Can you leave a dog downstairs at night? [Vet Advice]

Can you leave a dog downstairs at night

There are tons of things you need to consider when you add your new family member. One of those striking factors is if you can, you leave your puppy downstairs at night.

So, can you really leave your dog downstairs at night?

You can keep the dog downstairs if you are a deep sleeper and have allergies from dogs, the dog is aggressive toward the partner, and it has accidents. You cannot keep downstairs if the dog is scared to be alone, prone to separation anxiety and stress, less bonding with you, and if you feel unsafe.

So is it okay to leave your puppy downstairs? What are the reasons to consider whether or whether you should not do it? When should you do it? What are the pros and cons? How to do it? Stay with me, and let’s find out!

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Is it okay to leave my puppy downstairs at night to go to bed?

Becoming a mom or a dad to a dog can be really exciting! But as they say, becoming a parent comes with responsibilities.

As I said, the answer to this question can be both yes and no. This is because the answer totally depends on you, your dog, and your lifestyle.

It’s okay ifIt’s not okay if
You aren’t a deep sleeper.Your pup is too scared to be alone.
You have allergiesYou are scared to be alone.
Your dog might be aggressive towards your partnerYou want to keep him with you!

There are several reasons why the answer can be YES.

You aren’t a deep sleeper.

If you’re a person that wakes due to the slightest inconvenience, such as a sound or a smell, letting him sleep downstairs can be the right option for you.

You have allergies

Dogs can carry lots of allergens like pollen or dust. Even if you really want to be with your dog 24/7, this might be a reason to sleep separately at night

Your dog might be aggressive towards your partner

It’s only natural for your dog to see your partner as a threat to you if they aren’t that familiar to each other.

This could result in growling or biting. So, sometimes it’s best to let him sleep downstairs if you have a partner.

Remember, even if the answer is YES, you cannot force your puppy to stay downstairs alone if he refuses to do so.

In addition, you have to realize he has to be old enough to be alone if you’re considering this option.

Recommended reading: Should you allow upstairs for your dog?

Now let’s see why the answer can be NO.

Your pup is too scared to be alone.

Puppies are immature and new to the world. They are not used to staying alone yet, so they tend to stay by your side all the time.

If you force your canine friend to do something he doesn’t like, this might lead to several problems later, like anxiety, trauma, and aggressive behavior.

Usually, puppies aren’t socialized well and tend to get scared by so many things.

You are scared to be alone.

Having a dog by your side is enough to make you feel safe at night. If you feel scared without your dog, there is actually no reason you should keep him away from you!

You want to keep him with you!

The dog is the greatest companion a dog lover can have.

If you feel guilty about letting him be by himself all night and you have no issues like allergies, as I’ve mentioned above, go ahead and keep him with you!

Recommended reading: Should you have a crate upstairs & downstairs?

Can you leave a puppy downstairs at night?

Yes, you can. Your puppy will be totally fine by himself at night. However, before that, there are several things you should certainly make sure of.

  1. Training.
  2. Get him a crate or a bed… Or both!
  3. Add a pee pad inside!

1. Training.

As I’ve stated above, you can’t force your dog to sleep downstairs without you out of the blue. It should be eventually done, and he should be trained to do it. There are several methods, and I’ve discussed them below.

2. Get him a crate or a bed… Or both!

If you are going to leave him downstairs at night, you should be sure he feels comfortable just as he was with you. So get a cozy dog bed and a crate or an exercise pen to keep him secured. 

Add some toys, food puzzles, and even a hot water bag so he won’t feel alone by himself.

Most importantly, do not make him stay inside unwillingly, and make sure you let him out of the crate or exercise pen in the morning.

3. Add a pee pad inside!

Puppies are not developed enough to be good at holding their pee.

So you should add a pee pad where he can urinate on. Make sure he doesn’t defecate inside the crate. You can do this by making it a routine to go to the potty at certain times.

By the way, here is why does your dog pee upstairs?

Possible Pros Of Keeping Your Dog Or Puppy Downstairs At night.

Leaving your puppy downstairs alone can be a worrisome experience for you, especially if you haven’t done it before. However, this can be a huge advantage in some ways too. Let’s see what they are.

  1. You can sleep peacefully.
  2. Not much dog hair upstairs!
  3. It will reduce separation anxiety.
  4. Reduce the chance for allergies
  5. You can let them be natural.
  6. You won’t have to worry that he’d get addicted to sleeping with you!
  7. They might have “accidents”!

1. You can sleep peacefully.

I know some might disagree with this one while others won’t. It actually depends on the person.

Some people cannot sleep with even the slightest sound, and not certainly a dog would wake up at the midnight and make sounds. So, if that’s the case, keeping your dog downstairs might be the best option for you.

2. Not much dog hair upstairs!

Shedding is a normal thing for every dog once in a while.

But cleaning them can be stressful for some people. So training your dog to sleep downstairs will reduce this mountain of dog hair that accumulates upstairs. This will cut down on cleaning.

3. It will reduce separation anxiety.

Separation anxiety is a common psychological issue for dogs, especially puppies.

They may exhibit anxious behaviors like pacing, whining, trembling, barking, howling, or even chewing or digging around doors while you are gone.

Letting your dog sleep downstairs on his own will also reduce his separation anxiety when you leave for work. By this, he gets used to being alone.

4. Reduce the chance for allergies

You might not be allergic to your dog. However, dogs do carry allergens.

They are exposed to many allergens like dust or pollen when they go outside. These allergens can stick in his fur, follow him to your room, and cause your allergies to go out of control

5. You can let them be natural.

There are many dog breed that needs a job to do. They love to keep watch and keep your house safe which is natural for them.

