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Our dogs make us smile, laugh, cry and more. For many of us, they are our best friends and we love everything about them. Regardless of whether you talk to your dogs, or you’re more of a snuggle up and watch TV kind of pet parent, there is often concern about your dog sharing your bed and sleeping on the bed with you overnight. There are opinions on both sides of this argument. To find the real answers to your dog-related questions, take a look below.
What Some Experts Say
When asking the question: is it bad to let your dog sleep in bed with you? The old fashioned answer would be “yes, it is bad”. It was commonly though that dogs were responsible for spreading disease to humans due to their different hygiene habits and the fact that they would soil the bedsheets and make them harder to wash clean. This was long ago proven to be wrong when scientists and animal lovers put it to the test.
The Science Behind Bed Sharing
Determined to get to the bottom of this firm belief that co-sleeping with a dog was bad, scientists dove into the issues and proved without a doubt that there were no negative health results to be found in sharing the bed with your dog. Disease transfer is very rare and, assuming human and dog are in good health, shouldn’t be a problem. When it came to the dog’s cleanliness, the owner simply would need to make sure the dog was clean before getting into bed and get used to changing the sheets sooner than they normally would.
Sleeping habits: Is it okay to let your dog sleep on the bed with you?
Now that science tells us that there is no harm to come from snoozing with your pooch, the question now comes to be whether or not it’s okay for your sleeping habits if your dog sleeps on the bed with you. If you’re considering it, here are some things to think about.
- Dogs are great for nightmares or emotional support: Dogs are amazing companions at night when you are looking for emotional support. For children who are fearful at night or adults with nightmares, sleeping with a dog is a great emotional support option to seriously consider.
- Dogs will keep you warm at night: If you get cold at night or you wake up often feeling chilled, a dog’s warmer natural body temperature is a great option to consider as a snuggle buddy. They’ll keep you warm and comfortable throughout the night.
- Dogs sleep in shorter cycles: Unlike humans, dogs naturally wake up several times throughout the night and will either get up and move around, or they’ll move around on the bed and often wake up their owners, though it’s usually unintentional.
- Dogs are light sleepers: Due to their excellent hearing, dogs are light sleepers, so they’ll often wake up when they hear a noise outside or a random creak in the house. If you are someone who is often startled or scared by a dog’s reaction, this would be something to consider seriously in letting your dog sleep with you.
Something to Consider
One important fact to consider on sleeping (or not sleeping) with your dog is to make sure that you are okay to do so in terms of your own health. If you are recovering from a surgery, sick, have a compromised immune system, or something else, sleeping with your dog can have serious consequences to your health. When you are considering allowing your dog to snuggle in for the night, it’s always recommended talking to your doctor if you feel as though you fall into one of these categories.
What Percentage of Dog Owners Sleep With Their Dogs?
When a series of dog owners were polled, the conclusions came back that just below 50% of owners slept with their dogs on the bed. While some were surprised that it was so low, others were surprised that it was so high. However you choose to conclude the information, however, the numbers show that 50% of dog owners believe in sleeping with their pet.
The Bottom Line: Should Dogs Sleep With Owners?
So, with the health myth thrown out the window, the pros and cons listed in terms of sleeping with your dog, now it’s time to get the final say…should dogs sleep with owners? The resounding answer is that they should be allowed to sleep with their owners if they prefer this option.
Vets share that sleeping with your dog can have a lot of healing powers in terms of emotional trauma. This is particularly so with the example above of owners having nightmares, or even in the situation where an owner lives alone and is nervous about intruders.
There are no health concerns in the idea of sleeping with your dog, though it is important to remember the importance of protecting your health if you are compromised in any form. Both your dog and your emotional side can certainly understand that.
So, it turns out that sleeping with your dog is a personal decision. With no health concerns in disease or injury to worry about, the reality simply comes down to making sure that you are comfortable with it. If you’re a light sleeper, an active dog will wake you up and disrupt your sleep schedule. If you’re nervous or uncomfortable about sleeping alone, a dog’s presence can be a huge helper to falling asleep easily. Enjoy the decision and whatever you do decide is right for you and your dog, enjoy a good night’s sleep the right way.
Emily is the content director and a contributor with 10 Best Mattresses. Emily was born and raised in Texas. After college she taught English for one year in Japan. Emily is an advocate for getting a good night’s sleep and she is passionate about promoting the benefits of good sleep such as increased alertness, improved mood and increased energy.
There was a time Emily was having trouble getting the type of sleep she had while in her 20’s. This has happened to a lot of us, right? Anyway, after noticing her quality of sleep declining, including a period of insomnia, Emily started researching sleep and sleep topics. In addition to sleeping on a great mattress with great bedding, Emily has a night time routine that works for her. She says it’s a firm mattress, a good book, milk, magnesium and fish oil. Emily sleeps great every night and her smile shows it everyday!