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Where Does Your Dog and Cat Sleep?

By Michele C. Hollow of Pet News and Views

A friend of mine recently purchased a dog bed. It matches the décor in her bedroom. Her dog, however, refuses to use it because he has been sleeping on my friend’s bed for the past five years.

Why the Change?
My friend’s boyfriend just moved in, and they thought the dog would like an oversized bed of his own.

Can You Teach a Middle Aged Dog a New Trick?
You can’t expect your dog to take to the new bed instantly—especially if he has been sleeping on your bed or on the sofa for a number of months or years. It’s easier if you get the dog bed before you get the dog. This way you could train him to use the bed from the start. 

If you decide to get a doggy bed and want your dog to use it, make sure the bed is in a quiet spot that doesn’t get a lot of foot traffic. It could be in a corner in your bedroom, so he can see you when he settles down. Or it can be in a home office near your desk. Put your dog’s favorite chew toy in the bed. Then place your dog in the bed. If your dog is too big to carry, lead him to the bed. You can point and say, “your bed,” a few times, and each time he goes in his bed, reward him with a “good dog” and a treat. Then tell him to “stay,” and walk away.

Some people prefer over sized pillows instead of dog beds with a frame.

He will probably follow you. Each time, bring him back to the bed; say “good boy,” give him a small treat, and then walk away. Expect to do this a number of times. Repetition works well.

Cat Beds
Cats like to sleep up high. They love sunlight and warm spaces. So position your cat bed in a warm sunny spot. You can place it on a sofa, so it is up off the floor.

Personally, my cat, Earl Gray, sleeps on an old easy chair in the living room when we are in there with him. He also sleeps on the heating grate (we have forced air), and my husband always says that Earl is “sucking up the heat.”

He uses his cat bed, which is in our bedroom, whenever we are in there or when my son has a play date. Small kids can be noisy, and Earl’s bed, which rests on a chest under a window, is in a sunny quiet spot.

Cats like cozy and warm places to cat nap.

Before You Get a Pet Bed
Make sure the bed is large enough for your cat or dog to stretch out in. The cushion should be plump and comfortable.

I’m curious, where does your cat or dog sleep?

19 comments to Where Does Your Dog and Cat Sleep?

  • Heidi

    My cat sleeps on the pillows on our bed.

  • Cathy

    Good advice. We had to train our shelter dog to use his bed. It is at the foot of our bed in the bedroom. He likes being near my husband and me.

  • Sara

    My dog has two dog beds. He sleeps in the one in the living room when we are in there, and then in the bedroom in his bed, when we are in that room.

  • Ginger

    My cat sleeps on my bed most of the bed. Sometimes she’ll sleep on a blanket in the floor of my closet.

  • Ginger

    My cat sleeps on my bed most of the time that is.

  • Jillvic

    My dog sleeps in my bed and uses just about the whole width of the bed, so i have to lie across the bed sometimes…ive got used to it now. the only time it bugs me is when its really hot in summer, but now its cooler its fine, he is my giant hot water bottle! haha…thanks Michele

  • Our dog sleeps in our bed and she definately is a bed hog. I allowed her to sleep on the bed from the day we got her so that I would wake if she needed to go out.

    She has her own bed in the living room, but prefers the couch and a bed inside her crate for when SHE wants to be left alone.

  • Christina

    I don’t understand why I would want my cats to sleep somewhere else, besides my bed. They are my kids, I love them, and I want to sleep in the bed with them. When their daddy lived here we all managed to fit in bed together. I don’t see why these people can’t make room for one dog. The dog lived there before the boyfriend. He should not be kicked out. That is rude and selfish.

  • Pat

    My cats sleep on the bed with me.

  • P Elizabeth

    Ouch. The dog gets booted by a boyfriend. 🙂 Just kidding; I am sure any friend of Michelle’s is a great pet parent, not prone to dumping the pet for new boyfriends.

