Whether you’ve just adopted your little buddy or have had them around for years, it’s a struggle parting ways around nighttime when you’re both headed off to bed! But as it turns out – picking the right place for your dog’s sleep plays a big role in keeping them happy and healthy.

Makes you wonder: where should my dog sleep at night time?

Now it doesn’t matter if it’s in a cushion or a crate by your bed, in bed next to you, or elsewhere – it’s important that both you and your dog can get a good night’s rest. Because as it turns out, ensuring your dog’s getting enough quality sleep can actually help prevent health problems down the line.

So let’s dive right into the questions you might be having. Including: should dogs sleep in your bed? Where should a puppy sleep? Can dogs sleep outside? And everything you might’ve been wondering about your dog’s sleep-time spots. Let’s get started.

Where should my dog sleep at night?

In a nutshell: there’s no real right or wrong answer. Just like humans, dogs are different – but where they sleep best can depend on their age, personality, health condition, your preferences…and also how well you both sleep together.

So for example:

  • Some dogs may feel more comfortable in a crate next to your bed
  • Others might prefer to sleep on a blanket in the living room.
  • Still other dogs might whine incessantly unless you let them in bed with you!
sick dog laying in bed under sheets

“Dogs are social animals that live in packs in the wild. They sleep with members of their pack to feel safe and to protect each other from predators. They instinctively like to sleep in contact with others whom they trust and feel affection for.”

– Dr. Laurie Hess, veterinarian at Chewy
A brown dog sitting in bed

💡Letting your dog sleep nearby you – even if in another room – can help you monitor their sleep-time behavior. Aka, whether they’re sleeping peacefully and waking up well-rested…or the opposite. (I.e., waking up often, or seeming tired or sluggish the next morning.)

Because as it turns out, tracking your dog’s sleep can actually help you catch on early to health issues that develop over time.

So when it comes to the question – where should my dog sleep at night time? – let’s start by taking a look at the sleeping needs of puppies vs adult dogs.

Where should a puppy sleep?

When your dog is a puppy, just like a newborn baby, they’ll be sleeping most of the day (up to 20 hours)! But if you’ve, say, just adopted a puppy – they might not do so well sleeping by themselves. A puppy separated from their mom and littermates may not be used to sleeping alone at night. So they need a little time and training to get used to it.

Which is why having them close to you for the first time will make them feel much more comfortable. You can later gradually move their dog bed where you would like them to sleep permanently.

Because of this, it’s generally agreed that the best place for puppies to sleep is in a crate next to your bed.

An Australian Shepherd puppy sitting inside a metal crate
Marina Selinger, UX designer at Tractive & licensed dog trainer

“My puppies are allowed to sleep in my bed from the beginning. So it’s easy for me to recognize if they wake up because they need to go outside to pee or similar.

In my experience, puppies feel so comfortable being close to the new family, that they rarely wake up at night.”

– Marina Selinger, UX designer at Tractive & licensed dog trainer

Should puppies sleep in crates?

Now in some countries, dogs shouldn’t be kept in crates for longer than 20-30 minutes. However, a small, cozy area including a comfy dog bed – or an open crate – could work as as a “safe place” for your puppies.

Because, first of all – the crate creates literal boundaries for your puppy. (So they can’t go exploring at night and get up to mischief.)

Because let’s not forget: many household items and human foods can be poisonous for dogs!

Read more:

Secondly, the crate also provides a safe space where your puppy can learn to calm down and rest. (Which can help them when they’re anxious, restless, or stressed.)

Lastly (and probably most importantly), a crate prevents your puppy from going to the toilet all over your house. Potty training can take a while and a crate is a good starting point!

Also, since puppies might feel anxious alone, it’s best to keep them in the same room as you at night. As puppies turn into adult dogs, they can gradually get used to sleeping somewhere else in the house.

Where should adult or senior dogs sleep?

An adult or senior dog that you might’ve had for a while is a different story. Mostly they don’t destroy things and are potty trained. That means that you can allow them more freedom within the house, including at night (or at least freedom in the rooms you approve for sleeping).

