The Pros and Cons of Sleeping with Your Dog
Sleeping with Your Dog Can Be Good!
For many dog owners, the idea of sharing a bed with their furry friend is both appealing and comforting. The thought of snuggling up with your dog at night can bring a sense of security and warmth. You will need to know some of the pros and cons of sleeping with your dog in bed.
A survey of the American Kennel Club found that 45% of all dog parents let their dogs sleep in bed with them at night and small dogs are more likely to be allowed in the bed than large dogs.
However, the decision to sleep with your dog is not without its controversies and considerations.
In this article, we will explore the pros and cons of sharing your sleeping space with your furry friend, shedding light on both the positive and negative aspects of this popular practice.
Pros of Sleeping with Your Dog
We will now explore some of the pros sleeping with your dog.
- Emotional Bonding: Sharing your bed with your dog can be a benefit by strengthening the emotional bond between you and your pet. The physical closeness can foster a deeper sense of connection, leading to increased feelings of love and security. Their presence helps us relax and increases our flow of oxytocin, the love chemical. This essentially makes your dog a living antidepressant!
- Stress Reduction: Studies have shown that being in close proximity to a dog can reduce stress and anxiety levels. The act of petting a dog can release oxytocin, a hormone associated with bonding and stress relief, which can lead to a more peaceful night’s sleep. Pet owners have reported a 74% improvement in their mental health from pet ownership.
- Warmth and Comfort: Dogs are naturally warm, and their presence in bed can provide warmth and comfort on chilly nights. Their body temperature is 3 – 6 degrees higher than humans. Many people find it cozy and soothing to sleep with their dogs, especially during the winter months.
- Security: Having a dog in bed can provide an added sense of security. Dogs are known for their keen senses, and their alertness can help you feel safer at night, potentially deterring potential intruders.
- Alleviating Loneliness: For pet parents who live alone or those who struggle with feelings of loneliness, sleeping with a dog can provide companionship and ease feelings of isolation. A study was made and found that 41% of pet owners said sleeping with their pet provides companionship. It also found to exhibit better self-esteem, less fearfulness and greater social support.
- Better Sleep: Surprisingly, some dog owners reported better sleep when sharing their bed with their pets. This improved sleep quality may be attributed to the sense of security and emotional comfort that comes from having a dog by your side.
- Health Benefits: Petting and cuddling with your dog can lead to the release of endorphins, which can help reduce pain and improve the mood. Additionally, some studies suggest that sleeping with dogs can boost the immune system and reduce the risk of allergies in children. Reduces bad dreams, depression, stress, insomnia and improves sleep quality.
Sleeping with Your Dog Does Not Make Sense
Sleeping with your dog will not be right for everyone. You will want to avoid sleeping if it includes any of the following:
- Your dog is not house-trained.
- You have severe allergies.
- You are crate training your new dog or puppy.
- If you or your dog have any health issues that would be exacerbated when sleeping together.
- You are a light sleeper.
- Germ exposure.
- Open wounds.
If any of these issues are seen, you may want to reconsider sleeping with your pet or wait until these issues have been resolved.
Cons of Sleeping with Your Dog
We now address some of the cons of sleeping with your dog.
- Allergies: Dogs can carry allergens like dander and pollen, which can trigger allergies in some individuals. Sleeping with your dog may exacerbate these allergies, leading to sneezing, itching, or congestion.
- Sleep Disruption: Dogs can be restless sleepers, tossing and turning throughout the night. This can lead to sleep disruption for their owners, particularly if the dog takes up a significant portion of the bed or wakes up frequently.
- Hygiene Concerns: Dogs can bring dirt, bacteria, and even parasites into your bed, which may not be ideal for maintaining a clean sleeping environment. Regular grooming and cleanliness are essential when sleeping with your dog.
- Behavioral Issues: Sharing a bed with your dog can inadvertently reinforce certain behavioral problems, such as separation anxiety or dominance issues. It may blur the lines of authority and routine, potentially leading to behavioral challenges.
- Space Constraints: Larger dogs, in particular, can take up a significant amount of space in bed, leaving less room for their owners to sleep comfortably. This can lead to discomfort and potential sleep disturbances.
- Human Relationships: Sleeping with your dog can sometimes strain human relationships, especially if one partner is uncomfortable with the arrangement. It’s essential to consider the feelings and preferences of all household members before allowing your pet to sleep in bed.
- Injury Risk: There is a possible risk of accidentally rolling over or kicking your dog during sleep, which could lead to injury. This is especially true for smaller dogs who may not be as noticeable in a large bed.
Tips for Sleeping with Your Dog
If you have decided to have your dog sleep with you, here are some tips that can help boost the sleep quality for both of you.
- Use a properly sized mattress: To reduce any disturbances when switching sleeping positions, make sure the mattress is large enough to accommodate you and your pet. Bigger dogs requires a larger sleeping area than smaller ones.
- Wash the sheets and bedding regularly: Good hygiene is essential to preventing the spread of unwanted germs. Make it a habit to wash the bedding regularly. Also, wash any pet beds or blankets you bring into your bedroom. If you’re pet likes going or playing outside, consider wiping down their paws and coat to keep dirt, pesticides, and outdoor allergens out of the bedroom.
- Stay up to date on vet visits: Keeping your pet free from diseases protects you as well. It is important that your pet is current on the recommended vaccinations for their breed, and maintain the flea and tick treatments and deworming schedule as determined by your vet.
- Do not let your pet lick or kiss your face: If at all possible, avoid letting your pet lick your face or any open wounds, as they could potentially transmit an illness to you. It is highly unsanitary for your dog to lick around your face, eyes, and nose! Dogs have been proven to carry various bacteria in their mouths that can be beneficial or non-effective to their overall health.
- Keep a consistent bedtime schedule: Like us humans, animals have a circadian rhythm that governs when they feel tired and when they are awake. So, going to sleep and waking up around the same time each day will help you and your pet stay on a relatively similar sleep-wake cycle. This can protect you from restless nights with your pet.
The decision to sleep with your dog is a personal one, and it comes with both pros and cons. For many dog owners, the benefits of emotional bonding, reduced stress, and added warmth and comfort far outweigh the potential drawbacks. However, it’s essential to consider your unique circumstances and preferences, as well as those of any other people sharing the bed with you.
If you choose to sleep with your dog, it’s crucial to maintain good hygiene practices, provide proper training and boundaries, and ensure that the arrangement does not negatively affect your overall well-being. Regular veterinary check-ups and grooming can help mitigate some of the cons associated with sharing a bed with your furry friend.
Ultimately, the decision to sleep with your dog should be made with careful assessment of your lifestyle, health, and the needs of your pet. Whether you choose to snuggle up with your furry friend every night or keep your sleeping spaces separate, what matters most is the well-being and happiness of both you and your beloved four-legged friend.
Below are some other articles that may be of interest to you.
- Christmas Presents for My Dog
- Common Health Problems for Dogs
- Health Issues Dogs Can Have with Beds
- How To Clean Dog Beds
- Ingredients To Avoid in Dog Treats
- The 15 Most Friendly Dog Breeds
- Toxins Found in Memory Foam Beds
Go back to the Dog Luxury Beds home page.