One of the most common reasons dogs get sent to shelters or put down is because they growl, bark, or bite at children. This is not always the fault of the dog. In fact, most of the time the reaction is a direct result of improper pet etiquette. By teaching your child how to interact with dogs, you can avoid negative tension and aggression in your household that may cause you to rehome your furry friend. Here are some tips for teaching your children about dog owner etiquette.
Are you anxiously waiting for the day that your puppy can sleep with you in bed? Many pet owners love having their pets sleep with them because it provides safety, security, and quality bonding all rolled into one. There are several factors that determine whether or not a dog is old enough to sleep with his or her owners. It’s important to wait for the right time to protect your puppy during this delicate stage of development. So, when is my puppy ready to sleep with me? Let’s find out…
It’s Not Just about Age
A lot of people ask “how old should my puppy be before sleeping in bed with me?” There is no right answer to that question. Some puppies may be ready to sleep in bed at 4 months old, but some may need to be 6 months old or older before they can sleep with you. Don’t focus on the number but rather your dog’s individual readiness for this big step. Only you can determine when that is.
Wait until Your Dog Is Potty Trained
Ideally, your dog should be close to fully potty trained before you allow him or her to sleep in bed with you. There are several reasons for this. First, you don’t want your dog to get in the habit of using your bed as a potty pad. This can be hard to break, especially if it happens in the middle of the night and you do not catch it. Once your dog is old enough to alert you when he or she needs to go to the bathroom, you don’t have to worry about finding unpleasant stains on your sheets in the morning.
The potty training phase also teaches your dog to control his or her bladder and bowels. If you have a puppy who is recently weaned from his or her mother, you may have to take the dog out once or twice in the middle of the night to use the bathroom. Over time, your dog will require less frequent trips out, until he or she can eventually sleep with you all night without interruption. Until that time, it is best to keep your dog in a crate or other confinement while you work with him or her on using the potty outside.
Consider the Size of the Puppy
If you have a small breed dog, you may want to wait until your dog is close to a year old before letting him or her sleep with you. Even then, you could be putting your dog at risk by having him or her in bed. For instance, if you accidentally roll over on your puppy in the middle of the night, you could do a lot of damage in a short amount of time. This applies to dogs of any size, but it is particularly true for small breeds. Consider how fragile your puppy is before inviting him or her under the covers.
Think about Your Sleeping Habits
Are you a hard sleeper? Do you toss and turn a lot? Are you liable to roll over on your dog and not notice, or will you sleep in one position all night? You need to consider your personal sleeping habits when you think about bringing your dog into bed with you. If you’re a light sleeper, think about how much a twitching puppy might bother you throughout the night. Will you be able to get the rest you need, or would it be better for the two of you to sleep separately?
Factor in all of these circumstances before you decide to let your puppy sleep with you, and you will have a great experience no matter what.