It’s time to sleep. But your dog did something unusual.
Your pooch suddenly jumped on your bed.
Then laid down and closed their eyes. Plus, they snuggled themselves close to you.
And this made you wonder:
“Why is my pooch sleeping next to me?”
“Will it be fine if I let them be?”
In this article, you’ll discover:
- What science says about sleeping with your canine companion.
- 5 dangers that you should know about co-sleeping with your dog.
- 9 surprising reasons why your dog sleeps so close to you all of a sudden.
- And a lot more…
Table of contents
- Why does my dog sleep so close to me?
- 9 reasons why your dog sleeps so close to you (all of a sudden)
- #1: Your pooch is being affectionate
- #2: Your fur baby is jealous
- #3: Fido finds it rewarding
- #4: Your dog suffers from separation anxiety
- #5: Your pawed child is looking for warmth
- #6: Your fur pal is trying to comfort you
- #7: Your fur child is anxious
- #8: Your canine companion is resource guarding
- #9: Your fur baby is protective
- 5 dangers when your dog sleeps close to you
Why does my dog sleep so close to me?
Your dog sleeps so close to you because they’re affectionate, protective, happy, territorial, cold, sad, or scared. They might also find the behavior rewarding. Or they could be suffering from separation anxiety.
9 reasons why your dog sleeps so close to you (all of a sudden)
#1: Your pooch is being affectionate
Did you know that dogs are capable of feeling love?
Dr. Coren says that dogs have oxytocin.
“What’s that, Petya?”
It’s a hormone that makes us feel love. And also feel affection for others.
With this in mind, it could be the reason why they sleep close to you.
This might be their own way of saying “I love you.”
They’ll mostly do this if you’re showing them love too. You cand o that in multiple ways. A common one is being cuddly and affectionate with them.
A study suggests that oxytocin makes dogs seek human contact.
But that’s not all…
As some dog breeds are more clingy than others. These include:
- Golden Retriever.
- Italian Greyhound.
- Labrador Retriever.
- German Shepherd.
- Shetland Sheepdog.
#2: Your fur baby is jealous
Did you just bring another puppy home?
Or did someone from your family just had a baby?
If so, that could spark your dog’s jealousy. And be the reason why they sleep next to you.
Especially if they used to have your undivided attention. Then all of a sudden someone comes along. Which may take your attention away from them.
As a result, your dog will do things to make you focus on them.
They’ll glue themselves to you. You might even notice them following you everywhere you go. And this is just to prevent you from being with someone other than them.
A study suggests that dogs being close to their fur parents is a sign of jealousy.
Other than that, dogs also showed behaviors such as:
- Pushing their dog parent.
- Touching the object that they feel jealous of.
- Getting in between their human and the object.
#3: Fido finds it rewarding
How do you respond when your dog is near you?
Do you ignore them? Or do you pet them?
If your answer is the latter, there’s something you should know.
Responding to a dog’s behavior with attention means reinforcing it. Attention is considered a reward for dogs.
You’re making them learn that what they’re doing is rewarding. And a rewarding behavior is likely to be repeated.
Because dogs love rewards.
As a result, they’ll stay close to you more often. Which explains why your dog stays close to you during bedtime.
Further reading: 15 Reasons Why Your Dog Sleeps On You And Not Your Husband
#4: Your dog suffers from separation anxiety
I understand that life can be busy.
It’ll make you occupied. Sometimes, it takes you away from your pawed baby.
And this might trigger your pooch’s separation anxiety.
A study points out that separation anxiety affects a dog’s behavior. Results show that dogs seek more attention than usual from their human.
Let’s say you’ve been at work the whole day. You might notice your dog going crazy upon your arrival.
It’ll seem like they haven’t seen you for decades.
Missing their human will make them really clingy (even at night).
And that answers why they sleep with you. Aside from staying close to you, signs of separation anxiety include:
#5: Your pawed child is looking for warmth
Is it a chilly night? Or did the snow start falling?
If yes, that could make dogs sleep with their humans.
It’s true that dogs have fur. But that doesn’t make them incapable of feeling cold.
Cold temperatures make dogs search for warmth. And your warm bed might be accessible for them at the moment.
Plus, your own body heat will be enough to warm them.
Did you know that a dog’s fur has different cold capacities?
It may depend on their:
The skin helps a dog to keep their body warm. The larger the size, the more they can survive the cold.
Toy breeds (such as Pomeranians and Chihuahuas) won’t be able to stand cold temperatures. That’s because they have a smaller skin surface.
Skinnier dogs are more likely to feel cold than ones with more body fat. This is because body fat serves as a natural insulator. So, those who don’t have much of it are prone to coldness.
Dark-colored coats can absorb more heat than lighter ones.
Dogs who’ve been raised in colder places can handle cold more than those who don’t.
Thick coats provide more warmth than short and thin layers of fur.
Age and health
Old and sick dogs are prone to coldness. Their condition will make it hard for them to regulate their body temperature.
#6: Your fur pal is trying to comfort you
How’s life been lately?
Is there something that’s bothering you?
If so, your dog might be sensing you’re sad.
And that could explain why your dog sleeps next to you. This might be their way of comforting you.
A study proves that dogs respond more if their human is in distress. Particularly if they hear their human crying.
Here’s the story of Charmy, my friend’s fur baby. She’s a 3-month-old puppy.
My friend is having a problem with Charmy’s puppy biting. But that’s another issue.
