Pros and Cons of Sleeping with Dogs

Dogs are playful, cheerful, energetic and true companions. Dogs are famously friendly. Sometimes petite and sometimes sturdy personality and colour variation of their coat are attractive to us. Their social and loyal behaviour make them ideal to be adopted as a new addition to one’s family. Perhaps, you might be instantly smitten, wherever you see their sweet face.

People love to own a puppy. Their company makes the owner cheerful and provides much-needed relief from the disturbances of life. Every dog owner loves their furry babies and wants to spend as much time with them as possible. Dog owners feel that the time which they spend with their pooches is the best time of their day.

People are very busy in their life. They go for their jobs, workplaces and business meetings for the whole day and miss their furry babies. So, the evening is a time when they meet and snuggle with their pet. Some passionate pooch owners don’t leave their puppy even during sleeping time and let them in their beds as their dog is safe with them. They try to compensate their lost time by allowing their pooches to sleep with them at night.

 It is a win-win situation to cuddle and sleep with your puppy as a best friend.

For years it was the popular opinion that letting your canine companion sleep with you was an unhealthy or potentially dangerous thing for both you and your dog.

Well, if you and your dog are both healthy, it could actually be beneficial to both of you. So, you can relax and sleep with your pet with no worry. Still, if you have any hesitation, weigh the following pros and cons for yourself.

Here, we have given some details along with studies and the pros and cons of sharing your bed with your four-legged friend.

So, continue reading to learn how to make the right choice for your household.

Reviews of Studies

According to researchers, dogs are polyphasic sleepers, meaning they have multiple sleep cycles in a day; with an average of at least three extended periods of sleep in a day. Humans on the other hand are monophasic sleepers; with usually only one period of sleep in a 24-hour period of time. 

Another reason for the disturbances is how alert dogs are even during sleep. Though this may be great from a protection viewpoint, it does cause them to wake up more easily than their human counterparts. 

PROS

  • Coziness for you and your dog

In general, most people love to have their furry companion nearby, at all times; even when they are sleeping. When you touch and talk to them, they make you relaxed and calmer. Being near them can increase the hormone oxytocin in the body which promotes feelings of affection and happiness.

Sharing their bed with pets can help some people to get a night of sound sleep and may even make less anxious.

  • Mutual warmth

As we know, a dog’s body temperature is 5 degrees more than that of a human. If you sleep with your dog, it surely helps you to control your frequent cold in the night. So, snuggling and cuddling with your pet is an instant remedy for the ailments of cold.

A big dog’s body works like a radiator of heat that gives you enough warmth to have good sleep in a cool climate and also cold weather. 

  • Feeling secure

Dogs, even while asleep, are very alert to noises or disturbances like, dropping of objects, opening of doors or even heat from a fire. You feel very relaxed and secure when your lovely pooch is curled up next to you at night. Your beloved canine works like the best security alarm whose response to danger is quicker than you. Knowing that your dog is there to watch over you and your house gives you a peaceful sleep. This emotional attachment to your pet increases your mental peace in every aspect of life. 

  • Help with insomnia

Insomnia is a problem of sleeplessness. If you suffer from this trouble then letting your dog into your bed can be therapeutic. 

When your dog falls asleep, its soft rhythmic breathing sound can help lull you and may slow your heart rate and also makes you sleep.

Some people love their pet’s snoring sounds which act as white noise to help a restless sleep.

  • Reinforcing dog and owners’ bond

Sharing always boosts up any relationship whether it is food, bed, cloth or space.

When you sleep with your pup, there are so many things which you share like space, time and care. A bond of trust and love develops between you and your pet and it becomes an even more integral part of your family.

  • Puppy alarm clock
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A dog is a very faithful and loyal housemate that has a mutual bond with the family. It knows all daily routine activities, like when it is feeding time and at what time you will take it for a morning walk.

Once you adopt a pet, you need to have a fixed morning routine to care for your soft paws. Once in a while when you do miss the alarm and sleep in too late, one will be there to lick you awake. One greets you by its wagging tail and happy face.

This eagerness for food and going to walk and openly displaying innocent love to you, instantly melts your heart.

  • Kids’ companion

A defender or a bodyguard are the synonyms of a dog. This quality makes a dog reliable to family members, especially children.

Children above the age of seven can share their bed with their lovely pooch. Till this age, children come to know not to rough house with their pup and give it proper space to sleep when it is annoyed.

In most cases children are afraid to sleep alone in the night; the presence of a dog in their room gives a reliable company which can ease their fears help to get a sound sleep.

 As a parent of younger children, you should take precautions if you have a pet in your home.

  • Increases happiness of your dog as well

Everybody wants attention with love and care. Your extra cuddle time makes your pup much happier, as this true companion just loves to be around you.

CONS

All the above pros of sleeping with your dog sound great but giver below are some cons to consider before you decide to go for it.

  • Restless sleep

Disturbed sleep and restless nights are one of the most common downsides when letting your pet in your bed. The sleeping pattern of dogs is far different than that of humans; as can be expected from an animal that spends all day sleeping. 

Their tendency to wake up at night after frequent intervals of time is very usual. So, they move around much more at night than we do. 

If you are facing trouble sleeping, you should let your dog sleep on a separate bed so that both of you enjoy each other’s company without distressing the sleep cycle.

