When we first got our little Maltese 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 Maltese sleep 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 Maltese’s sleep with them, so here’s what I found out.
Whether or not you should let your Maltese sleep with you is purely a personal choice. There are risks (like them falling out of the bed and getting hurt) and benefits (benefits of cuddles and happy hormones for you both) either way you decide. If you do let your Maltese 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 Maltese 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 Maltese 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 Maltese Sleep With You
- Eases stress and anxiety
- Extra warmth
- Greater security
- Morming cuddles and love
- Decreases lonliness
- Releases Oxytocin
Dogs and humans have been sleeping together in some cultures for thousands of years, and for good reasons, just being close to your Maltese 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 dog benefit greatly from mental health benefits. 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 nighttime or morning cuddles are a huge plus for having your Maltese in bed with you. I asked owners if how much their Maltese liked to cuddle with them. Find out the answer in this article!
For some reason I’m always feeling so coldblooded. In the winter time I have my heating pad, a heated rice bag, and my Maltese Bear snuggled up to me for extra heat. If you live in a colder climate your little fur ball can be a great little heater crawled up next to you under the covers.
Reasons Why You Shouldn’t Let Your Maltese 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.
There are some reasons that could lead us to hesitate or rethink the decision of letting our Maltese 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 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. Their longer hair can trap allergens and bring them into bed with you.
Something else to consider is your Maltese well trained or not. Making sure your Maltese 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 Maltese 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. Check out this article I wrote about how to tell if your Maltese’s resource guarding is caused by Jealousy. 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.
Check out THIS ARTICLE on Paws and Learn to find out just how much sleep is normal for your Maltese dog.
Does your Maltese follow you around everywhere? Mine does, and to tell you the truth, I kinda love it. One of my favorite things about Maltese’s is how much they love to be with you and cuddle! 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.
How to Safely Have Your Maltese Sleep With You
There are few things to consider when keeping your Maltese safe with you in your bed. Since Maltese’s are so small (usually under 10lbs) you’ll want to be sure that we have a good idea where your Maltese 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 Maltese. When I asked Maltese 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 Maltese 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 Maltese 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 Maltese mix 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 Maltese to Sleep in His/Her Own Bed
If you decide to have your Maltese 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, I like this option for small dogs. 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
“Both of my girls sleep with us. There have never been any issues. They both sleep in the middle of our bed curled up like little squirrels.”
“When we got our little girl in the age of 12 weeks she first slept in her basket beside my bed. Around six weeks later my husband started taking her into our bed in the morning. Probably you can guess the end of story … now she’s sleeping in the middle of us, mostly close to me and I never would have it in another way!”
“Ruby slept with us all winter but since the beginning of summer she has insisted on sleeping by herself (either in her little bed beside our bed or she will sometimes leave and sleep on the couch). I’m not sure why she changed her sleeping pattern. Our guess is that it’s too warm for her to sleep on the bed with us in the summer (even though we have a/c) but in the winter it’s colder and she likes to snuggle.”
“Gail used to sleep with me when she was a puppy but since she’s getting more ‘sticky’ with me, I’ve no choice to train her to sleep at her pen in some occasion like when my family came to visit, she needs to sleep in her pen as my sister has allergies so she can’t sleep with me during the visit time.”