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Pets in Your Bed: Yes or No?

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Pets in Your Bed: Yes or No?

pets in your bed

There are many different opinions on whether pets should or shouldn’t be sharing beds with their owners. While trainers and vets alike have a range of opinions, it is ultimately up to you whether your four legged friend gets to hop in bed with you at night.

Here are some pros and cons to consider to help you decide what is best for you and your pets. 

Pros:

Comfort/Security/Warmth

Many people enjoy having their dog or cat (or both!) sleep in bed with them because it provides a sense of security. Knowing there is a warm body next to you can allow you to get a better night of sleep and sleep more soundly. It also can administer comfort against potential intruders especially for heavier sleepers, knowing in the case of a break in or fire their dog would be there to alert them.

Bonding

Allowing your pet to sleep with you can create a stronger bond between the two of you. It has been said in some cases everyday training and experiences,  along with sharing the same space at night, has strengthened the bond between human and animal.

Helps Relieve Anxiety and Stress

Sharing a sleeping space with your pet can lower symptoms of anxiety and stress by lowering blood pressure. Their calm, reassuring presence provides comfort and can help ease anxiety.

Cons:

Allergies:

 If you suffer from allergies to pet fur or dander or have sensitive skin, then having your pet in bed with you just isn’t an option. In this case, having a separate bed for your animal on the floor or nearby would be the best situation for both parties.

Sleep Disruption

 While sharing a bed with your furry friend can be great for a few hours, it can be difficult to share the space for an entire night. Just like people, animals can be restless sleepers and snore, causing you to get a less than great night’s sleep. If you consider yourself a light sleeper, maybe try offering your pet their own sleeping space, which will allow you both to have undisturbed sleep.

Health Risks

 The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) wrote in a 2011 report“Although uncommon with healthy pets, the risk of transmission of zoonotic agents [those transmitted from animal to human] by close contact between pets and their owners through bed sharing, kissing or licking is real and has been documented for life-threatening infections such as plague."  According to PetMD.com, "to reduce the health risks associated with bed sharing and other close contact with a pet, it's recommended that pets have regular veterinary care. This should include keeping up to date with vaccinations, treating illnesses with medications, and using flea and tick preventives, since often fleas and ticks carry bacteria and diseases that can also be transmitted to people." 

Whether you enjoy morning dog breath or like your bed fur free, the right decision can only be made by you. “If you are comfortable with your pet in the same bed and there is no resource guarding, there is no reason you can’t have your pet in bed with you” says our NHSPCA Behavior and Training trainer Emma Schneidkraut. All and all, it is up to you on where your pet sleeps at night. Sweet dreams!

For more dog training resources visit our Behavior and Training department. 

Does your pet sleep with you at night?  Leave a comment to tell us why or why not.  

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