  • Risk of ticks, fleas or diseases

A dog roams around the whole day in the nooks and crannies of the house as well as wooded and grassy areas. Traces of dirt, ticks and bacteria remain on their fur, belly, tail and paws bring all these into your bed along with bacteria-laden drool even intestinal parasite eggs. These can transmit into your body when you sleep with it or indulge in any other activity.

To lower the infection risk, it is necessary to clean and bathe regularly and combing of fur is essential to check the presence of flea and ticks. 

If you and your pet are quite healthy, then the risk of transferring disease between you is very low.

  • Anxiety and stress of separation 

 If your dog suffers from a separation anxiety disorder, especially at night, then allowing it to at least sleep in the room with you will help calm it down.

While it won’t fix the issue of separation anxiety it will at least give your dog some relief from the effects of anxiety.

  • Safety at risk

It does not matter what your dog’s breed is. 

The safety of new born babies or toddlers is at a risk with your dog around the house. Every dog is a good housemate but surprising it, knowingly or unknowingly, when at rest can make it snap in self-defence. 

Sometimes is a very scary condition when its elevated teeth come into contact with a small child’s face or other body parts; it can be physically severe or mentally disturbing for the child and may cost the startled dog its life.

  • Fur everywhere

Beautiful, colourful, long, short and medium are different variety of furs which enhance the dogs’ appearance. But their frequent shedding becomes a continuous battle for you.

Dogs shed a huge amount of fur every day. Despite changing the bedsheets, using a fulminator brush, vacuuming, using a lint roller to clean up the mess of fur, it still lingers around in one spot or another. Removing it can become a distressing part of your daily routine. 

This collection of fur can irritate you at when you go to bed and can eventually lead you to concede that you never should share your bed with pets.

  • Dogs are bad hogs

Dogs need a lot of space to sleep. They spread out on the bed widely, even the smallest of dogs.

If you are with your partner and share your bed with your pup, it might get crowded and it becomes very messy to get a peaceful sleep.

  • Health in danger

If you and your family members, specifically your partner,have an allergy to dogs then it is imperative that your dog does not sleep not only in the bed but also your room. So that your family can enjoy the time with your pet and not just be suffering continuously.

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Your room should be a pest-free zone because allergens can spread throughout the room. These allergens remain strong for months at a time and cling to furniture, clothing and other surfaces. If your pet sleeps in the same room it makes conditions dire for the susceptible person.

  • Fire on your love life

If you share your bed with significant other then be aware. Dogs always want to sleep closer to you. Your pet tries to squeeze itself between you and your partner. This creates a lot of problems and affects your relations.

It is very important to consider your partner’s opinion and respect their feelings and never share your bed with your lovely pooch if your partner is not comfortable.

Along the same line, sharing your bed with a pup may negatively affect your love life. So, most probably make a plan to have your dog in another place out of the room at certain times. 

  • Too hot

If you feel hot when having your pet in your bed at the time of sleeping then you kick off your blanket and push away your pet to get some relief from sweating. This problem elevates more in a hot climate. If you are a warm sleeper then it will be must for you to change the sleeping place of your pet.

  • Family strife and jealousy

Aggressive behaviour, family division and jealousy often occur when people give priority to their dogs’ sleeping arrangements.

Married couple discords can at times reach extremes as the family pet is given more importance and is often a dominant intruder in the bedroom as well.

  • Awful snoring

Snoring of dogs is often very flamboyant particularly when your face is very close to its nose when sleeping. The sound is too loud to sleep passively. As a result, you have to wake up many times in the night and the coming day gets spoilt.

  • Dog attitude

If your dog has problems like dominance aggression, territorial aggression and separation anxiety, then these become shoddier if you allow your pet in your bed.

Dominance aggression: dog shows a dominant nature with you about sleeping in your bed.

Territorial aggression: the dog has an attitude about a particular area. You don’t want to send that message across because it can make its dominance or territorial aggression escalate.

Separation anxiety: it is acondition when a dog exhibits distress and behavioural problems when it gets separated from its owner.

The above problems can be in control by some efforts:

  • Make your dog exercise regularly
  • Music therapy
  • Spend a lot of time with them. Your touching and talking will work like a remedy. 

Some guidelines: here are given below some instructions to all those who decide to have their dog as a sleeper should try to make in your mind.

  1. Dogs are creatures of habit; from the very beginning, you should make it a habit for it to sleep in its own bed or crate.
  2. Once it becomes used to this habit of sleeping in its own bed, it will never irritate you to share your bed in future. If sometimes you want to sleep with your pet, it will be very easy for it to adjust.
  3. Educate your dog that getting to sleep in your bed with you is a privilege and not a right and when you say ‘off’ then it must vacate your room.
  4. Ensure your pet’s behaviour before allow it sleeping in your bed. It should be a family dog trained with etiquette so that it doesn’t do any accident in your bed.
  5. Healthy dose: You should regularly check your dog for parasites and continue the use of flea and tick preventives year-round.
  6. You should take complete care of your puppy so that it decreases the chances of transmitting any bacteria or dirt to you while you co-sleep with your pup.

Conclusion

In the end, whether you decide to allow your pet in your bed or not is a decision that depends on individual circumstances of your family and your dog. Different people have different relations with their pet so they have different problems and solutions. This topic is very vast and opinion of people cannot come to a consensus. 

Search all ideas so that your pet is happy and so are you and your family.