To crate train or not to crate train? That is the question. The overall debate is whether to train your puppy to sleep in their crate at night or let them sleep with you. While it may be up to personal preference, there are benefits to both.
Making sure your puppy is comfortable and happy is the first priority. Making sure that you both get the rest you need, is equally important. When crate training your puppy, create a positive association for their crate and ensure that they are not being forced in there, it is somewhere they want to go. It is important for the both of you to get a good night’s sleep, so here are some tips:
- Establish a sleeping place with your new puppy on the first night.
- Let your dog choose this space on their own.
- Don’t share a bed right away, let them get used to their sleeping arrangements. If you pup cries in the night, try not to comfort them. This will teach them that they cannot call for you whenever.
- Invite your dog into your bedroom and wake up on your own terms. They can wait for you.
- When changing their sleeping arrangements, make sure they have lots of exercise and food to tire them out.
Ultimately, you should be comfortable with your dog’s sleeping arrangements, whatever you choose. Crate training your puppy requires patience and can be a great choice for the family even if it isn’t used for sleeping and just for when you are out of the house.
Should you let your dog sleep with you? The benefits likely outweigh the disadvantages for a well-trained pup, and it may just be comforting for both of you and strengthen your bond. There can also be physical and mental health benefits, such as soothing anxiety and keeping you warm at night.
Disadvantages to sleeping with your pup is that it can affect your quality of sleep since dogs have shorter sleep cycles and can disrupt your own sleep patterns. As well as there are health concerns such as allergies you might have and the (although rare) transmission of diseases between animal and human. There are no definitive answers to these, and concerns should be addressed by your veterinarian.
While there can be a link between co-sleeping and behavioural problems, they can also be separate issues. If this is the case, having a separate place for your pet to sleep is an option that will provide you both with space.
If you have questions about sleeping patterns or behaviour, don’t hesitate to call us or come for a visit at Happy Paws Veterinary Clinic! We are happy to help.