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Should You Let Your Chihuahua Sleep With You

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Have you heard the controversy over whether letting your dog sleep with you is a good thing or a bad thing? There are actually good arguments for both letting them sleep with you and having them sleep in their own bed.

First things first, let’s address the health concerns. Yes, allergies can flare up, and there’s a slim chance you or your Chihuahua could transmit diseases to each other, but it’s quite rare.

Now, let’s dive into the benefits and considerations of letting your furry friend share your bed.

Chihuahua napping with young woman sleeping.

Benefits to Dog Owners of Sleeping with your Dog

Dogs are Warm

As a matter of fact, dogs have a body temperature about 3-6 degrees higher than humans and so, it just may feel good to sleep close to a dog on a cold night since they can really be an efficient means of getting the bed warm.

Such practices like this brought the term “three dog night” in Canadian Maritime Provinces where nights were usually very cold and it was a standard practice to keep dogs around you on your bed to keep you warm.

Dogs Help Us to Relax

Dogs have this magic power to chill us out. Feeling their calm breathing can help you drift off to dreamland faster, and they even release oxytocin – the “cuddle chemical”. So, they’re basically furry little therapists.

The cuddle chemical is a hormone that is associated with affection, happiness, relaxation, trust, and psychological stability.

A Feeling of Safety

Some people feel that sleeping with a dog beside them helps them to feel safe and gives them a sense of protection.

It doesn’t matter the size of the dog, especially when they lie in a dark room alone.

With your light-sleeping canine right by your side, he will alert you of anything out of the ordinary around your home, so you have little or nothing to worry throughout the night.

Man sleeping with chihuahua in his arms.

Health Benefits for Humans

Health Benefits for Humans

Improved Mental Health

Sleeping with your dog can help reduce stress, anxiety, and depression. The presence of your dog can provide emotional comfort and improve your overall mental well-being.

Better Sleep Quality

Some studies suggest that having a pet nearby can improve sleep quality. The rhythmic breathing of a dog can be soothing and help you fall asleep faster and stay asleep longer.

Benefits for Your Dogs

It Makes Dogs Happy

Some people say that they notice feelings of happiness from their dogs ever since they allowed their dogs to join them on the bed.

Dogs in the wild are known to sleep in packs. And you are the leader of their pack. So they must feel much better having their leader sleeping with them.

They Want to Stretch Out

Most dog beds are designed for circle or curled sleepers. If your dog doesn’t like the doughnut form of her bed as she lies down for the night, she definitely will seek an alternative.

Young blond woman snuggling chocolate chihuahua.

Health Benefits for Dogs

Bonding and Attachment

Sharing a bed can strengthen the bond between you and your dog. This close physical proximity can reinforce your dog’s sense of security and deepen your emotional connection.

Reduced Anxiety

Dogs that suffer from separation anxiety or other forms of stress may find comfort in sleeping close to their owner, leading to a calmer and happier pet.

Concerns of Sleeping with a Dog

Disease and Parasites

Possibly, the greatest concern dog owner will have about sleeping with their dog is the possibility of contracting a disease or parasites (such as fleas, ticks or worms) from their dogs.

As long as both of you are healthy and free of parasites, you’re good to go!

Sleeping sick fawn colored chihuahua.

Hurting Your Dog

Given that Chihuahuas are small, you might fear rolling over or kicking them in your sleep. If you’re an active sleeper, consider having them sleep in your room but in their own crate to avoid any accidents.

Snoring

It’s normal for some chihuahuas to snore. If you are a light sleeper, it will probably keep you up.

If you are an active sleeper, that’s a real possibility. So if you are afraid you will hurt your chi, maybe it would be best to have them sleep in your room, but in their own crate.

Deterrent to Romance:

If you sleep with a partner, having dogs in your bed, can make love making awkward. It’s something to consider if you share your bed with someone else.

Practical Tips for Co-Sleeping

Create Boundaries

Establish clear boundaries to ensure both you and your dog are comfortable. For example, designate a specific part of the bed for your dog.

In my case, I myself share a queen size bed with my 4 dogs. Bear, Lucy, and Ziggy each have their own little bed with their own soft blanket and they take up much of one side of my bed. Lucas sleeps on the pillow beside me.

They are all good about sleeping their space and are kind enough to leave me the other half of the bed. But on cold nights, or during thunderstorms I may have one or more snuggling under the covers with me.

Woman and male veterinarian checking brown and white chihuahua.

Regular Vet Visits

Ensure your dog is healthy and free from parasites by scheduling regular veterinary check-ups. Keeping up with vaccinations and preventative treatments is crucial.

