Caitlin UltimoPet Lovers / Pet Parenting

Sleeping in Bed With Your Dog: The Essential Guide

Our dogs make for some of the cutest of faces to wake up to, but that doesn’t mean that sharing a bed will always lead to a good night’s sleep—for you, that is. If you and your dog turn-in together, you surely have found yourself in a few not-so-comfortable positions. Alas, their adorable snoozing keeps you from disturbing their peaceful slumber.

Here are a few nighttime spots your pet loves and some ideas for making it less of a pain in the neck, back, arm, and…well, you get the picture.

Position 1: The Butterfly

Dog in bed - the butterfly

Illustrations by Josh Carter

How it looks: Your dog cuddles up in between your legs, forcing your muscles to stretch.

Learning to sleep with it: Your pet is helping you gain a little flexibility. Night after night you’ll feel a bit looser, adapting to his sweet spot.

Position 2: Night Cap

Dog in bed - the night cap

Illustrations by Josh Carter

How it looks: We’re not talking about a late night cocktail; a favorite position of the smaller set, the night cap is when your dog decides that your head looks like the perfect spot to fall asleep.

Learning to sleep with it: Sleeping face-up is good for your back and neck, so embrace the spot. Your pet just has your best interests at heart.

Position 3: Middle Man

Dog in bed - the middle man

Illustrations by Josh Carter

How it looks: This is when your pet decides they is going to do like the humans do, and sleep head on pillow and paws over blanket right in between you and your partner.

Learning to sleep with it: Stay on your side and sleep as you like. Just don’t roll over into their zone.

Position 4: Lap Dog

Dog in bed - the lap dog

Illustrations by Josh Carter

How it looks: Your dog laid out straight or cuddled up in a ball on top of your stomach.

Learning to Sleep with it: Dogs of all sizes can be lap dogs in bed, so if your dog is on the larger-side, sorry, there’s not much you can do to make yourself more comfortable. If they’re small, you may be able to prop your back up a bit on your pillow taking pressure off your lower back. Just don’t shift around too much.

Position 5: Chin Up

Illustrations by Josh Carter

How it looks: This is for dogs who keep their head up at all costs, whether that means using your ankle, leg, knee, wrist or elbow as a pillow for their chin.

Learning to sleep with it: While the limb of your dog’s choosing must stay still, you can contort the rest of your body until you find a good spot to rest.

Position 6: The Spoon

Dog in bed - the spoon

Illustrations by Josh Carter

How it looks: Your dog’s back is flush to your stomach (they’re the little spoon) or your back is flush to their stomach (they’re the big spoon).

Learning to sleep with it:Rubbing their tummy or back for a bit will let him know you’re near. Because they’re not physically preventing you from moving, you can eventually roll over to your side of choice… just don’t be surprised if they finds their way back to your side.

Position 7: Face to Face

Illustrations by Josh Carter

How it looks: Face to face; nose to nose; paws to hands.

Learning to sleep with it: If your dog is a snorer, I’d suggest getting earplugs.

Position 8: Parrot Style

Dog in bed - Parrot style

Illustrations by Josh Carter

How it looks: When your pet pops a squat on your shoulder.

Learning to sleep with it: Snuggling your chin into their side can make for a warm soft pillow.

Position 9: Master of the Bed

Dog in bed - Master of the bed

Illustrations by Josh Carter

How it looks: When you and your pet start out in your own spots, but you wake up in the middle of the night practically hanging off the side of the bed.

Learning to sleep with it: To scooch or not to scooch – that is the question. The answer: Well, it depends on how comfortable you find your bedroom floor.

Position 10: The Burrito

Dog in bed - the Burrito

Illustrations by Josh Carter

How it looks: Your dog is rolled up tight hogging all of the blankets.

Learning to sleep with it: Leave a spare blanket on the side of the bed, just within reach.

Position 11: Bridging the Gap

Dog in bed - Bridging the gap

Illustrations by Josh Carter

How it looks: When your dog stretches themselves out over your legs and your partner’s legs.

Learning to sleep with it: Your dog just wants to be sure they can keep tabs on you both throughout the night, take comfort in the fact that your dog has your back—um… or calves.

Position 12: Foot Warmer

Dog in bed - Foot warmer

Illustrations by Josh Carter

How it looks: Your dog lies across your feet at the foot of the bed.

Learning to sleep with it: Again, your dog is really just thinking of you. They don’t want your feet to get cold! So let them do their job and try not to kick your legs while you sleep.

At the end of the day, whether you find yourself with one dog in bed with you or a few, you may just want to go to sleep with this motto in mind: If they’re comfortable; you’re comfortable.


Caitlin Ultimo is a writer & editor who has been published on Pet360 & PetMD her work specializes in pet, family & beauty writing.

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