Source: Mirror (Extract)
Posted: May 12, 2023

A vet has issued an urgent warning to pet owners about a common bedtime mistake they often make with their dogs – as it could actually prove dangerous for your pooch.

Let’s face it: we all love a good snuggle with our furry friends from time to time, and for many of us, letting our dogs climb into bed with us at the end of the day is the perfect way to unwind.

But one vet has issued an urgent warning against letting your dog share your bed, as it could actually be dangerous to let them under the covers.

Katy Alexander, a veterinary research lead at Blue Cross, explained that letting your dog into your bed can put them at risk of overheating, and while puppies, older dogs, and flat-faced breeds are the most at risk, overheating can be dangerous to any dog.

Speaking to the Telegraph, she said: “Very small dogs, puppies, elderly dogs, and dogs with arthritis or other mobility problems may struggle to find a safe exit if they are getting too hot.”

The expert explained that dogs have a natural body temperature that’s a few degrees higher than humans, which makes them more prone to overheating as it doesn’t take much for their body heat to get too high.

She warned owners of flat-faced breeds such as French Bulldogs and Pugs should “be extra vigilant” as there’s an increased risk of them getting too hot.

However, if your dog can’t resist the urge to climb into bed with you, there are some warning signs you can look out for to make sure they’re safe.

Katy added: “Dogs who are starting to overheat will pant and become agitated; if you notice this we recommend removing the duvet or blankets immediately.”

And if you like to sleep with an electric blanket to keep yourself nice and toasty, you definitely should never let your dog join you under the heated surface, as not only could the pooch overheat, but the blanket could even cause burns.

“Weighted blankets which may be too heavy to allow safe exit should be avoided,” the expert shared, “Heated blankets may risk burns and the electrical cord poses a danger if chewed.”

The RSPCA warns that above a certain temperature point, dogs will quickly start to develop heat-related illnesses – which could kill them.

And Katy’s concerns were echoed by animal behaviourist Karly Smith, who said that you should also never “force” your dog to snuggle in bed if it isn’t something they’re willing to do.

She explained: “All pets must be treated with dignity, kindness and respect and should only be placed in situations that are safe, appropriate and that they enjoy.

“There will be some dogs that like to snuggle under a duvet and if this is something they want to do then this would be fine but it is important to not force our dogs to do things they are unfamiliar with or that they might find frightening.”