Do Your Pets Sleep With You?

Dog in Bed

An article in WebMD reported on a recent survey of pet owners by the American Pet Products Association. It turns out that “nearly half of dogs sleep in their owner’s beds. The survey found that 62% of small dogs, 41% of medium-sized dogs and 32% of large dogs sleep with their owners. The survey also found that 62% of cats sleep with their adult owners, and another 13% of cats sleep with children.” I wrote about this topic in my Care2.com blog, and 88% of readers have their pets sleep with them.

Gina sleeping with Lisa

Even though my dogs are part of my family and some people call me a crazy pet parent, I have to admit that my dogs were never invited in my bed, until recently. It all changed when I adopted Gina. Maybe it’s because she’s the smallest dog I’ve had in many years, but she is allowed in my bed by invitation only. Truth be told, the more I invite her, the more I want to have her sleep with me. I love the warmth in the winter, and the comfort of her cuddles all year round.

It started with just the occasional nap together and gradually grew into frequent nights in bed together after my nightly ritual of playing the piano for my dogs. Other nights she chooses to sleep downstairs in her dog bed, next to Sanchez. I’ve tried to entice Sanchez into my bed. But, even when I pay him (with treats) he doesn’t stay in my bed. He’s never been the affectionate type.

Abbie and Stella with CYC

My sister’s family recently adopted their first dog, Stella. From the picture (on the left), you can tell that she just loves to sleep with my 16 year old niece. This is a far cry from the shelter floor she slept on for over four months before she was adopted.

Do your pets sleep with you? If so, what are some of the benefits? Do the human family members in your household ridicule you for inviting your furry family into your bed? Thanks for sharing your stories in a comment below.

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23 Responses to Do Your Pets Sleep With You?

  1. Christy Summerfield says:

    Absolutely! I’ve had Doxies for years and years and they love nothing more than burrowing under the covers with me. Don’t know how I’d ever sleep without them. I’ve had other dogs who preferred to sleep on top of the covers, and cats who’ve slept under the covers with me too. My fur babies have always been welcome on my bed.

  2. Catherine says:

    I have slept with my fur kids since I came out of the military with severe PTSD and night terrors. Can’t sleep without them because I know they are there with me and will help me get through the night and allow to figure out what’s a nightmare or night terror and what’s real.

  3. brook gowin says:

    All of my pets throughout the years have been invited, coaxed and nearly forced to stay in bed with me. Some have chosen to snuggle year round, others only when they are cold, some nearly on me and others at my feet. I am always disappointed when they don’t want to.

  4. Fran says:

    Ive been blessed with 2cats and when its time to go to bed I tell them its family time. We say are prayers and off to bed we go. I wouldnt get a nights rest without my 4leggedkidz by myside. They are my babies I never had.

  5. Glenn Pladsen says:

    Yes, our dogs sleep under the covers! Katie, a 28 pound sheltie mix gets under and keeps our feet warm all night. Hildie, a 45 pound boxer mix likes snuggling between us, but usually sleeps the late hours in her bed next to my side of the bed. She loves to spend the evening with her head on my knee while we read or watch TV in bed.

  6. joan bright says:

    I’ve been blessed with a variety of dogs over the past 40 yrs.
    I could never pass up a stray and actually had 7 rescues and 4 stray cats at one time. (and one patient husband). All of these wonderful furry “kids” were welcome in the bed. I admit it was a little crowded, but I loved it. Many a night my husband ended up on the floor. Once I read “I’ve spent many nights at peace with myself…Alone with my dogs. It is at these times when I remember what is important to me. When memories are made.” That says it all!

  7. James says:

    While I and my wife have slept with our dogs, its a new experience nowadays as we adopted a stray cat a year ago. now we all sleep together on some occasions 🙂

  8. Marion angeletti says:

    Of course my 6 yr old black standard schnauzer sushi and my 15 yr old yoranian pepsi ( both girls) sleep with me on my super king size bed.. I cuddle them at night, they often sleep under the covers and it’s absolutely a blessing for me… Couldn’t sleep without them..

  9. Kathy Stankiewicz says:

    My three Chihuahuas sleep with me everynight. I had custom doggy steps built . Those are right up against my bed so they would always have access to my Bed.
    I could Never sleep without them….

  10. Maisie statham says:

    Petunia started it. She was a chihuahua given to my daughter when she was 13 and in early stages of leukaemia. Petunia was her confidant and constant bed companion and I attribute 1/3rd of recovery to Petunoa. I will forever be grateful. She died In my arms at 16 and she lives in our hearts forever. Since then my dogs are allowed in the house(contrary to the rules when I was growing up) and now my current two old rescue dogs sleep on the bed. Should have happened years ago.

  11. Pat says:

    All my dogs have been rescues, and all have slept with me. Now have two small dogs, and they both come to bed happily, sleeping on top of the covers w/their own little blankets. It gets a touch crowded at times, but mostly everybody knows their best spots. They are welcome and, even though morning wake-ups can be a little rowdy, I wouldn’t change it for the world….

  12. tammy says:

    My husband and I have always let our pets sleep with us. When it got too crowded, we got a bigger bed:)

  13. Sue Ann says:

    We have 2 black labs, brother and sister, Maverick and Dakota. They will be 7 in November. Even though they each have a bed on the floor, Maverick sleeps with us in our queen bed. He loves to lay on his back between me and my husband. Dakota alternates between the beds on the floor. In the morning we call Dakota to our bed. She first checks with Maverick and if he allows it she comes up to get her massage.

  14. Lynne says:

    I used to allow my dog to sleep on the foot of my bed until she became incontinent with old age. I can no longer allow this because the bedclothes & mattress would be ruined.
    I probably won’t allow pets to sleep on the bed in the future because I think it’s cruel to have to discontinue it once they’re used to it

    • Lisa Spector says:

      I’m sorry to hear she can no longer sleep in bed with you, but that makes sense. You might want to try only inviting her to sleep with you during short naps, after she has just relieved outside. Just a thought.

      While Gina isn’t invited into my bed every night, she’s always invited up for afternoon naps. And, she does know the difference. As soon as I lay down for a nap, she runs upstairs to wait for her invitation. But, she doesn’t do that at night time in the same prompt, consistent manner.

  15. Rhonda Jones says:

    My beautiful Beagle, Emma Kay, sleeps with me every night but not under the covers. She loves to sleep at the foot of the bed or stretched out up against me if it’s cold. I’ve tried to entice her to be more of a snuggler but she’s an independent kind of girl. My four cats all like to be up against me but not necessarily all at the same time. I’ve always loved having my fur babies sleep with me. Try having a Lab/Chow mix sharing a twin bed! My Nikki was quite the love bug and I would happily share something smaller just to have her back again.

  16. kelsey says:

    My beagle, max, has slept with me since he was a puppy and still looking for his mom. He loves to sleep under the covers and always starts watching me if I’m up too late past my bedtime. He knows exactly what time bed time is!! I wouldn’t trade it for the world. It comforts me greatly when I wake up from a night mare in the middle of the night and can feel him sleeping next to me.

  17. Cindy says:

    I have two schnauzers. The female glues herself to me under the covers most of the night, coming out occasionally to shake and cool off; whereas our male sleeps in his kennel all night but religiously gets in bed with us around 6 every morning without fail. Reminds me of what small children do with their parents. We also had to buy a bigger bed.

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