Most people who love to snuggle with their pets can't turn a blind eye on the pleading looks their pets give them when it comes to bedtime and jumping on the bed. According to the American Pet Products Association, many pet owners sleep with their pets. About 62 percent of cats ad 50 percent of dogs sleep with their owners in one bed. So what are the benefits and drawbacks of sleeping with your pet?
- We Need Uninterrupted Sleep
- Allergic Reactions
- Bad Habits
We Need Uninterrupted Sleep
Most adults need 7 to 9 hours of uninterrupted sleep, with 6 hours being the absolute minimum to avoid health problems. When you share a bed with a pet, the likelihood of them moving about at night time increases the chances of waking you up. Every time you wake, your body loses the time it needs to recharge. Sleep deprivation can cause you to be irritable the next day and over time lead to other health issues.
Our pets roam all over the place and they can easily pick up all sorts of bacterias on their paws, in between the fold of their paws and over their body. Cats love to hunt for mice, dogs are known to stick their noses where they should not be and there is just no way that you would no what they have been exposed to as they were running around outside. At bedtime, when they jump on the bed to catch some zzz's with you they bring along these bacterias as well and deposit them on the same sheets that you snuggle up with. Just think if you missed your cat catching a mouse and playing around with it, all sorts of stuff might still be on those claws and paws and get smeared on your freshly cleaned sheets. Yuck!
Then there are accidents. Your pet getting sick on your bed or worse peeing on your pet. While washing the sheets is not a big issue, steam cleaning a mattress can get costly.
People who have pet allergies or asthma can make their condition worsen if they sleep with their pets. To avoid allergic reactions pets should be kept out of the bedroom entirely. Dander and pet hair settle in the carpet and on furniture and no matter how clean you keep your house there is no way to rid yourself of everything.
Once you start allowing your pet on your pet you will quickly find out that is very difficult to break the habit. I have heard of stories were pet owners went to sleep to later on just to notice that their dog jumped in as soon as they drifted off to sleep.
Now, let's look at some of the benefits of sleeping with your pet might offer.
- Can be calming to People who suffer from Anxiety
- Perfect Bed Warmer
- Added Sense of Security
Possible Help with Anxiety
A study from the Mayo Clinic has suggested that people who suffer from anxiety might benefit from sleeping with their pets. Snuggling up might be calming to the pet owner.
Perfect Bed Warmer
The normal body temperature of dogs generally falls within the range of 100 to 102.5 degrees Fahrenheit (about 38 to 39.2 degrees Celsius). Having an extra warm body in your bed can feel cozy.
An Added Sense of Security
Keeping a pet in your bed might make some people feel safer. The knowledge that your pet might wake up before you if an intruder enters the room might be comforting to some, however, keep in mind how often you will be awakened by false alarms as well.
Steve Brooks, a certified dog trainer and author and founder of Steve Brooks K9U in Los Angeles, recommends following these steps for co-sleeping.
“Your dog should be able to stay on the floor while you’re in bed for at least 10 minutes, and then you should be able to invite your dog up on your terms,” says Brooks. “Your dog should lay calm on the foot or the side of your bed without constantly pawing, nudging, or pushing. The bed is not a place to chew bones or play; it is a place for a calm massage or sleep. You don't want to find yourself on the edge of the bed or being pushed off the bed by your dog in the middle of the night. It then becomes the dog’s bed, not yours.”