Pet owners across the globe treat their animal companions more like family members than simple pets. Research reveals that more than 80% of pet owners allow their pets to snuggle up in bed with their partners and children.
Pet experts typically advise owners not to welcome their fluffy friends in bed. They believe it can worsen illnesses and promote bad behavior. However, most veterinarians now say those assumptions are incorrect and exaggerated.
Spending time together in the same bed after a long day promotes the human-animal bond. It also results in various physical, mental, and psychological benefits. Here we’ve created a comprehensive guide to things you should consider before deciding to share a bed with your best friend:
Things to Consider Before Sharing a Bed with Your Pet
Before you allow your fluffy friend to climb into your bed and ruin your sheets, you need to consider the following things:
Snuggling with your pets all night long can worsen breathing problems. If you have asthma, COPD, or allergies, sleeping with a pet may become a nightmare.
Remember that your dog’s shedding is not the only thing that can trigger breathing problems. Allergens are also present in your dog’s saliva, skin, along with ticks, and fleas can also cause problems.
Exposing yourself to allergens for seven to eight hours means you can count on waking up with watery eyes and a stuffy nose.
Your Pet’s Behavior
Sometimes allowing your pet to co-sleep may cause it to become quite spoilt. It may result in various dominance and aggression issues in pets that start believing that they reign in a household.
So, before allowing your pet to join you, ensure that they don’t jump in whenever they like. Instead, invite your furry friend in so they remember you’re the one in control.
Not just this, but it’s not a good idea to let younger pets working through behaviour issues sleep with you. If your pet friend has anxiety, you need to teach it that its designated sleeping area is also a safe place.
Sleeping with your pet may not always benefit you. If your pet friend enjoys sleeping in weird positions, moves around a lot, or kicks while sleeping, it may interrupt your sleep cycles and your circadian rythm.
Every time your pet does that, your brain’s ability to repair damaged cells, consolidate memories, store information, and prepare the body for optimal performance drops significantly.
To enjoy proper rest, you need to sleep through the four stages of sleep four to six times. Since each cycle lasts approximately 90 minutes, most people require seven to eight hours of uninterrupted slumber.
A lack of proper rest can impact your brain’s ability to focus, learn new things, make decisions, and solve problems.
Dogs and cats, among other pets, are notorious for spreading bacteria, fungi, and parasites. Allowing your pet to sleep with you may allow germs to enter your body through:
- Touching feces
- Licking an open wound
Luckily, research reveals that the risk of your sleeping pet spreading disease is low. And the most danger comes from:
- Fleas and ticks
- Skin infections from mites
Moreover, dirty paws and shedding fur can cause your sheets to become dirty and unhygienic. Ensure that your pets are clean before you welcome them to your bed.
There’s nothing more your pet enjoys than following you around 24/7. But if you welcome your animal to sleep in your bed once, they’ll want to do it every night.
Keep in mind that this can strain your love life. Even if you lock the door, your pet will start whining and scratching the door, which can ruin alone time with your partner.
What are the benefits of Sharing a Bed with Your Pet
Let’s discuss the pros of sharing a bed with your pet friend:
Your Pet Ensures Better Mental Health
An in-depth study by HABRI Central reveals that pets help people with long-term mental health issues experience security and a sense of routine. As a result, it improves your mental health.
Another research by the Mental Health Foundation found that sleeping with a pet benefits children with ADHD and autism while decreasing the rate of outbursts in Alzheimer’s patients.
Your Pet Helps Improve Your Mood
An insightful study shows that pets have a positive impact on your overall mood. In this study by the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, researchers exposed students to pets for 20 minutes.
The results showed that doing so helped boost students’ well-being and mood while decreasing their anxiety.
Plus, your furry best friend can help you relax, promoting a good night’s rest. Dogs are popular options for therapy pets because they allow you to release stress, feel less depressed, and reduce anxiety.
Your Pet Keeps You Warm
Your pet will keep you warm and cozy throughout the night. Common pets, like dogs, cats, and birds, have a body temperature that’s a few degrees warmer than a human’s.
And that extra heat ensures that you have a personal electric blanket that helps boost the quality of your sleep.
Your Pet Will Keep You Safe
Letting your pet sleep in your bed makes you feel safe and secure. Not everyone enjoys sleeping alone, so having your best friend co-sleep with ears more alert than yours ensures that you feel safer and sleep better.
Some pets like dogs, cats, and geese are light sleepers which helps them hear slight movements, noises, and sounds.
Your Pet Helps Reduce Strokes and Heart Attacks
According to the CDC, having your dog co-sleep helps lower blood pressure, triglyceride levels, and cholesterol levels.
Another study by the University of Minnesota shows that cat owners have a 33% lower chance of experiencing a heart attack and stroke.
The Bottom Line: Is It a Good Idea to Sleep with Your Pet?
An insightful study by AKC shows that up to 45% of surveyed people allow their dogs to sleep with them. Overall, it’s up to you to decide whether you want to share a bed with your pet or not.
Now that you know the things you should consider, it’ll be easier for you to make a final decision. Consider talking to a pet expert before making your final decision.