Pets in the People Bed: Tips for a Cleaner & Cozier Pet Pajama Party

Apartment Therapy's Home Remedies

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Many pet owners love the idea of their little furry bundles of joy cuddled up in bed next to them. But the reality of sharing a bed with a pet can be a lot messier, with these little heat generators hogging the bed and leaving a mess of fur and dirt. We share a few simple home remedies for common pet co-sleeping problems that can help make communal bedtime just a bit more restful.

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Problem: What a mess! While we humans certainly generate our own messes in the home, pets in the bed compound the cleanliness issue to the nth degree. There's the constant shedding of fur and the tracked dirt not to mention crumbs from snacks that we can't resist feeding them.

Solution: Our simple solution is to use an extra sheet on the bed that's just for our pets. With a few extra sheets rotated in, this top layer can get tossed into the laundry much more frequently and with greater ease. This top layer can easily be removed when visitors are in the home, and pets can be trained to only hop in bed when their own sheet is on top, keeping fancy sheets and bedding clean for humans only. Our own pup knows she's not even allowed in bed unless that sheet is there, and she waits with puppy eyes for us to get the bed ready for her to join in.

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Problem: Snacking in Bed! A regular box of treats by the bed can be dangerous for those with snooping pets who might get into the box and help themselves. The aforementioned crumbs make a big mess too.

Solution: We took a hint from our friends with babies and use a little portable baby snack holder. They are quick and easy to open and close for adults, and make for a neater bedroom. We also use smaller treats that our dog can gobble up in one bite instead of chewing up and making a mess.

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Problem: Bed Hogs! We'd love to think that our pets will nicely cuddle with us and share the bed, but really they are big (lovable) bed hogs. Plus with a pet laying on top of all the sheets you're often left out in the cold, without enough covers

Solution: My wife and I actually upgraded from a queen size bed to a king size bed just so that we could have more space for our dog. Wishful thinking — she now thinks she has even more room of her own. Short of buying a new and larger bed, buying new and larger sheets can help. Buying an extra size up provides some extra width to wrap around yourself. We also shift the sheets slightly over to our side so that there's an excess hanging off the edge that allows us to actually get under the covers with the dog in bed. Additionally, we try not to let her up in bed before we're already settled in, but sometimes she just ignores commands and leaps right on up there, requiring a few treats to scoot her over to her side of the bed.

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Here's our own Puppy passed out in bed. How can we say no?! :)

(Image credits: Adrienne Breaux; Shutterstock / Jeroen van den Broek; Target; Shutterstock/Anna Hoychuk; Jason Yang)