Sleeping With Dogs: The Pros and Cons

As a dog owner, you may have found yourself wondering if it’s safe to let your furry friend join you in bed at night. Opinions on the matter are often divided, with some arguing that sleeping with dogs can be beneficial while others claim it’s a health hazard. In this article, we’ll look at the pros and cons of sleeping with dogs to help you make an informed decision.

The Pros

There are several benefits to sleeping with your dog. Here are some of the most notable:

1. Comfort and Security

Dogs are known for their loyalty and instinctive need to protect their owners. Sleeping with your pup can make you feel safer and more secure at night, especially if you live alone. Additionally, having your furry companion snuggled up against you can provide a sense of comfort and warmth, which can be especially beneficial during cold winter nights.

2. Reduces Stress and Anxiety

Studies have shown that owning a dog can help to reduce stress and anxiety levels. Sleeping with your dog can have the same effect, as their presence can provide a sense of calm and relaxation. Some even find that listening to their dog’s breathing and heartbeat helps them to fall asleep faster and sleep more soundly.

3. Bonding with Your Dog

If you lead a busy life, sleeping with your dog can offer a chance to bond and spend quality time with your furry companion. Dogs are social creatures by nature and enjoy being close to their owners. Sleeping together can help strengthen the bond between you and your pup and make them feel more loved and secure.

The Cons

Despite the benefits, there are also some risks associated with sleeping with dogs. Here are some of the most important cons to consider:

1. Disruptive Sleep

Dogs can be restless sleepers and may wake you up with their movements, snoring, or even barking. Additionally, if your dog is prone to getting up during the night to go outside or get a drink, this can also disrupt your sleep. Over time, this can lead to sleep deprivation, which can have a host of negative health consequences.

2. Increased Risk of Allergies

Sleeping with dogs can increase your risk of developing allergies or asthma. This is because dogs shed dander, which are tiny particles of dead skin, that can get trapped in your bedding and exacerbate allergies. Additionally, if your dog spends a lot of time outside, they may bring in allergens like pollen or grass.

3. Risk of Zoonotic Diseases

Zoonotic diseases are those which can be transmitted from animals to humans. While the risk is generally low, sleeping with your dog can increase your chances of contracting a zoonotic disease. For example, dogs can carry ticks or fleas, which can transmit diseases like Lyme disease or Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever.

Tips for Safe Sleeping with Your Dog

If you decide to let your dog sleep in your bed, there are a few things you can do to minimize risks and ensure a safe and comfortable experience. Here are some tips to keep in mind:

1. Keep Your Bed Clean

To reduce the risk of allergens and bacteria, make sure to wash your bedding regularly. Use detergent that’s safe for pets and consider using a protective cover on your mattress to prevent any accidents.

2. Get Your Dog Their Own Bed

Consider getting your dog their own bed to sleep in next to yours. This can provide them with a sense of security and give you more space in bed. Make sure their bed is comfortable and cozy, with plenty of padding and blankets.

3. Establish Boundaries

To ensure a restful night’s sleep for both you and your pup, it’s important to establish boundaries. This could mean setting aside a certain part of the bed for your dog or making a rule that they’re not allowed to bark or move around too much during the night.

4. Keep Your Dog Clean

Regular grooming can help keep your dog clean and free of parasites like fleas and ticks. Make sure to give them baths regularly and brush their coat to prevent shedding and keep their skin healthy.

Conclusion

Sleeping with your dog can be both beneficial and problematic, depending on your particular circumstances. By considering the pros and cons and taking steps to ensure safety and comfort, you can make an informed decision about whether or not to let your pup share your bed at night. Remember, if you do decide to sleep with your dog, it’s important to practice good hygiene and maintain healthy boundaries to promote a restful, healthy sleep.

FAQs

FAQ 1: Is it safe to sleep with my dog?

Sleeping with your dog can be safe as long as you practice good hygiene and ensure your dog is healthy. It’s important to clean your dog regularly and keep up with their vaccinations to prevent any illnesses. Additionally, if you or anyone in your household has allergies or respiratory issues, it may be best to avoid sleeping with a dog.

FAQ 2: Can sleeping with my dog affect my sleep quality?

Yes, sleeping with a dog can affect your sleep quality as dogs may snore, move around, or wake up during the night. It’s important to establish a comfortable sleep routine for you and your dog, such as providing them with their own bed close to yours or setting boundaries.

FAQ 3: Are there any benefits to sleeping with my dog?

Yes, sleeping with a dog can have benefits such as reducing stress and anxiety, providing comfort and companionship, and improve your mood. It’s important to take into consideration your dog’s temperament and any behavioural issues before allowing them on your bed. A well-trained and well-behaved dog can make a great sleeping companion.


References

1.
Coren, S. (2010). Is your dog sleeping in your bed a good idea? Psychology Today. Retrieved from https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/canine-corner/201010/is-your-dog-sleeping-in-your-bed-good-idea

2.
Krahn, L. E., Tovar, M. D., & Miller, B. (2017). Are pets in the bedroom a problem? Mayo Clinic Proceedings, 92(8), 1264-1265. doi: 10.1016/j.mayocp.2017.05.005

3.
Zager, A., & Collins, C. K. (2019). Bed sharing with dogs: Does it affect human sleep? Mayo Clinic Proceedings, 94(10), 2003-2004. doi: 10.1016/j.mayocp.2019.04.029