So if you always keep your dog upstairs or in your bed, you might actually be neglecting his natural instincts.

6. You won’t have to worry that he’d get addicted to sleeping with you!

It’s hard for a dog to return to sleeping downstairs once he’s used to upstairs with his favorite human. If you suddenly decide to keep him downstairs, he might disagree and start a fuss.

So keeping him downstairs would help with this behavior.

7. They might have “accidents”!

If you always let your dog sleep on your bed upstairs, you might also have come across him accidentally urinating on your bed.

As every dog lover might know, it’s not fun or inexpensive to steam clean your mattress. It’s a lot easier to wash a dog bed than your actual bed!

Cons Of Keeping Your Dog or Puppy Downstairs At night.

All dog lovers love to keep their dog with you all the time. So leaving their dog downstairs would seem like a bad idea to them.

What if I tell you there are some reasons to support this factor? Let’s check what they are!

  1. It CAN increase separation anxiety!
  2. More likely to be scared by lights and sounds.
  3. Less protection against cold weather.
  4. Less bonding with you.
  5. You might feel unsafe.

1. It CAN increase separation anxiety!

Yes, I know! This was in the pros too! But it is the truth. Developing separation anxiety depends on the dog.

Just like leaving it downstairs on his own can reduce it, it works vice versa too. In this case, the reason is your puppy might feel anxious without you at night, and it might scare him more of being alone when you leave for work…

2. More likely to be scared by lights and sounds.

Dogs are our protectors! However, there are times when they need protection too.

Most loud and bright lights like fireworks and thunderstorms scare them a lot because they can hear and see many more than we can. So they tend to get frightened, leading to increased heartbeat and blood pressure.

3. Less protection against cold weather.

During winter, your pup might feel too cold if you leave him downstairs on his own. This works the other way around too. You might be missing the warmest, cozy pillow if you’re leaving your dog downstairs!

4. Less bonding with you.

Dogs are social creatures. In other words, they are pack animals. When your dog is taken from the warmth of his human to sleeping by himself, he might feel alone, just as if he lost his pack. This might lead to less bonding between the dog and dog parent.

5. You might feel unsafe.

Simply knowing your dog is there next to you can help you sleep more deeply. So if you’re tight with your dog, you might feel anxious if he isn’t by your side at night.

How To Get Your Dog To Sleep Downstairs At Night?

As I said, whether or not you want to keep your dog downstairs depends on you and your dog. It also has both pros and cons. Now, let’s see how you can get your pup to stay downstairs

1. You should place the puppy’s crate or bed downstairs. At bedtime, put your puppy to sleep in there, then go to bed yourself. If your puppy settles down without a problem, then well done!

2. But as a dog owner, you must know this is almost never practical. So, if the puppy starts to whine when you leave him, you need a backup plan! Get your pup and arrange things near the door to your room where he can see, hear and smell you. But make sure it is further away than before.

3. Then, day by day, gradually move the puppy bed further and further away from your bed to downstairs.

That is the primary method you can use to teach your puppy to sleep downstairs at night. Take a look at the following that are some other methods you can use!

Using the leash!

You have to secure him to a leash and lead him to his bed or crate at night. When you do this every night, it sets a routine. Also, the leash makes it easier to control him and lets him know that he must go to bed.

Bed and treats!

Spend a small time at his bed each day and train him to go to bed when instructed. To do this you should, give the command, the point at his bed, then make him come to his bed with a treat. When he comes, give him the treat.

Tired means sleepy!

 Walk with him for a few minutes before bed. When he’s tired, it is more likely that he will sleep right away.

Positive reinforcement.

You should give him a treat whenever you see him go to his bed. Do this throughout the day, regardless of whether it’s day or night. By doing this, you can motivate him to sleep in his own bed and stay downstairs.

No means no.

If he tries to come upstairs again, you should firmly say NO, every time. Or else, he will continue to follow you upstairs.

Make his place comfier!

Give him a comfortable, new bed that he would love. Place it in a location downstairs where he won’t get bothered. If people pass him or make noise at night, he won’t stay there for long.

Keep him occupied!

 You can do this by putting a food puzzle in his bed in the evening. There are plenty of various food puzzles you can buy. This keeps him busy for hours. Then he will be so settled and prefer to stay downstairs.

What is the appropriate age for this?

As the phrase goes, there is a time for everything. Not every dog of every age is suitable for sleeping alone downstairs, especially if they are tiny.

The typical age for them to learn to sleep alone is between 14 weeks and 26 weeks.

During that time, they are in a developmental stage where they are exploring the environment. In this time, they are emotionally and mentally ready to deal with being alone at night.

However, even when he reaches this age, you should never force him to sleep downstairs. Remember, it always should be a gradual process.

Things To Be Aware Of.

If you actually decide to leave your dog alone downstairs, there are several things that you should be aware of.

Again, don’t force him!

Your puppy only wants to sleep with you because he feels safe and warm with you.

So never force him to do what he would be scared of doing. There’s a significant difference between choosing to sleep and being forced to sleep downstairs in the mind of a dog.

Be patient.

Remember, a dog is like a child. It takes time for him to learn and get adapted to sleeping without you. So never punish him because that might lead to trauma in the future.

Conclusion.

As a mom or dad to a lovely puppy, now you know the pros and cons of leaving your loved one to sleep downstairs by himself. While it is good to make sure your puppy is sleeping outside of your bedroom, it is never complimentary. If you need to sleep with him, then go ahead and do it! As I stated before, your decision completely depends on you, your pup, and your lifestyle. I hope this comprehensive article will help you to make your lifestyle with your dog easier and happy.

Good luck!

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