Does Sleeping With Your Dog Build Your Bond? Explained

For many pet owners, the bond with their furry companions is incredibly important. Dogs, in particular, are known for their loyalty, affection, and ability to form deep connections with their human counterparts. 

As a result, it’s not uncommon for dog owners to share various aspects of their lives with their canine companions, including the bedroom. 

The practice of sleeping with dogs has sparked a debate among pet owners and experts alike, with some arguing that it strengthens the bond, while others believe it may lead to behavioral issues or hinder proper sleep hygiene. 

In this article, we will explore the question: does sleeping with your dog truly build your bond?

The Bond Between Humans and Dogs

Before delving into the topic at hand, it’s important to understand the unique bond that exists between humans and dogs. 

Dogs have been domesticated for thousands of years, and throughout history, they have evolved alongside humans, serving as companions, protectors, and working partners. 

This co-evolution has led to a deep emotional connection between humans and dogs, often described as a “man’s best friend” relationship.

Sleeping Together: Benefits for the Bond

Many dog owners choose to share their sleeping space with their beloved pets. 

Supporters of this practice argue that sleeping with a dog can indeed strengthen the bond between human and canine. Here are some potential benefits:

Enhanced Attachment: Sharing a bed with your dog allows for increased physical closeness and can contribute to a stronger emotional bond. The act of sleeping together promotes feelings of comfort, security, and warmth, which can be mutually beneficial for both the human and the dog.

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Stress Reduction: Dogs have a calming effect on humans, and their presence can alleviate stress and anxiety. By sleeping together, both the owner and the dog experience a sense of relaxation and security, leading to a more peaceful and restful sleep.

Increased Oxytocin Levels: Oxytocin, often referred to as the “love hormone,” is released during moments of physical affection.

 When a person sleeps with their dog, cuddling and physical contact increase the release of oxytocin for both parties, fostering feelings of love, trust, and connection.

Companionship and Emotional Support: Dogs are known for their unwavering loyalty and companionship. Sleeping together can provide emotional support, especially during times of loneliness or distress. 

Having a dog by your side can offer comfort and a sense of companionship, strengthening the bond between human and canine.

Potential Challenges and Considerations

While sleeping with your dog can have positive effects on the bond, it’s essential to consider the potential challenges that may arise:

Sleep Disruptions: Dogs are active creatures, and their movements during the night may disrupt your sleep. Frequent tossing, turning, or snoring can lead to sleep disturbances for both the owner and the dog.

Allergies and Hygiene: Some individuals may have allergies or respiratory issues triggered by sharing a bed with their pets. 

Additionally, dogs can carry dirt, allergens, or parasites into the bed, potentially impacting sleep hygiene and overall cleanliness.

Behavioral Issues: In some cases, allowing your dog to sleep in your bed may blur the lines of hierarchy and reinforce dominant behaviors. Dogs are pack animals by nature, and sleeping in the same bed may signal to them that they are on an equal footing with their owners.

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Finding a Balance

To make an informed decision about whether sleeping with your dog is right for you and your pet, it’s important to find a balance that works for both parties. Here are some suggestions:

Establish Boundaries: If you choose to sleep with your dog, it’s crucial to set boundaries. Designate specific areas or a separate bed for your dog within your bedroom to maintain personal space and minimize potential sleep disturbances.

Consider Individual Needs: Assess your own sleep requirements and those of your dog. If either of you consistently experiences sleep disruptions or discomfort, it may be best to consider alternative sleeping arrangements.

Consistency and Training: If your dog has not previously slept in your bed, introducing this practice should be done gradually. Implement training and reinforce boundaries to ensure that your dog understands when it is appropriate to join you in bed.


The decision to sleep with your dog ultimately depends on your personal preferences and circumstances. While it can strengthen the bond between human and canine, it’s essential to consider potential challenges and find a balance that suits both you and your pet. 

By maintaining boundaries, considering individual needs, and being mindful of sleep hygiene, it is possible to create a harmonious sleeping arrangement that fosters a strong bond while ensuring a restful night’s sleep for everyone involved.