Tag: care dog

Should You Really Be Letting Your Dog Sleep In Bed With You?

Picture this: you’re all settled into bed and you hear the familiar pitter patter of paws in the hall. Then comes the jump up on the bed and soon enough your dog is snuggled right under the covers the with you. If this feels like a familiar scene, you aren’t alone. Countless dog owners let their furry friends sleep with them. But the question is, should you really be letting your dog sleep in bed with you?

We’ve got the answers.

Pros

Bonding

Over 71% of pet owners let their pets occasionally share their bed. And now researchers say that if you’re already in that percentile, there is no need to stop – especially if everyone sleeps soundly. There are numerous psychological benefits to the feelings of safety and warmth that a pup provides while in bed.

Happiness

Certain research has shown that both you and your pup might benefit from cuddling in bed together. Touching or petting benefits increases oxytocin levels in humans’ brains. Oxytocin, also known as the ‘cuddle chemical’, helps increase our feelings of safety and trust.

Pack-Mentality

If you have more than one pup, sharing the bed can be an awesome way to increase the pack-mentality of the group. Wild dogs sleep together in the wild as a pack and the same rings true for domestic pups.

Cons

Health Issues

If you suffer from any allergies or asthma, it’s probably not a good idea to let your dog sleep with you. Furthermore, some research says that dogs can bring potentially harmful bacteria and viruses to bed – including fleas and ticks.

Sleep Interruption

One of the biggest cons to having your pup sleep with you is that they can cause serious sleep disturbance – especially if you or your dog moves around a lot.

Dominance Problems

This can be a con if your dog already has an issue with the family hierarchy. Sharing a bed with a hierarchical-challenged dog may make matters worse. But if your dog doesn’t exhibit any these tendencies, you should be in the clear.

Love Killer

If you share your home (and bed) with another human, adding a pup in there can kill the romance. This may especially true for energetic puppies or bigger dogs that love to sleep right in the middle of you.

Trouble Boarding

An often glossed over con for co-sleeping with your dog is that it makes it hard to travel with or without them. If they aren’t comfortable in a crate, it may be more difficult to find a dog sitter willing to share their own bed. It may also be harder to find a hotel that either allows dogs or with a big enough bed.

The Verdict

The verdict here is that it is generally fine to share your bed with your pup – as long as you’re sleeping well. If you suffer from insomnia or generally have trouble sleeping, a dog in the bed is only going to make matters worse. And, if you have any allergies or asthma, consider nixing the bed-sharing.

But, there are numerous benefits to sleeping with your pup. You get increased levels of oxytocin and your dog gets a sense of love and security. Plus, it makes cuddling with your pup a whole lot easier.

12 Tips to Get The Most Out Of Going To The Dog Park

One: Make Sure They’re Well Behaved On-Leash

Before you attempt to take your dog to the dog park and let them run off-leash, make sure they’re well behaved on-leash. 

Because there are a lot of new things to see and smell at the dog park, your pup might be tempted to behave erratically.

If your dog doesn’t behave on-leash, they’re not ready for the dog park. 

Two: Know Where They Are At All Times

Dog parks are big, open, and full of dogs. It’s ultra easy for your dog to wander away. They can go out of sight without you even noticing. 

Because of the general confusion at dog parks, it’s a must to keep track of your pup. 

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Three: All Introductions Done On-Leash First

When dogs meet, they like to be on equal footing. When one dog is leashed and the other isn’t, it can make the leashed dog fearful or defensive. 

It will also let your dog know that you’re in control of the walk, their behavior, and their protection. 

Four: Practice Off-Leash At Home First

If you have a yard, or a small area at home where you feel safe, let your dog practice being off-leash there. 

If they have any doggie friends, bring them over to practice with your pup. This gives your dog the opportunity to be off-leash with other dogs around. 

Five: Try Off-Leashed In A Fenced Area

Go away from your yard to a place with a secure fence. Tennis courts and baseball fields are good for this. Let your dog off-leash to practice for the park. Look for triggers of bad behaviors and correct them in practice. This can help save your dog’s life. 

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Six: Make Sure They’re Mind Their Manners First

If your dog is misbehaving in the practice areas, do not go to the dog park until you feel they are reasonably perfect. 

Seven: Pay Attention

Cesar Milan is fond of saying that most dog park problems come from owners “checking out” once their dogs start to play. They get lost in conversations, texting or emailing, or watching videos on their phone. Even well behaved dogs can get spooked and dart away. For your dog’s safety, pay attention at all times. 

Eight: Practice Commands

The more familiar and efficient your dog is following commands, the safer they’ll be at the park. 

Nine: Watch For Over-Possessiveness Or Guarding

Being around strange dogs can trigger your dog to resource guard. This leads to a lot of fear biting and fear-aggressive incidents. If you notice your dog becoming possessive of a toy, ball, or any other object, step in and correct them. 

Ten: Praise Good Behavior

Every minute at the dog park, and right after, is an opportunity to reenforce good behaviors. Make sure you correct the bad, but praise and reward the good as well. 

Eleven: Watch Water Intake

Dogs can easily slip into dehydration when at the dog park. There is a lot of excitement and activity. Make sure your dog is drinking water while you’re there, and that they take breaks as needed. 

Twelve: Exercise Away From The Park Too

Don’t rely on the dog park for your dog’s exercise. There is a lot of physical activity, but there’s also a lot of energy and excitement. Walking is still needed. Walking to the park, especially if the walk is 10-mins or more, is a great way to exercise and drain excess energy from your pup to prevent behavior problems while running around the dog park. 

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