Don't Worry About Letting Your Dog Sleep On Your Bed

If you're a dog owner, there's a good chance that you sometimes let your dog sleep on your own bed. There's also a good chance that your non-dog-owning friends think that's disgusting and unhealthy. Well, they're wrong.

Picture by robandstephanielevy

Dogs NSW obviously gets a few queries on this point, as it has put out a media release discussing the issue. The conclusion that its resident vet, Dr Peter Higgins, reaches? It's certainly not a problem from a health perspective:

Dogs carry very few diseases that are transmissible to humans. That is a scientific fact. You would have more chance of catching something from a person coughing or sneezing.

Provided your dog is regularly washed, has its teeth brushed and is toilet-trained, there shouldn't be any problems. That's not to say it's compulsory — if your dog is happy with its kennel or bed in the laundry, you don't need to change your plans, but it's certainly not a problem if you (and anyone else in your bed) is happy with letting K9 curl up in the corner.



      no u!

    there are other problems with allowing your dog to sleep in the bed with you. because your letting the dog up on the bed to sleep with you they will think in the hierachy of the pack (yes dogs see us as one of their own in a pack) that they are equal to you and there is a high chance of it misbehaving, becoming protective of one person or the other (which leads to other problems).

    I whole heartedly agree that dogs are a lot cleaner in terms of bad germs than cats. there are other social and physcological things that need to be considered.

      Agreed. I'm strictly against having our dog sleep on the bed for all the reasons you pointed out. In fact, we try and keep him off all furniture. My partner and I still argue about what he's allowed on, and what he's not, but we've agreed that the bed is an absolute no-go zone.

      I really, honestly believe that a large part of a dog's happiness comes from good discipline and knowing where their boundaries are. We used to have our dog all over the furniture when he was young, but his behaviour become increasingly unruly. We reigned him in with training and discipline and he's a better, happier dog for it.

    Don't get me wrong, I like the idea of allowing my dog onto the bed, but surely it's not the *disease* angle that squicks us all out?

    I mean, they spend their days investigating interesting poo-related matters and traipsing through anything stinky. It's not so much the dog as what they've been near/in/sniffing that bothers me!

    People who let dogs sleep in their bed aren't doing anything else in their bed other than sleep!

    I object to the dogs sleeping on my bed purely because they are hairy and I don't want to clean my bed every day!

    the idea of germs and diseases is weirdly dogmatic these days.. oh god.. I just said dogmatic..

    Anyway as I was saying, people don't tend to base hygiene on any kind of understanding. You'll kick a clean dog off a bed for the same reason you'll wash your hands after petting them and before a meal, but the same reasoning isn't there. At the same time, you'll use a wash-cloth for months and months and, based on opinion and hearsay, either refrigerate leftovers as soon as you're done with them, or allow them to cool on the bench before you put them in the fridge.

    My pet hate (haha pet I'm on a roll) is washing hands in public rest rooms. I never, ever do this unless its a new door-less set-up or there are paper hand towels I can dry my hands on and operate taps and doors with. I know how clean my body is and I know how filthy a public restroom is and I'd rather not wash my hands than have to work the handles on doors (that open inwards? WHY?) to get out once I've cleaned them and they are moist. Some of the looks I get for that are amazing.

    I believe this press release from Dogs NSW is in the context of allowing dogs to sit near outdoor cafe tables. In recent years that law has been very heavily wielded in NSW by some council inspectors and cranky residents. Heaven forbid they should travel to UK or continental Europe and see well-behaved dogs :inside: pubs, cafes and restaurants!

    After having a dog in the house and sleeping on my bed for 12 years, I've found I'm far less susceptible to random environmental and ingested bugs that used to fell me regularly. As I recall the ACT health folks did a study of dog poo and found there wasn't much to worry about there.

    The issue of access vs hierarchy can still be dealt with (important as I have very large dogs) by making sure they respond to vocal commands to move, and that they learn to wait before doing something. There's never any doubt as to who's boss. I highly recommend Paul McGreevy's new book 'A Modern Dog's Life' for discussion on this matter.

    what if the dog has a nightmare and starts attacking the owner in the sleep..


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