Sleeping next to your dog or cat is wonderful, but it also comes with a few concerns! Here’s how you can keep him close but not too close.
If you’ve ever cuddled a dog, you know just how soothing it is. And having a cat sleep in the center of your back is pretty great, too. But here’s the thing – as nice as it feels, sleeping with your pet can pose a few problems. Luckily, there’s a way to have your cake and eat it too. That is, there’s a way you can share sleeping quarters with your dog or cat without actually sharing your bed with them.
But before we get into that, let’s look at a few reasons why bunking with your fur babe isn’t ideal:
Some pet lovers may roll their eyes at the idea of dogs and cats being “unhygienic”. But hear us out! While it’s true that living in close proximity to animals actually boosts your immune system, it can sometimes work the other way too. It’s not uncommon for bacteria, parasites and other germs to spread from animals to humans. When your dog licks you or scratches you after licking or stepping in something dirty (read: poop), it can transfer right to you! So unless you’re giving him a thorough bath every night before bed, your sheets, clothes, hair and skin are bound to pick up a few unwelcome microorganisms.
2. Fleas, ticks and mites – oh my!
Most of us already know that dogs and cats are common carriers of unwanted bugs like fleas, ticks and mites. While living with an animal automatically increases the chance of these insects migrating into your home, sleeping separately from your fur babe reduces the likelihood that they’ll end up in your bedding.
3. Sleep disturbance
Did you know that dogs’ sleeping patterns are different from ours? It’s true! Our canine companions have three sleep/wake cycles while we humans only have one. Today, with sleep disturbances being more common than ever before, the more we can do to limit nighttime interruptions, the better. A study by the Mayo Clinic showed that sleep efficiency is best with a human partner and a medium sized dog in the room but not in the bed, and lowest when there was a small dog in the bed and no human partner. In other words, it’s beneficial for your dog to be near you, just not right in your bed!
4. Allergies and asthma
If you have any respiratory issues, it goes without saying that sleeping with your animal companion isn’t ideal! While raising kids with pets can lower their chance of developing allergies and asthma later in life, sleeping with a pet when you have a pre-existing breathing issue certainly isn’t beneficial. Even if your animal’s fur and dander doesn’t bother you during waking hours, chances are it will irritate your face, eyes and throat if you’re snuggled up next to him all night long.
Other reasons why it’s beneficial for pets and their people to sleep separately
Still not convinced that your fur babe doesn’t belong on your pillow? Here are a few additional reasons why pets and people should consider separate sleeping spaces:
- Some dogs are territorial of their sleeping area. This isn’t common, but it happens! And if it does, alleviating this behavior will require the dog to have his own bed.
- Older dogs in particular need a separate sleeping area to better accommodate sore joints or bladder conditions.
- Let’s not skip the obvious – dogs will get dirt in your bed!
- Jumping on and off the bed is a safety issue, particularly for pups and seniors. It can be hard on their joints!
- Dogs are warm! This is nice during the wintertime, but in the summer it can make for a very hot, uncomfortable sleep for all involved.
Solution – the best of both worlds!
As we mentioned, co-sleeping with your pet offers many benefits. It increases the bond you share with your pet and provides both of you with a sense of security. So how can you get the best of both worlds? With The Ultimate Pet Bed! This innovative bed for dogs and cats promotes the health and hygiene of both pet and human, and offers close sleeping proximity. Simply attach it to your bed and get all the comforts – and none of the inconvenience – of sleeping close to your pet!
Animal Wellness is North America's top natural health and lifestyle magazine for dogs and cats, with a readership of over one million every year. AW features articles by some of the most renowned experts in the pet industry, with topics ranging from diet and health related issues, to articles on training, fitness and emotional well being.