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Should I Let my Chihuahua Sleep With Me? (Let Sleeping Dogs Lie)

When we first got our little Chihuahua mix my husband was adamant that he would not be sleeping in bed with us. It didn’t take long for our cuddly little Bear to change his mind. But we wondered should we really let our Chihuahua Puppy sleep in bed with us? He’s so little I wanted to make sure it was safe, and I was also curious how many other people have their little Chihuahua’s sleep with them, I asked other Chihuahua owners what they thought, and here’s what I found out.

Whether or not you should let your Chihuahua sleep with you is purely a personal choice. There are risks (like them falling out of the bed and getting hurt) and benefits (extra cuddles, greater security, and happy hormones for you both) either way you decide. If you do let your Chihuahua sleep with you, you should be sure that you are both healthy and parasite free, and take steps to make sure you do it safely.

Even though everyone has their own opinion about why or why not their little Chihuahua should sleep in bed with them ultimately you get to decide what’s best for you, so let’s explore all the different reasons that other owners have shared with me about the pros and cons of having their Chihuahua’s sleep in their beds. That way you will have all the information you need to make the decision that’s best for you.

Reasons Why you Should Let Your Chihuahua’s Sleep With You

  • Eases stress and anxiety
  • Extra warmth
  • Greater security
  • Morning cuddles and love
  • Decreases loneliness
  • Releases Oxytocin
  • Helps you bond with your dog
  • Makes your dog feel more secure

Dogs and humans have been sleeping together in some cultures for thousands of years, and for good reasons, just being close to your Chihuahua helps to increase your levels of Oxytocin (link to PubMed article) a powerful hormone that will help you unwind, destress, lower your heart rate and feel more relaxed. This is a perfect recipe for a great night’s sleep.

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Research shows that dog owners who share special bonds with their dogs benefit greatly from mental health benefits such as lower blood pressure, decreased stress, less anxiety and depression, and overall better health. Personally speaking, I have experienced the effects of anxiety and depression in my life, and having my little guy always near has helped me feel more calm and collected. If having him sleep next to me can help both him and I feel more peaceful, connected, and relaxed, then I say, yes, please!

Extra warmth and morning cuddles is another huge bonus for sharing your bed with a fluff ball! For some reason, I’m always feeling so cold-blooded. In the wintertime, I have my heating pad, a heated rice bag, and my puppy Bear snuggled up to me for extra heat. If you live in a colder climate your Chihuahua can be a great little heater crawled up next to you under the covers.

Reasons Why You Shouldn’t Let Your Chihuahua Sleep With You

  • Sleep quality could be affected
  • Could make allergies worse
  • Possible transmission of disease
  • Possibility of more separation anxiety
  • Could make resource guarding worse
  • Could make intimacy with your partner more challenging

There are some reasons that could lead us to hesitate or rethink the decision of letting our Chihuahua’s sleep with us. Dog and Human sleep cycles can actually differ quite a bit. If you or your dog is a fitful light sleeper it could be difficult to get enough deep sleep if your dog is waking you up constantly. If you and your pooch are constantly battling it out then you will probably be better off with them in their own bed.

I found it interesting that research shows smaller dogs actually have more frequent but smaller dreams than larger dogs. Sometimes I can tell when Bear is dreaming because he makes these cute little whining and squeaking noises. I like that I can be there for him when he’s having a bad dream so I can comfort him, but that could be a drawback for some.

If you suffer from seasonal allergies or allergies in general it could be a bad idea to let your little pooch snuggle on your pillow or in the covers after they have spent time going outside to use the bathroom. Pet dander can also be a big problem for allergy sufferers. Long hair Chihuahuas are known to be a better option for allergy sufferers as far as dander goes, but their long hair can trap allergens and bring them into bed with you. Short hair Chihuahua can produce more dander causing problems for allergy-prone owners.

One risk of letting your Chihuahua sleep with you could be the transmission of disease from your dog to you or you to your dog. According to the AKC, however this is rare and can be mostly avoided if you take precautions to maintain your dog’s health as well as yours. If you or your dog is sick it’s a good idea to have them sleep in a different area until they are better, but if you are used to sleeping with your pup beside you, that can be challening for both of you!

Something else to consider is your Chihuahua well trained or not. Making sure your Chihuahua is housetrained before you let them sleep with you can be a good idea. You don’t want to wake up to a little puddle of potty next to your face.

Does your Chihuahua follow you around everywhere? Mine does, and to tell you the truth, I kinda love it. If you are worried about your little guy having separation anxiety teaching him to sleep in his own bed could be a helpful step towards more independence.

Does your Chihuahua resource guard, if he growls at your or others when you get close to his food, his bed or other items he deems are his it’s important that you train him not to do this BEFORE you allow him to sleep in your bed. If this is your pooches attitude sleeping in bed with you could make him feel more dominant over you and less like you are in charge.

I won’t go into details, but I do have to admit it’s a little awkward to have our little Chihuahua try and get into the game or stare us down when my husband and I desire some intimacy. We used to be able to move his little stairs next to our bed and make him hang out on the floor for a bit, but now he’s big enough to jump on the bed himself we usually have to take an extra step to banish him to another room for a bit if we want to truly be alone for a while.

How to Safely Have Your Chihuahua Sleep With You

There are few things to consider when keeping your Chihuahua safe with you in your bed. Since Chihuahua’s are so small (usually under 6lbs) you’ll want to be sure that you have a good idea where your Chihuahua is in your bed especially the first few nights as you are getting used to him being there. Make sure your little guy has enough space and that they can easily move if needed.

Consider the age of your Chihuahua. When I asked Chihuahua owners what age they let their puppies start sleeping in their beds I got a variety of answers. They said anywhere from age 8 weeks all the way to 1 year old. Although the surprising majority say they let their Chihuahua puppies sleep with them from the first day they bring them home. Their advice is to make sure your puppy won’t fall off the bed and make sure they have a secure spot where you won’t roll over on top of them.

Another thing to consider is safety: how high up off the floor is your bed? If your Chihuahua jumps off your bed they could easily injure themselves. To solve this you could move your box Springs and mattress to the floor or what we did for our Chihuahua Bear was get these fabric stairs from Amazon I use these for our 6lb Chi Mix, and they fit perfectly at the end of our bed. We easily trained him to go up and down. Problem solved!

How to Get My Chihuahua to Sleep in His/Her Own Bed

If you decide to have your Chihuahua sleep in their own bed you will need to train them to do so. It’s best to decide from the beginning that this is how you want to proceed. If you start with them in your bed it will be harder to transition. Crate training is a good place to start.

1. Give them a comfortable bed of their own, This dog bed from amazon is a great option for small dogs like Chihuahuas. Depending upon their attachment to you, you may want to keep their bed in close proximity to where you sleep.

2. Make sure they are tired. Giving them plenty of exercise so they are good a tired before bedtime.

3. Be consistent. If you let your Maltese sleep in your bed with you sometimes it will be confusing for them and they are going to want to sleep with you all the time.

4. Put something in their bed that smells like you, and give them something to chew on.

5. Make sure everyone in the house is on the same page. If he can go find another bed to sleep in he won’t be sleeping in his own.

What Do Other Owners Do? Here is What They Say

Where else would they sleep? I have to put my cold feet on their warm little tummies.

Yes, I sleep with my baby girl chi, after all, she thinks it’s her king size bed!

I’ve been sleeping with Chi’s for 45 years now and highly recommend it!

No, my chi let’s me sleep with him…..in MY BED!!

Mine sleeps in his own bed. I’m a light sleeper plus I worry about him jumping off the bed and hurting himself.

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