Tails Blog

Sleeping with your best friend

Steve Coppell - Sunday, October 17, 2010

Lots of people sleep with their pets. In fact its estimated that as many as one in three of us share pillow space with our pet. For many, it is the secret deal we quite literally keep under cover. But by inviting our companion into the bedroom so they can sleep soundly, have we made ourselves too easy? No matter whether your mates sleep inside, outside or even between the sheets, look at what those arrangemments mean to the relationship between you and your pet.

Starting out
Young puppies and kittens are small, fragile and feel lonley when they arrive at their new home. So many of us feel we have to treat them to the full bed and breakfast experience. But is this comfy start neccessary or even smart? Well, it depends on two things:

The weather: Puppies and kittens not only lack body fat to keep warm, they also lack friends to cuddle up to. So if your area gets cold at night in winter,then bring them in from the cold. But where they go once they are inside is up to you.
And whether... this is what you want for life. Some people do enjoy letting their dog sleep in the bedroom (or bed). And thats fine. But realise that what they learn as a puppy will be hard to shake. If you cant be there for them all day,every day then letting them sleep in your room while theyre a puppy only delays the inevitable heartbreak. Plus they are alot louder and more destructive when they go through seperation anxiety in their adolescence! So decide how you want your adult dog or cat to live, and start providing that lifestyle to your puppy or kitten from the start. It will be easier in the long run.

Smart alternative
A puppy or kitten pad in the laundry, bathroom or spare bedroom often makes the most sense. You keep the youngsters out of the cold draughts, out of the bedroom and most importantly out of hearing range during those early few first few nights. If your intention is for them to sleep outdoors as they grow older, extended periods of seperation or tough love at sleep time will make the eventual transition outside easier.
To try to make things more homely, try:
A bed: anything from a folded blanket they can push and shape into a comfortable nesting spot or an old duvee will do. Just make sure its up off the ground.
Food and water bowls: keep nearby.
Toys: keep nearby.