Sleeping with your dog?

Is sharing a bed with your dog a good idea?

Am I spoiling my dog too much if I allow them to sleep in my bed?  Will sleeping with my dog keep me awake at night?  Is it healthy to share a bed with my dog? 

According to PetMD, many vets now believe that “sleeping with your pet is an important ritual for many people and it doesn’t need to be avoided if both pet and owner are healthy.”  They define good health for a pet as having no fleas, ticks, or other parasites, no illnesses, up-to-date vaccinations, and regular vet checkups. For people, good health is defined as those who are not immunosuppressed. Cancer patients, transplant recipients, and H.I.V.-positive people are among those who should not sleep with pets.

There are pros and cons to sharing a bed with your pooch.  Here are a few things to think about, whichever side of the debate you’re on.

PROS:

  1. Some studies show that people who sleep with their dog sleep more during the night. The comfort you feel from having your dog by your side may help you to sleep more soundly and get more hours of sleep a night.
  1. It may help with depression, relieving the feelings of anxiety and loneliness. Especially for those people that live alone, having a companion by your side can fill the void of loneliness that can sometimes lead to depression.
  1. It provides a feeling of safety and security. Knowing your dog is by your side at night can provide a sense of protection and ease.
  1. Pet owners have been found to have lower blood pressure than non-pet owners. So sleeping with your dog can have a calming effect.
  1. A dog’s body temperature is higher than ours, usually around 101 to 102 degrees Fahrenheit.  So, they provide a warm and cozy nights sleep.

 

CONS:

  1. Allergies and asthma can be exacerbated by sleeping with your dog. Sharing pillows and linens where pet allergens linger is probably not a good idea.

DogsSleeping

  1. Dogs have a tendency to move around a lot and can sometimes be fidgety. If your dog wakes to noises often. If they scratch at night and you hear the jingling of their collar. If they snore or make noises when they dream. These are all things that can wake you up several times a night, depriving you of a deep night’s sleep.

  1. If they’re big and take up too much room, you could find yourself wrestling for space in the middle of the night. And, since their body temperature runs warmer than ours, it could be like having a giant heating pad by your side all night keeping you up.

A recent survey by the American Pet Products Association found that nearly half of all dogs sleep in their owner’s bed. So, what do you think about it?  What side of the debate (or bed) are you on?  Will you be catching some zzz’s with your pooch tonight?

 

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