Sleeping with your pet may be a very common habit that is seemingly harmless to your health, yet it is an act that contains much debate.
Some animal lovers do not hesitate to make the decision as to whether or not the animal should climb into bed to sleep, for many, sleeping next to their dogs is a treat.
Other people prefer their dogs to sleep nearby but in their own beds. Whatever your preference, the real question is, is it okay to sleep with your dog in bed? In this post, we tell you all about it!
Can you sleep with your dog in your bed?
A survey conducted by the AKC revealed that 17% of respondents take their dogs to sleep in their bed, 20% take their dog to the crate at night, and 45% welcome their dog in their beds.
However, the real answer is: It depends. Whether or not you allow your dog to sleep in your bed depends on your health because science does not agree.
Some studies claim that sleeping with a dog helps us rest better while others say the opposite.
A study conducted in 2019 indicated that having a dog increases the amount of sleep a person gets, while a 2018 study found that dog owners fall asleep faster than those without dogs.
The journal Human Nature recently published a study where I pointed out that sleeping in the same bed or bedroom as our pets are not just a modern phenomenon. In fact, some traditional cultures considered sleeping with animals to be beneficial.
However, other specialists indicate the opposite, arguing that these people tend to develop sleep disorders.
Having a dog in bed can influence sleep. Other factors such as the number of people and pets, the size of the dog, and the size of the bed also play a role. Everything has to be in sync.
The researchers note that this varies depending on whether the dog is simply in the room or lying in its bed; their data show that when the dog is in the bed, individuals sleep less well than when the dog is simply in the room.
Benefits of sleeping with dogs
They provide security. According to research from the University of Queensland in Australia, sleeping with our pets provides us with more safety and security.
Reduces blood pressure. The Journal of Behavioral Medicine published a very famous article at the end of the ’80s in which they confirmed a cause-effect relationship between sleeping next to our pet and the lowering of blood pressure, this being a key factor when relaxing and falling asleep.
Reduces anxiety. It has already been demonstrated that dogs secrete serotonin (happiness hormone) when they are near or in contact with their masters.
It reduces stress. Sleeping with your dog will significantly reduce the levels of this substance, thus providing better rest.
Improves our emotional bond. Sleeping next to someone or in this case, our dog is a very intimate act that strengthens the affective bond exponentially.
Comfort. If you were one of those kids who slept with a stuffed pet, now sleeping with your pet is almost the same. They bring you comfort, warmth and help you feel comfortable by synchronizing their heart rate with yours.
Disadvantages of sleeping with dogs
Possible transmission of diseases. To avoid this, you simply need to make sure your pet is in perfect condition.
Dogs can carry allergens. Such as dust and pollen into your bed, aggravating severe allergies and asthma, and can spread bacteria, parasites, and fungi through their fur or saliva.
Depending on the aggressiveness of the animal. It can also cause certain injuries through scratches and bites, which we can hardly avoid if we are asleep.
Some of the scientific arguments that support this idea explain that what affects most is the posture in which the dog sleeps, in addition to the temperature difference between humans and animals, added to the fact that some pets snore or can cause scratches.
Should dogs sleep in children’s beds?
Although children and dogs get along very well, children are more susceptible to germs than adults, especially if the dog tends to lick.
Even if the dog is well cared for, with vaccines control, with its parasite process complete, very clean among others, the puppy when going out of the house, can pick up some parasite and bring it home, regardless that it is properly dewormed, the parasite will lodge in its coat while the antiparasitic process takes effect to reject it.
Aggressive dogs can be especially dangerous to children, and it is more difficult for a child to get quality sleep with a pet in bed.
Pets should not sleep with a baby. Consult a professional if you are unsure if your child is old enough to have a dog in bed.
How to sleep with your dog in bed
There are some steps to follow should you decide to share a bed with your dog.
- Before going to bed, walk the dog.
- Train him to wait for your permission to get on the bed.
- Be strict with the rules and establish the rules of what he can and cannot do.
- Visit the veterinarian for regular check-ups and vaccinations.
- Use flea and tick preventative treatments.
- Change sheets and bedding regularly.
- Take your dog to a dog groomer.
When not to sleep with your dog
- Is a new puppy and has not had a check-up or vaccinations
- Is not potty trained or has diarrhea
- Has worms, mites, fleas or ticks
- Is prone to biting or scratching
- Moves around a lot or is large in size
- Snores or drools
Is it ok to sleep with your dog in your bed?
As we mentioned, it depends. In general, science appears to coincide with common sense. Sleeping with dogs can cause issues, but they are almost usually linked to existing health and behavioral issues.
On the other hand, if our pet is healthy, has good cleanliness, and has had a “good education,” not only will there be no difficulties, but it will also have a good impact on you.
Q: Is it okay to sleep with your dog in your bed?
A: Whether it is okay to sleep with your dog in your bed depends on personal preference, individual circumstances, and the dynamics between you and your dog. Sleeping with your dog can have both benefits and considerations. On the positive side, it can provide comfort, promote bonding, and reduce anxiety for both you and your dog. However, there are factors to consider, such as allergies, hygiene, sleep disruptions, and potential behavioral issues. It is important to assess your own sleep quality and discuss with your veterinarian if sleeping with your dog is suitable for your specific situation.
Q: Are there any health concerns associated with sleeping with your dog?
A: While sleeping with your dog can offer emotional benefits, there are some potential health concerns to be aware of. Dogs can carry allergens, parasites, or bacteria that could potentially affect your health, especially if you have allergies or a compromised immune system. Additionally, sharing a bed with a large dog can disrupt sleep patterns and cause discomfort. It is advisable to regularly maintain your dog’s hygiene and consult with a healthcare professional to address any health concerns related to sleeping with your dog.
Q: How can I ensure a comfortable and safe sleep environment with my dog?
A: To ensure a comfortable and safe sleep environment with your dog, consider the following tips:
Establish boundaries: Set clear rules and train your dog to understand where they should sleep in your home, whether it’s in their own bed or a designated area.
Maintain hygiene: Regularly groom and bathe your dog to minimize allergens, parasites, and odors. Wash your bedding regularly as well.
Choose the right-sized bed: Provide a bed that accommodates your dog’s size comfortably while leaving enough space for both of you to sleep without feeling cramped.
Practice good sleep hygiene: Maintain a consistent sleep routine, keep your bedroom well-ventilated, and consider using separate blankets or bedding for you and your dog.
Consult with a veterinarian: Discuss your specific concerns and health considerations with a veterinarian to ensure the best sleep arrangement for both you and your dog.
Q: Can sleeping with your dog cause behavioral issues?
A: Sleeping with your dog can potentially contribute to behavioral issues, depending on the dog’s temperament and your consistency with training and boundaries. It is important to establish clear rules and reinforce them consistently to prevent any unwanted behaviors. For example, if your dog becomes possessive or aggressive over sleeping spaces, it may be necessary to reevaluate whether sharing a bed is suitable. Seek guidance from a professional dog trainer or behaviorist if you encounter behavioral challenges related to sleeping arrangements.
Q: Are there alternative options if I prefer not to sleep with my dog?
A: If you prefer not to sleep with your dog, there are alternative options to ensure your dog feels comfortable and secure. You can provide a cozy dog bed in your bedroom or a nearby area, allowing your dog to be close to you without sharing the same bed. Creating a consistent nighttime routine and providing comfort items like blankets or toys can also help your dog feel secure and ease any anxiety related to sleeping arrangements.