All pet parents welcome the idea of snuggling up with their pooches in their beds. But we suggest learning the pros and cons of sleeping with your dog before you reserve a side of the bed for your pup.
Is it ok to share bed with dog? The answer is a resounding yes! There are no major behavioural or health risks in cuddling your fur baby in bed. However, you should still consider factors such as whether you have an allergy or if your dog has irregular sleeping patterns.
So the more specific question is, “Is it good for your dog to sleep with you?”
Let’s weigh in.
Pros of Sharing Your Bed With Your Dog
The pros of letting dog sleep in bed with you include emotional, psychological, and physical benefits.
Emotional And Psychological Benefits
Sharing a bed with a dog can provide numerous emotional benefits. As many pet owners know, our furry friends provide us with unconditional love and support, and having them close by throughout the night can be incredibly comforting.
In fact, this research found that most pet owners felt more secure when their dogs slept alongside them.
Aside from the sense of security and comfort, there are also psychological benefits. Having a dog in bed with you can help you alleviate stress, anxiety, and sadness. The physical contact, warmth, and affection of your pup are extremely comforting and can help alleviate negative emotions, such as loneliness and despair. All of these factors further influence your sleep quality.
By allowing your pup to curl up alongside you in bed, you are also strengthening your bond while showing your love and appreciation for your furry friend. It helps create a strong, secure bond that can lead to a happier life for both you and your pup.
If your dog is elderly or unwell, allowing it to sleep in bed with you might provide it some comfort and solace. Knowing its owner is close by can help relieve the dog’s pain or discomfort.
When it comes to the physical benefits of sharing your bed with your pet, research has been overwhelmingly positive.
Studies indicate that having a pet in bed with you can lower your blood pressure, slow down your heart rate, and promote deeper breathing rates.
“In people with ≥1 cardiac risk factor, pet (primarily dog or cat) owners (n=82) had greater elevated parasympathetic and diminished sympathetic nervous activities than nonowners.” — Pet Ownership and Cardiovascular Risk, AHA Journals.
All of these bodily changes can lead to overall improved health and a better night’s sleep.
Additionally, when the weather drops to frigid temperatures during the winter months, curling up with your pup will help to stave off the chill better than any down comforter. You’ll also have a furry companion to keep you warm and cozy all night long.
Cons of Sharing Your Bed With Your Dog
Sharing a bed with a dog can be warm and comforting, but it can also pose potential problems ranging from hygiene to behavioural issues.
This is a no-brainer when weighing the pros and cons of a dog sleeping in your bed. Dogs are often carriers of dirt, fleas, and other parasites, all of which they track in as they lie on your bed. These parasites can not only be unsightly but could also bring with them contagious diseases and infections.
Another potential problem to take into account is allergies. If you or someone in your home is allergic to dogs, pet dander and fur can worsen allergies. While regular vacuuming and mattress washing may reduce allergens, this may not be sufficient when you let the dog sleep in your bed, especially with severe allergies.
Although dogs are generally clean animals, their drool, dander, and odors can quickly become problematic as all these things can build up over time. These make the bedding unpleasant for use as that typical pet smell tends to be difficult to remove once it has settled into the fabric.
“Many kinds of bacteria (germs) called Capnocytophaga live in the mouths of dogs and cats. These germs do not make dogs or cats sick. People with a weakened immune systems who have difficulty fighting off infections (for example, people with cancer or those taking certain medications such as steroids) are at greater risk of becoming ill.” — Capnocytophaga, CDC.
In addition, pet odours can linger long after the pet has left. So, those who sleep in the shared bed may find themselves dealing with a foul scent all night long.
Likewise, if your dog ate cabbage or other similar foods for supper, you wouldn’t want the smell of its fart to wake you up in the middle of the night. Wait a minute! Can dogs eat cabbage? They can, but you should give it to them in moderation, especially if your dog has a weak stomach.
Allowing your dog to sleep in your bed could also lead to behavioural problems. Dogs may become possessive over the sleeping area, leading to aggressive behaviour towards other family members or pets if they try to enter this space. This might quickly escalate into a dangerous situation for everyone concerned.
Furthermore, sleeping close to their owners might exacerbate any separation anxiety the dog has. It can also lead them to wake their owners during the night owing to their heightened restlessness.
Allowing your dog to sleep in the bed may even make it more difficult to train him to keep off the furniture and other areas of the house.
So, is it bad to share a bed with your dog? Not particularly, but it’s better to err on the side of caution. If you like having your dog close by, just fix a separate bed for your pup in your room.
Should you let your dog share your bed? Well, that depends.
Dogs make the perfect cuddle buddies, and the warmth they bring to a bed is unparalleled. Plus, there are studies proving that snuggling up with your pup has health benefits. Despite this, sharing a bed with your pup also has several downsides, including behavioural concerns and odour issues. Ultimately, it all boils down to how you weigh the pros and cons of sleeping with your dog.