dog in bed with child

Is Sleeping With Your Dog Okay? Sleep Experts Weigh In

Sleeping with your dog every night can be fun, right? Aussie fur parents share their habits of co-sleeping with their pets.

According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics, sixty percent of households have at least one pet. Thirty-six percent of these families have dogs as pets, and over half of the households let dogs sleep on their beds.

While a loving fur parent would love a good night’s rest with his or her pooch, one has to decide what’s good for their health and sleep quality. And that’s whether the dog has to sleep on its bed away from yours.

Is sleeping with your dog okay? Here's a dog in bed with man

Why owners sleep with their dogs?

Sleeping with dogs has psycho-emotional benefits. Many owners feel relaxed and stress-free when their furry friends are around. Studies have shown that people tend to relax when the presence of their pets are around. Below are some reasons why people include Fido in bed.

Sense of safety and security. Safety and security can mean emotionally and physically. A lot of people can’t sleep as they feel alone and vulnerable in bed. A dog can fill that need and can even protect a person from harm, theft, or burglary – true, especially for individuals living in small houses or apartments.

Reduce anxiety and stress. Petting your dogs can increase happiness as it releases the happy hormone out. Having your pets near you can reduce feelings of anxiety, depression, and stress. Negative emotional turnarounds can cause insomnia and restless nights which make it difficult to fall asleep. Studies show that animals can encourage a sense of calmness and relief that lulls you to sleep.

Improved connection with pet. When was the last time you played with Fido? Are you a working fur parent who often leaves your dog alone? Dogs can feel loneliness too. Sleeping with pets near you can improve your furry relationship and help them feel less anxious too. It’s a reciprocal relationship between dogs and pet owners.

While it’s true there benefits to sleeping with your dog, the risk of health complications might be considered.

man sick in bed with dog

Why you shouldn’t let dogs sleep in bed with you

Having a dog not only makes you feel happy, but it promotes and encourages you to live healthier and better. Households with pets are more jovial than other families. Don’t you know that owning dogs can decrease feelings of loneliness and anxiety, lower blood pressure, and reduce chances of heart diseases?

Having a dog is one thing – co-sleeping with them is another. Sometimes, you need to draw a line between you and your dog. Here are reasons why you shouldn’t let Fido get into bed with you.

Worsens allergies and asthma

Are you allergic to pet dander? Does your dog shed a lot? Even if they don’t, your dog might pick up other allergens such as dust or pollen. What’s more, sleeping with your dog can stick these allergens to your clothing or beddings making your asthma and allergies worse. Leave your furry friend out of the room is you’re suffering from such conditions.

Increases risk of catching diseases

Ticks, fleas, and lice can be transmitted to humans and cause various diseases. Severe cases often led to organ damage that may result in death. Possible diseases to catch are meningitis, plague, worms, and more. If you think a bath is enough to clean your dog, you’re wrong. Talk to a vet about possible flea vaccinations and flu medications for your dog to be disease-free.

Becomes overly territorial

If you’re married, your dog might stick to one partner and may get jealous with another. When dogs exhibit jealousy, they can be destructive and tend to “protect” their human from the other. Such dogs can be overprotective of the bed also and display signs of aggression whenever your partner is “overstepping” Fido’s territory.

Disturbs you at night

Restless dogs can disturb you at night and decrease sleep quality. They are prone to twitching, stretching, or moving until they find themselves in a comfortable position. Some dogs get up and look for a place to excrete or drink water from. If you’re a light sleeper, you’ll get easily disturbed by your pooch’s movements.

Drool, dirt, danger

Dogs drool and will always bring dirt on your bed. Nobody wants that, right? but, sleeping with your dog deals with all the dirt and wet spots that can bring danger to your health. Beds should be clean and germ-free so you can sleep well. If you want your dog near you, you can place his own bed next to yours on the floor.

dog wearing sleep mask and holding alarm clock

Will you still sleep with your dog?

While sleeping with your dog improves emotions before dozing off, it puts a huge risk on your health. There are no exact rules or pointers whether you allow your dog on your bed – it’s all about preferences. But, think of your safety, wellbeing, and sleep quality.

A 15 to 20-minute snooze with your dog might be alright, but sleeping for 7 to 8 hours is something to think about.

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