So don’t hesitate to place a crate or dog bed anywhere in the house and let your dog sleep where they feel most comfortable.

Read more: Why Do Dogs Sleep So Much? 10 Factors Affecting Your Dog’s Sleep

brown dog laying in a blue dog bed

Some dogs may choose to sleep in another room entirely, even if you keep your bedroom door open. Others may stay as close to you as possible.

Usually due to temperature changes, some dogs will choose to lie on the cold floor of the bathroom or by the entrance. Dogs allowed on the furniture may gravitate to the couch at night.

💡No matter where your dog chooses to sleep – your trusty Tractive device has you covered. With its built-in motion detector picking up on your dog’s movements throughout the day (and night), you can check how well your dog is sleeping with just a glance at your phone.

Tractive Trustpilot review

Discover Sleep Tracking

Should dogs sleep in your bed?

Some people would never allow dogs to sleep in their room; others love having their dog curled up next to them in bed. Both options are just fine. What’s important is that both you and your dog feel comfortable, and can sleep well.

two women and two dogs sitting on a bed

So when it comes to figuring out where your dog should sleep at night and you’re wondering if you should allow them in bed with you, here are a couple of pros and cons:

  • Chances of your dog troubling your sleep
  • Your furry friend could fall off the bed and injure themselves.
  • (Or you!)
  • Your dog could bring zoonotic diseases/parasites into the bedroom

Contrary to popular belief, letting your dog share the bed with you will not make them “dominant” or create behavioral problems that don’t already exist.

However, it will make your bed hairy and smelly. (But if that doesn’t bother you, then it’s fine!)

A puppy sleeping in bed next to a man

💡Thinking of letting your dog sleep in bed with you? Check out our guide: Dog Sleeping In Bed? Pros And Cons Of Co-Sleeping With Dogs

Should dogs sleep in your bedroom?

Still asking yourself – where should my dog sleep at night time? – but not a fan of letting them sleep in bed with you? Try making a little space for them in your bedroom instead. This is a great choice if you’re a dog parent who wants to keep them nearby and happy.

Dogs likely feel comforted when they can sleep close to their favorite humans, and similarly you might benefit from being close to your dog at night.

A crate or dog bed somewhere in your bedroom is probably the perfect spot for your dog to sleep.

But keep in mind, if your dog’s presence disturbs your sleep, you might want to avoid letting your dog sleep in your room. Many dogs will also be happy sleeping elsewhere in the house.

💡Whether your dog’s sleeping in your bedroom or another room – it’s important they’re in an environment where they can sleep comfortably.

Else, constant sleep disturbances might indicate that they’re stressed out or anxious…or that something might be wrong with them, health-wise.

Tractive Trustpilot review

Read more: How To Get Your Dog To Sleep Through The Night

Discover Sleep Tracking

Can dogs sleep outside?

While some people cozy up in bed next to their furry friend, others prefer to have the dog sleep outside. Can dogs sleep outside? Yes, technically they can. Is it recommended? Usually not.

There are several reasons why it’s generally a good idea to give your dog a sleeping place indoors:

  • Weather: Hot, cold or rainy weather can make it uncomfortable for dogs to sleep outside. Not to mention, they might be at higher risk of heat stroke, hypothermia, or other dangerous weather-related conditions.
  • Age and Health: Puppies, senior dogs, sick dogs and brachycephalic breeds are especially vulnerable and shouldn’t be left outside alone for too long.
brown dog sleeping in a wooden dog house outside
  • Safety: Other outdoor factors can pose a threat to your dog when they’re sleeping outside – from parasites to poisonous plants to environmental hazards.
  • Dognapping: With dog theft on the rise in some parts of the world, your pup will be safer sleeping indoors.
  • Socialization: Lastly, most dogs are social animals who thrive on companionship and human interaction. So they’re probably happier indoors and close to you.

