As pet owners, we know that dog beds aren’t the cheapest investment in the world. In fact, we spend quite a bit of money on dog beds. I remember when I was first introduced to memory foam dog beds. It was a recommendation for my oldest dog Lucy. Lucy was a 15 year old chihuahua at the time. She suffered from arthritis and other health conditions.
Prior to buying a memory foam dog bed, we only used cheaper dog beds. This was mostly because money was tight. But, in order to keep Lucy as comfortable as possible, we took our veterinarian’s advice and purchased a memory foam dog bed. I can honestly say, we haven’t looked back since then. Every single bed in our home consists of memory foam. That is including our own bed, too.
Before we bought our first memory foam dog bed, Lucy slept in the bed with us. I wasn’t exactly comfortable with this idea. Mostly because she was just shy of 5 pounds. I would feel horrible if I accidently rolled over on her during the night. But, when we bought the memory foam dog bed, she didn’t exactly jump for joy.
Honestly, I wasn’t happy she didn’t love her bed at first. Mostly because I spent a good bit of money on it. But, I was also upset because of how beneficial the veterinarian said a memory foam dog bed would be for her. It felt as if we tried everything at first to get her in her own bed. This usually resulted in sleepless night. She would spend, what seemed like hours, scratching and whining at the door. Most nights we just gave in, anything for a good night's sleep.
Why Shouldn’t You Let Your Dog Sleep in Your Bed?
The main reason you shouldn’t let your dog sleep in your bed is pretty obvious above. It is hard to get them out of your bed once they are in it! But, there are other reasons aside from that.
You don’t have to be allergic to your dog for them to flare up your allergies. Do you bathe your dog before he or she gets in your bed? If you are, here’s a quick side note. Technically, that isn’t good for their skin. If not, like most of us, whatever they come in contact with throughout the day can easily be brought to bed with them. So, you may not necessarily be allergic to your dog. But, you may be allergic to what he or she brings to bed.
Allergies aren’t the only reason sleeping with your dog is frowned upon. Another reason is due to the fact you may just not be getting a good night’s sleep. You may not notice your dog interrupting your sleep. But, even a little kick from a leg can disrupt your sleep.
Simply put, it’s time for you to gain back control of your bed.
How to Get Your Dog to Sleep in Their Own Bed
According to VetStreet’s veterinarian, Dr. Marty Becker, there’s a simple solution to this. Get your dog their own bed. Then make sure they don’t get in your bed again. But, maybe you’re like me. Sleeping through the constant whining is tough. Especially if you have a persistent dog like our Lucy was.
Dr. Becker also states that the most important thing is to be consistent. If you want them in their bed -- you can’t give in. You HAVE to keep them away from your bed. But, how do you do this and still get a good night’s rest?!
There are quite a few ways that you can accomplish this. I don’t want you making the same mistakes I made with Lucy. So, here’s a few tips that may help you finally get your dog in his or her own bed -- at last!
Put familiar items in your dog’s new bed.
Obviously you want to make your dog’s bed a place where they WANT to go. What better way to do that than add some of his or her favorite belongings in their new bed? If they have a favorite toy (or three..), throw it in the bed.
Maybe toys aren’t your dog’s “thing”. Instead, maybe he or she has a blanket that they love. Put that in the bed. Make their new dog bed “welcoming”.
2. Give your dog the feeling of you being close in their new bed.
Some dogs just don’t have a favorite item. I know that is true for my oldest Carolina dog mix. Instead you can add something to the bed that reminds them of their favorite person in the house. Is that person you? If so, you lucky dog! If not, well, maybe next time.
Whoever your dog seems to attach themselves to -- grab a piece of their clothing that smells like them. Toss it in your dog’s new bed. They will feel like that person is near while they accustom themselves to their brand new dog bed.
3. Teach your dog basic obedience commands.
You’re probably wondering what teaching basic obedience commands has to do with a dog sleeping in their own bed. Well, while it may not change the outcome, it is definitely beneficial.
Start with a simple leash walk over to your dog’s bed with them. Have them get in the bed and place them in the “down” position. When they do this, reward them with a treat. Viola! Loving the bed = a reward. They are loving this new bed already.
4. Get your dog a comfortable dog bed.
Take a second to put yourself in your dog’s “paws” for a second. Let’s say you’ve spent time in a big, comfy bed. Then, all of a sudden, you’re kicked out of this bed. Instead, where you sleep is replaced with a flat surface, on a cold floor. Let reality set in for a second there. That’s not a move you would want to make, is it?
The same goes for your dog. They don’t want to be kicked out of your bed to something less desirable. Especially if they have had the opportunity to sleep in your bed for quite a while. If you’re going to kick them out -- give them something comfortable to kick them out onto.
If you’re looking for a great option, you’ll love the PetFusion Ultimate Pet Bed and Lounge. It’s seriously the closest your dog can get to laying on your big, comfy mattress. This memory foam dog bed has a ton of great features. Features such as a SOLID memory foam base, a water resistant cover, and a non-skid bottom.
In reality, memory foam dog beds are going to be the closest your dog will get to your bed. Memory foam dog beds aren’t just comfortable. They also offer support for your dog’s joints and muscles. Most of them even come with a removable, waterproof cover. This makes memory foam dog beds super easy to clean, too.
5. Positive reinforcement and rewards.
A lot of dogs are food motivated. I know that mine personally are. But, food isn’t the only reward you can give. Rewards can be given in kind words such as “good boy”. Even your dog’s favorite toy can be a reward. I mean, in the long run, you don’t really want to have to give your dog a treat every single time he or she gets in their own bed.
But, in the beginning having a reward system may really help your dog enjoy their bed. So, the process is simple. When they get in their bed, either with your direction or by themselves, reward them with a treat. Let them know you’re proud of them. This will definitely make them want to get in their own bed more often.
Getting Your Dog to Sleep in Their Own Bed Isn’t Impossible!
If you want your dog to sleep in their own bed -- it isn’t impossible. The biggest thing you have to do is to keep them out of your bed. Some nights may be harder than other. But, when you’re training a dog it’s important to be consistent in your training. Once you slack off, they’ll think the behavior is okay again.
Now, maybe your dog sleeping in your bed doesn’t bother your sleep and/or health. If not, that’s great. In fact, a lot of veterinarians will tell you to keep letting them sleep there if nothing is harmed by it. But, in the long run, your dog being comfortable in their own bed is probably the best step.