    I look forward to my dog being able to sleep in the bed. Maybe. Actually, my dogs have always slept in their crates. They have the run of the house during the day, but are crated at night. Why? Well, one would awaken at 4am and insist on playing. The other, a 6 pound Maltese, sleeps so close to me that I can’t turn and I awaken with a very sore back. I tired without success to show her where the middle of the bed is or coax her to sleep under my husband. LOL Good for me, both girls have really loved the crate, I am sure and would not use it otherwise. Grace actually would put herself to bed, burrowing under the covers. My husband and I would be watching TV and she would grow tired and go to bed. Mani, the Maltese, was crate trained when we adopted her and she too responds to “Go to Bed,” by getting in the crate. The crate is in the bedroom, and she prefers her own space. When she makes a motion to choose the bed rather than her crate, I give in and go with the back pain.

    Trying to change a habit after 5 years is a different story. Like the advice my mother gave me about ironing my (then) new husband’s shirts, “Don’t start anything you don’t want to keep up.” Which brings me to our current dog, Ginger, adopted 6 months ago at age 1.5. Clearly, she wants to sleep in the bed, so we have tried to accomodate her, but one night she PEED in the bed. That’s a deal breaker. So, this little dog does not want to sleep in the crate, but we must insist. It feels horrible to nudge her in knowing she hates it. Ironically, she goes to her day crate easily and takes the treat we offer as a reward for obeying. Yet, when we urge her into the night crate, she refuses the treat and just sulks.

    Any advice, Michelle followers? Advice for how to either stop a dog from peeing in the bed or encourage a dog to love her night crate. This is all new territory to me. Sorry to go on, but I know that this site is read by experienced and compassionate animal lovers. 🙂

  • Brenda

    Elizabeth, You just have to do a lot of repetitions of showing your dogs the bed, and taking them there and saying “stay.” Reward them, and at night you need to close your bedroom door.

  • Susan

    My dog has his own bed. It’s large and comfy, and he likes it a lot. I move it to my office when I work at home, and he sleeps there. However, it is usually in our bedroom.

  • Amala

    Our cats sleep on the pillows on my bed, and my dog has his own bed, which is near the foot of my bed in the bedroom.

  • Marisa

    My 2 cats cuddle up next to me on the sofa and in my bed. I wouldn’t have it any other way.

  • I have a rotation of sleeping places. In the early morning, I have a place in the bay window where I can keep an eye on the kitchen. After breakfast I slip behind a chair on my blankets on top of a table that I call my cave. Then when it is warm enough I head out to my sunroom and think inside my heated circle bed or on top of my Cat Power Tower.
    In the evening I sit on my mom’s lap or in between my mom and dad on the sofa. At night I sleep in my chair in the bedroom.

  • Laura

    My dog has 4 dog beds, and he sleeps either in the dog bed in our bedroom or on the couch in the computer room. He decides. He moves around a lot during the night. We tried to get him to sleep with us in our bed but he didn’t like it. I think he prefers to stretch out and we take up too much of the bed for him.

  • Well let’s see now…. Zelda and Lucy can usually be found on the bed. If we can’t find Zelda on the bed or in her own basket she’ll be in her new spot in the spare room closet. Joey is sometimes in the raised box by the door unless Fang is there, which is most often the case, so then Joey will probably be in his own basket in the living room or in another box by the door.Calleigh usually get’s the blanket bucket on top of the wardrobe (the crow’s nest) but they all get a turn in there, otherwise you’ll probably find her on top of the spare mattress leaning against the wall in the spare room. When Charlie doesn’t want to be on the bed with the girls he might be up on the cat stand by the window or on the computer chair. Milly is sometimes on the bed or on a towel on the dryer or on the big chair in the living room – pretty much the same with Dixie and they look the same – Milly can often be found sleeping across my throat, like right now. Little Johnny is sometimes on the bed and sometimes on the couch. I kept this brief by only using their first names, lol.
    Okay who would like to cat sit for me 🙂

  • All I can say is “wow!”–Michele

  • My boxer sleeps on his own little bed. During the day when no one is home, he likes to sleep on the couch or my bed. As soon as he hears me come in he immediately jumps off and doesn’t get on. Unless I leave the room, he stays off the furniture. So I guess he loves to sleep on furniture, but if someone is home he just goes to his “own” spot 🙂