What to consider if your dog sleeps outside

If you do have an outdoor dog who loves sleeping outside, or your dog needs to sleep outdoors for other reasons, here are some tips to keep them safe:

  • Provide a shelter for them so they’re protected from the elements
  • Make their sleeping spot comfortable with blankets, cushions or a bed
  • Give your dog access to fresh, clean drinking water
A German Shepherd sleeping in a lawn with a stuffed toy
  • Check on your dog frequently to interact and make sure they’re okay
  • Plan ahead for your dog wandering off for an outdoor adventure. With a dog GPS tracker, you can follow their every step in real-time – and over an unlimited range.

What your dog’s sleep can tell you about their health

It bears repeating – but no matter where your dog sleeps, what’s more important is how well they’re sleeping. (Whether in another room or with a paw to your face every morning.)

Because in general, the more you’re able to monitor your dog’s sleepthe quicker you can catch on to a change in their sleep patterns.

Now a change in your dog’s sleep patterns might be a result of benign reasons – like adjusting to a new environment. (Like if you’ve just moved apartments.)

But at the same time, if your dog seems to be sleeping more or less than usual, or if their sleep just seems to be disturbed more often, it could indicate a serious health issue.1


  • Canine cognitive dysfunction (CCD)
  • Alzheimer’s disease
  • Sleep-disordered breathing (including sleep apnea)
  • Anxiety
  • Stress
  • Pain
  • Itchiness from a skin infection

Read more: Can Dogs Have Sleep Apnea? Helping Our Furry Friends Get A Good Night’s Sleep

⚠️ And the bad news? Many of these conditions develop so slowly and subtly, that it’s easy to miss out on the warning signs.

Unless you’re letting your trusty Tractive Sleep Monitor do all the hard work for you.

dog sleeping in the background smartphone with tractive gps app sleep monitoring in the foreground

Because even if you miss out on a day of tracking – our Sleep Alerts have you covered.

Sebastian Raab, Product Manager at Tractive

“It’s pretty difficult tracking every minute of your pet’s sleep. You can watch them run around and play – but it’s not the same during naptime.

But with a Sleep Alert, you can quickly check if there’s been a significant change in your pet’s sleep patterns.

If they’re continuously waking up more than usual or just sleeping less well than before, it could be a sign that something’s wrong.”

– Sebastian Raab, Product Manager at Tractive & occasional pet-sitter

Track Your Dog’s Sleep

So…where should my dog sleep at night?

Now while both you and your dog might have their own ideas on where they should sleep, here’s our take. Anywhere works, as long as:

  • You get a good night’s sleep
  • Your dog gets a good night’s sleep
  • Your dog is protected from any dangers they might run into outdoors
  • You can pick up on a change in your dog’s sleep time behavior quicker
A puppy sleeping next to a person wearing striped socks

With a puppy, experts recommend training them to sleep in a crate for their safety, potty breaks, and your peace of mind.

For adult and senior dogs, you can afford to give them some more freedom. I.e., your bed, bedroom, couch, or another room altogether. Most adult dogs can adjust well enough and will be content sleeping in a dog bed, crate, or even on the floor.

Besides, we also recommend keeping your dogs indoors – for max safety.

And with a Tractive GPS and Health tracker clipped to their collars, you’ll be taking an active role in their health and wellbeing – and helping your buddy live their happiest, healthiest life by your side.

Tractive Trustpilot review
packaging of the Tractive GPS DOG tracker

Stay on top of your dog’s wellness

See how they’re doing at a glance with Wellness Score. Set goals. Compare with dogs like yours. Monitor sleep. Detect issues and keep them healthy.

Discover Sleep Tracking

Finding yourself looking up puppy crates on Amazon? Check out this helpful video from dog trainer, Zak George:

And if you’ve liked this post, share it with a friend or a loved one – and let’s help build a safer, kinder world for our furry friends together.

Marina Selinger, UX designer at Tractive & licensed dog trainer

This post was written by Marina Selinger, a licensed dog trainer and international agility competitor. Besides putting her UX design skills to use in Tractive’s Product team, she’s also mom to 3 high-energy Shelties and a Japanese Spitz.

When she’s not sharing her expertise for the Tractive blog, you can find her walking her dogs, hiking, or in the middle of a high-speed training session.