Where are Your Pets Sleeping?
Pets are like little children at times, especially in the way that we care for them. They are animals and need the basics for survival, such as food, a place to sleep and someone to love them. Where they sleep can make a difference in your relationship with them, and how well your house runs too. Some people have their preference of course of where their pet is going to sleep and whether or not they get to come and go as they please in the house. Others have specific rules that they train their pets to follow. These of course, all apply to only cats and dogs, and cats tend to train you rather than the other way around. Each animal is different and the younger they are when you get them, the easier it will be to train them so they can understand their place in your home.
In the Garage
Depending on the weather in your area this may not be a good idea. If you have an attached garage though, some owners keep their dogs in the garage, so long as it’s not too hot. A door from the garage into the house is best and the dog will know when you are home. Since we are referring to sleeping though it is usually cool enough at night for this to be ok. If you park the car in the garage or people are coming and going at night into the garage this is not a good place for the dog to sleep.
It does help to train them to be guard dogs when they are sleeping in the garage and they might bark at every noise they hear until they get used to all the noises in the house and around them. If they sleep in the garage this could also annoy the neighbors if your neighbors are close by. Keep a nice, comfy bedding for your furry companion in the same place so they know where to go and can make it their own.
In the Living Room
Other owners who don’t mind their pets sleeping in the house, choose to confine them to the living room, or at least have the roam of the house at night so long as they are not in the bathrooms or bedrooms. (My two cats stay in the living room at night as cats are nocturnal by nature and tend to play around during the night. Although I’ve had cats that have slept in my bed at night, they usually don’t stay all night and will get up to play, only to come back during the early morning hours.) Cats need room to roam around and if you keep some toys out they will keep themselves busy during the night so you can sleep.
For dogs, this can be a little tricky when they are puppies. They will whine and cry until they get their way, but you must stick with it until they learn. This also gives you an alert for intruders and depending on your dog, will either bark and scare off the intruder, or whine and warn you that way instead. Keeping your pet’s toys and comfort items near their beds, as it makes them feel more comfortable and secure.
In your Bedroom
Generally, this practice starts with those that are single, however when two single people that do this end up getting married there is a huge party in the bedroom. Your pet could either sleep in the bed with you, or sleep in their own bed on the floor. Either way there are pros and cons to both situations. The pros are that you know when your pet needs to go out to relieve themselves, and that you gain a guard animal in case of intruders. This works with dogs and cats, although keeping the cat in the room doesn’t always work, as they like to roam around at night. They keep you warm at night, and sometimes like to snuggle. If you are having a bad dream they are right there to comfort you and to let you know that you are safe.
The cons happen when there is more than one pet in the room, and their age. Puppies need to go out a lot, and will keep you awake at night. More than one cat means they will be playing around in the room and could keep you awake at night. Older dogs and cats like to sleep when you do, or have grown accustomed to it. Dogs will hog the bed, cats will hog the pillows, and you must contend with the fur in the bed which could mean fleas, mites and more.
Their Own Room / Kids Room
If you have a spare room or there are kids in the house, this is another possible place for them to sleep. The extra room could even be the laundry room, as many pets are taught to sleep in that room (just keep chemicals out of their reach.) The kids room is a great place for the animal and child to bond, and they will grow closer together. It will also help to keep them safe, alerting you of danger. The downside is when the pet is new to the house and the child must get used to it. If they have never had a pet it could mean they are playing when they should be sleeping.
The Backyard / Outside
Many people keep their pets outside at night and only allow them in during the day. Make sure there is a little dog house for them with a comfortable bed, or at least a place that is out of wet weather and will help them to feel safe. Cats if left outside will roam the neighborhood, and come back in the morning for food and sleep. They will get into the trash and play around (have them fixed to avoid kittens).
Your pet could take a while to get used to this, and will try as hard as they can to get back in the house, or will bark or howl all night at noises they are not used to.
If you want your pet to come and go as they please you might want to install a pet door for them. Be sure there is a way for you to secure it though so it can be locked against intruders. There are even doors that are remotely opened by their collars so the door is always secure and the pet still has the freedom to come and go as they please.
The major con with this is keeping your pet free of ticks and fleas. These can attach to them from the grass and association with other animals around the neighborhood.