So, here’s what happens. There’s a time where she got annoyed with Charmy’s biting. Then, my friend pretended to be hurt.
She cried loudly and covered her face. Hoping Charmy would stop biting her.
And guess what happened next?
Charmy stopped biting her. At first, the little pup just stared at her. But after a few seconds, she came near my friend’s face.
My friend continued to cry. She wanted to see what would Charmy do.
And Charmy didn’t fail to amaze her. The pooch moved really close to her and started licking the hands that covered her face. As if saying…
“I’m sorry, Mom. Please, stop crying.”
From then on, my friend talks about this experience to everyone. She seems really proud of her empathetic pawed baby.
And your dog might be just like Charmy. A concerned pooch who doesn’t want their fur parents down.
#7: Your fur child is anxious
Dogs need us more than we know.
There are things that can be worrisome to dogs. And sleeping with you might help them cope with it.
SPCA says that human contact helps anxious dogs relieve their stress.
Anxiety in dogs may be caused by:
- Loud noises.
Symptoms of anxiety in dogs are:
- Destructive behavior.
- Excessive vocalization.
- Repetitive or compulsive behaviors.
#8: Your canine companion is resource guarding
Dogs sleeping close to you could mean that they’re guarding their resources.
This behavior is called resource guarding. Which refers to dogs protecting their valuable possessions.
Wondering why they behave like this?
AKC says that this occurs if dogs think something will be taken away from them.
An example of this is when dogs are protective of their:
- Dog bed.
- Favorite spot.
- Feeding bowl.
- Food or treats.
And you can also be one of them. Dogs are aware of what you’re doing for them.
Such as giving them food, water, and something to play with. As a result, you’ll be a highly valued possession for them.
So, they’ll guard you. Making sure that their source of needs won’t be gone.
You might also like: 13 Reasons Why Your Dog Sleeps With You Every Night + Tips
#9: Your fur baby is protective
Some dogs are naturally protective. And that could be seen how close they guard their human.
Dogs are instinctive beings. They can sense if there is threat around. So, they’ll be alert if they sense one around. And even if they don’t.
And this might be the reason why they sleep close to you. This is so that they can protect you easily.
If someone breaks into your house, they’ll take action right away. They’ll alarm you and protect you from intruders.
Dog breeds that are known to be protective are:
- Great Dane.
- Cane Corso.
- Great Pyrenees.
- Giant Schnauzer.
- German Shepherd.
Also check out: 15 Amazing Reasons Why Your Dog Sleeps On Your Bed + 9 Tips
5 dangers when your dog sleeps close to you
#1: Potentially disturbs sleep
Are you a light sleeper?
If so, sleeping with a pooch might disturb your sleep.
Study shows that sleeping with dogs causes 50% of movements in humans.
Aside from that, you might be anxious when sleeping with Fido. You might worry that you’ll roll over them.
Also, a dog’s body is pretty warm. So, if you get easily hot, sleeping with dogs might be challenging for you.
#2: Aggravates allergies
Did you know that dogs can be a carrier of allergens?
Our environment has a lot of allergens. Say, your dog loves staying outdoors. Such as running and playing outside.
There’s a possibility that allergens will stick to Fido’s fur and paws. Which includes pollen and dust.
And they’ll bring those allergens when they come inside the house. Sleeping with them might cause you to inhale those. And might spread on your bed and pillow sheets.
If this happens, symptoms of allergies will occur. Here’s what you have to watch out for:
- Red and itchy eyes.
- Runny, itchy, and stuffy nose.
Warning: Some people are more prone to be allergic to dogs. Such as people with asthma and people with sensitive skin. And their allergic reactions might be severe.
For instance, severe skin reactions might occur. An example of it is the breaking of the skin.
Others may also suffer from face and chest rashes.
#3: Possible spread of disease
Aside from allergens, dogs may also carry diseases. And contact with dogs makes humans susceptible to infection.
Dr. Heather says that may spread diseases through:
- Touching feces.
- Licking an open wound.
Also, humans can be affected by parasites through contact with dogs. Such as hookworms and tapeworms.
Study shows that dogs may have zoonotic diseases. 68% showed that they have enterobacteriaceae. Which refers to a large family of bacteria on their fur or footpads. While 14% of them have fleas.
#4: Risks of sleep aggression
Dogs with behavioral problems are risky to sleep with. Especially if the dog has sleep aggression.
Sleep aggression is when dogs startle from their sleep. And causes them to be unintentionally aggressive.
If your dog has this behavior, there’s a high chance they might hurt you. Say, you unconsciously roll over them during your sleep. It may cause them to startle and bite you.
#5: Threat of fleas
Does your dog often scratch?
If so, they could’ve gotten fleas.
These tiny parasites cause irritation in a dog’s skin.
Ever wonder how dogs can have fleas?
For example, your pawed baby often plays outside or interacts with other dogs. Fleas may jump from the infected dog to your pooch.
That’s when problems arise. Aside from irritating a dog’s skin, it may affect humans too.
It’s true that fleas can’t live in humans. But they can bite people. Staying close with a dog with fleas will cause this to happen. And more likely if you sleep with them.
If you happen to be bitten by a flea, here’s how you can spot it:
- A red “halo” around the bite center.
- Bites that appear as small and red bumps.
- Bites in groups of 3 or 4, or in a straight line.
Note: There’s no need to panic if you’re bitten by a flea. You can treat this by:
- Washing the bite area with soap and water.
- Applying an anti-itch cream.
- Avoiding scratching the area for faster healing.