Some people can’t imagine sharing a bed with their farty, snory dog. Others couldn’t fall asleep without the warmth of their fluffy friend up against them!
In reality, over 71% of pet owners say they at least occasionally share their bed with their canine (or feline!) companions. But is it good for you to co-sleep with your pet, and is it good for them?
The Pros of Sharing a Bed With Your Dog
If you and your dog(s) are already sharing a bed and everyone seems to be sleeping soundly, don’t rock the boat! Even researchers say there are a lot of psychological benefits to the relative feeling of warmth and safety a dog provides within your bed.
Particularly if you’ve got more than one dog, co-sleeping can be a great way to bolster the pack-mentality of your whole group. Afterall, wild dogs sleep all huddled together as a pack in nature, so why should your dog be any different?
Some science says that both you AND your dog might get a chemical boost from sleeping together. Touching pets has been proven to increase oxytocin levels in the brain (otherwise known as the “cuddle chemical”) which helps increase our feelings of trust and physical security.
The Cons of Sharing a Bed With Your Dog
- Sleep Disturbance
The biggest – and most common – con of allowing your dog to sleep in your bed is that he may just cause quite a disturbance. Surveys say over half of pet owners who co-sleep with their pets report that their animals disturb their sleep at least once during the night.
- Health Concerns
If you’ve got allergies or asthma, you definitely should not allow your dog in your bed. Additionally, some science says your dog can actually harbor potentially-sickening bacteria and viruses and bring them to bed with you. Fleas and ticks are also a concern, as are pet messes if your pooch isn’t fully housetrained.
- Dominance Issues
Vets agree: If your dog already has an issue with understanding the hierarchy of the family, you probably shouldn’t let him share the bed as this could make his dominant tendencies worse. If your dog’s well-adjusted, though, you should be fine.
- Love Killer
If you’re part of a couple that already sleeps in the same bed, know that adding a dog to the mix can kill your sex life. Having a warm, frisky puppy or a big, immoveable pooch in bed between you is a surefire way to put a damper on romance!
- Pet Boarding
One thing to remember about “training” your dog to being used to co-sleeping is that it makes it tougher to travel with or without him. If he’s not comfortable in a bed or a crate at night you may have a harder time finding a dog sitter who’s willing to share their bed, or a hotel with beds big enough for everyone!
So, What’s the Verdict?
All in all, experts agree that it’s generally fine to share a bed with your dog as long as you’re both sleeping well.
If you find that you don’t sleep deeply, have insomnia, or wake frequently throughout the night, a dog in bed should be the first thing you consider changing. And if you’re sniffling and sneezing more often? Added pet dander could be aggravating unknown allergies, too.
There are a lot of amazing brain benefits to spending as much time touching your dog as possible. Not only do you get a surge of happy endorphins, being next to you gives your dog a feeling of security and love. As long as you both know the ground rules and everyone’s waking rested and happy, snooze on!
Do you share a bed with your dog? Send us your funniest dog-in-the-bed photos on Facebook where you can chat with other dog lovers about getting a good night’s rest.