Several studies show that about 50% of the pet owners sleep with their pets on their beds. This is especially common for dog owners. But, is it a practice that you should be following? Turns out there are many benefits and disadvantages of sleeping on your bed with your furry companion.
We have done an extensive research and bring you the pros and cons of sleeping with your dog on your bed, so you can decide for yourself.
- Relieves anxiety
Dogs are light sleepers and their sleep cycle differs from that of humans. Having a dog sleep next to you provides you with a sense of security as a dog can wake up to the tiniest bit of sound and alert their pet parent. It has helped patients suffering from anxiety sleep better.
- Help us relax and fight insomnia
As a dog helps you fight anxiety, sleeping with your dog on your bed removes the thought of things that keep you up at night. Many dog owners have confirmed that the regular breathing of their dog helps them to fall asleep quicker.
- Keep us warm
A dog’s body temperature is about three to four degrees higher than that of humans. This makes them the perfect bed warmers. It feels really comfortable during winter to sleep with your dog who is so warm and fuzzy. In the Canadian Maritime Provinces, it is a common practice to sleep with your dogs on the bed to help keep warm and cosy.
- Fight depression
People fighting with depression need constant presence of encouragement, love and affection. If there is one thing that a dog understands completely, it is unconditional love. Dogs have known to help their owners fight depression. Receiving unconditional love from a pet that is always at your side has proved to be therapeutic in many cases. Sleeping with your dog on your bed helps you spend the maximum amount of your time with your dog, and you receive the warmth of their love and furry cuddles.
- It does not affect your sleep
A recent study conducted by Mayo clinic has debunked the myth that sleeping with your dog causes a restless or incomplete sleep, which can severely affect the mental and physical health of a human. In a study, conducted with the help of 40 healthy adults, it was concluded that the disturbance caused by a pet to your sleep cycle has negligible effects on the quality of your sleep and thus does not affect your health.
- Both you and your dog need to be absolutely healthy and clean
You can allow your dog to sleep with you on your bed only if your dog is absolutely clean and healthy. Which means no ticks, no health issues, up-to-date vaccinations and regular check-ups at your vet’s clinic. When your dog goes outside for his regular walk, he will bring back allergens and insects like ticks that can spread diseases.
- Allergies and Asthma
Dogs and cats carry a lot of allergens on their fur. This is why people with a highly active immune system find themselves allergic to cats and dogs. Even people who are not generally hypersensitive to allergens can have their allergies triggered due to the allergens on the dog’s fur. This is especially dangerous for those suffering from asthma and similar ailments.
- Less partner Time
If you sleep with your dog, chances are that he has a designated space on the bed. Once you make it a habit for your dog, he will not prefer to sleep anywhere else. Sleeping with their owner becomes an everyday ritual for them. If you want to spend some quality time with your partner, prepare for a night-long of howling, barking and scratching at the door. It is cute the first few times, but it gets annoying on an everyday basis.
- Behavioural issues
Although sleeping on the bed with your dog is not the main cause of behavioural issues, it does contribute to it. Once your dog gets this habit, it will be very difficult to change. If your dog shows signs of aggression, you might be worsening it by letting him sleep on your bed. For example, a dog with resource guarding issues will growl and bark to safeguard his sleeping spot on your bed. But the real problem is your dog unnecessarily defending what he sees as his items and territory, not about the co-sleeping.
Sleeping with your dog can also increase the severity of his separation anxiety.
- It is dangerous for people with immunosuppressing conditions
As dogs carry a million different types of allergens and microbes on their fur. They are especially dangerous for people who are suffering from immunosuppressive conditions like AIDS, cancer patients, transplant recipients etc. Individuals suffering from these conditions or similar conditions (whether temporary or not) should not sleep with their dogs on their beds.
- You may catch a disease
Catching a disease from your dog is extremely rare but it is not impossible. Pet fur carry allergens and microbes which can cause the following ailments:
- Chagas disease
- Cat scratch disease
- Pasteurella spp. And Capnocytophaga canimorsus infections
- Staphylococcus intermedius infections
- Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus infections
- Parasitic infections
It depends on your personal preference and the hygiene you maintain with a dog in your home. As long as you keep yourself and your dog healthy, it is absolutely safe to let your dog hop on your bed for a good night’s sleep.