Grooming and Cleanliness

Regular grooming can reduce shedding and minimize the amount of dirt and allergens your dog brings into the bed.

I found this out the hard way when I was a little lax about keeping the hair around Lucy’s private parts trimmed. One night after we were tucked in bed, I smelled poop. No, she didn’t poop in the bed but she did have some stuck on her hind quarters which got all over my comforter. Gross! I had to put the comforter in the washing machine and give Lucy a bath at midnight. Not fun but who wants to sleep in a poopy bed?

Wash your dog’s bedding and your own regularly to maintain hygiene.

Consider a Dog Bed in Your Room

If you’re concerned about space or disruptions, consider placing a comfortable dog bed next to your bed. This way, your dog can still be close without taking up bed space.

Monitor for Allergies

Be mindful of any signs of allergies, both in yourself and your dog. If you notice symptoms, it might be best to reconsider co-sleeping.

Long hair white and tan chihuahua on brown blanket.

Addressing Common Myths

Myth: Dogs Will Become Dominant

Some people believe that allowing a dog to sleep in your bed will make them think they are the pack leader. However, this is largely a myth. Consistent training and boundaries will prevent dominance issues.

Myth: Dogs Always Sleep Peacefully

Not all dogs are restful sleepers. Some may move around a lot, dream, or even have nightmares, which can disrupt your sleep.

A Few more Things to Consider

Here are some more points to ponder:

  • Obedience Training: Co-sleeping might complicate training and lead to behavior issues.
  • Sleep Disruptions: Your dog’s movements could disrupt your sleep.
  • Allergies: Make sure no one in the house has allergies that could be aggravated by having a dog in bed.
  • Space: Larger breeds or multiple dogs can take up a lot of space, which could be uncomfortable.
  • Cleanliness: Dogs can bring dirt into the bed, so regular grooming and washing of bedding are essential.
Young woman and chihuahua sleeping.

Bottom Line: Letting Your Chihuahua on the Bed is Your Choice!

Even though society as a whole may not necessarily approve of co-sleeping with your dog, due to the many benefits you may gain, I’d go for it if you want to.

If it is your choice whether to allow your Chihuahua on your bed with you, case closed!

So what are your views on letting your dog (or dogs) sleep with you? Do they sleep with you or not? Leave a comment and let us know.

ALSO READ:
How Long Do Chihuahuas Live?

How Much Sleep Do Dogs Need Each Day?

Are Chihuahuas Smart?

blond woman holding white chihuahua

Cathy Bendzunas

Pet Blogger

I have had dogs all my life. I have been a pet groomer, worked in a pet hotel, and a kennel, and have bred and showed dogs.

Faye Brentnell

Saturday 8th of June 2024

My Coco sleeps with me, usually curled up against my lower back. If she's on her other side, she tucks her feet under me.

Cathy Bendzunas

Sunday 9th of June 2024

Do you have any trouble turning over with her in that spot Faye?

Karen Emmons

Saturday 8th of June 2024

My chihuahua and rat terrier let my husband and I sleep with them! They have officially laid claim to the bed. Thank goodness it's a Cal King!! I wouldn't have it any other way!

Cathy Bendzunas

Sunday 9th of June 2024

I wish I had a big bed like that! Thanks for sharing.

Valerie Manon

Saturday 8th of June 2024

My dogs have always slept with me.I don't care what other people think. They will continue to sleep with me, as long as they are with me.

Cathy Bendzunas

Sunday 9th of June 2024

Same here. Thanks for sharing.

Karol Holloway

Friday 7th of June 2024

I have been single for almost 20 years and am not looking for a human relationship. I have had my baby, Kallie,since I lost my first Chihuahua some 15 years ago. Kallie is 8 years old now and we always sleep together!!!

Cathy Bendzunas

Sunday 9th of June 2024

Personally I'd much rather sleep with my dogs than a person. I like the name Kallie.

Penny

Friday 7th of June 2024

Trying NOT to let my small herd sleep with me was impossible. Arlo and Mila fame from an abusive situation,both are true cuddling pups. They've made themselves right "home" on my bed with Chewie, my elderly deaf and blind chi, and Jelly Bean, 3.5 lbs of pure tenacious bed hog! Each has their own spot, Jelly of course is behind my knees, Mila must be up on my back, head upon my shoulder. Chewie always next to Mom and Arlo, he sleeps wherever he wants. It's brutally cold in the winter here, then the burrow under heavy quilts! I'd have it no other way.

Cathy Bendzunas

Sunday 9th of June 2024

You have your own little electric heaters.