they should die within 24 hours of jumping onto your pet. So if your pups do have any parasites on them when they get in or onto your bed, these pests may transfer to your bed too. (Anyone else already itching?) 

3. Bacteria and hobby rollers. You might’ve heard that old saying about dogs' mouths being cleaner than their owners, but that’s not entirely true. Our pups can carry bacteria in their mouths, particularly if they like a good scavenge, and can also have bacteria and yeast on their skin. And if you’ve got a dog who’s prone to a roll in fox poo… Well, you know where I’m going here! 

It’s also worth mentioning these risks already exist if you have a pet living in your house. 

A brown Labrador under our olive green 100% linen duvet cover.

Other things to think about

1. Sleeping patterns. Did you know dogs have different sleep patterns from us humans? They wake up more frequently than we do, so if you’re a light sleeper you may find that your pup’s night-time adjustments or trips to get a drink may wake you up more often. 

2. Space. If you’ve got a big dog or one who just really likes to spread out, you might prefer not to share your bed with them, as you may find your space a little restricted or be woken by some paws kicking you in the small of your back in the middle of the night! 

3. How they get there. Jumping up and down from your bed isn’t the best thing for your dog’s joints, especially if they’re a smaller breed or getting a bit older. Steps or ramps are a great option to avoid jumping if you’re still keen though! 

4. Be consistent. Dogs thrive on routine and consistency. Allowing them on the bed one night and forbidding it the next can lead to confusion, so whatever you choose, try to stick to it. 

So, should I share my bed with my dog?

Ultimately - it’s up to you.  

Despite what many people think, there isn’t a right or wrong answer. It depends on your personal preference, and where you and your dog are most comfortable. If you like your dog sleeping next to you or they make a great substitute hot water bottle and they’re happy to be there, then you’ve got your answer.

Happy doggy-dreams all.