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Rover, Move Over! AKC Offers Tips on Sleeping With Your Pet

(Friday, July 06, 2007)

Did you know that an AKC survey revealed that 21% of dog owners stated the reason they let their dogs sleep with them at night is to keep warm?  And in the case of who—or what—occupies most of the bed space, 44% of respondents admitted their dog takes up the most room.

Speaking of sleep, do you have a cute and cuddly, or “howlingly” funny picture of your dog dozing off?  You can enter your photo in the National Sleep Foundation’s “My Pet Loves Sleep Contest.”  For information on how to enter the contest, which runs through September, visit the National Sleep Foundation website at: www.sleepfoundation.org/pets.

If you do allow your dog to share your bed, the AKC recommends a few safety tips to ensure a good night’s sleep for you and your pooch:   

  1. Let the dog on the bed as an “invitation only” rather than an “automatic” right. This way you can decide when and where the dog can come on the bed and that puts you in charge.
  2. Always provide an alternate sleeping area either on the floor or a separate bed for the dog should he get tired of sleeping with you!
  3. Make sure your pets are free from parasites like fleas, ticks and worms before you let them near your pillow.
  4. Large dogs take up a lot of room so make sure the bed is big enough for everybody before that first invitation gets them in the habit of hopping up. 
  5. Small dogs can be easily injured jumping or falling off a tall bed. Give small dogs their own plush bed on the floor right next to the bed or invest in a ‘doggy’ staircase.
  6. Stairs are also recommended for long-backed dogs like Dachshunds and Basset Hounds or for senior dogs with sensitive backs.
  7. Puppies should stay in crates in the bedroom or elsewhere in the house until they are older, more physically able to jump on and off the bed and are completely housebroken. 
  8. To keep blankets and bedspreads clean, cover the bed with a thin sheet to trap dirt from a dog’s paws. 


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