It is hard to resist letting our dear canine or feline friends into bed with us when they want to cuddle up. Often people frown upon letting our pets share our beds, but is there really any reason not to let them? Our pets are our companions in so many other ways so what could the harm really be in letting them sleep in our beds too? In this article, we will tackle the realities of letting your cat or dog sleep in your bed, and if doing so is safe for them and you.
What you will find in this blog post:
Many people who have concerns about letting their pets sleep in their beds are worried about cleanliness. It is true that our pets tend to scavenge when they get the chance so it is possible that your pet could be carrying in some unpleasant odors or even something they may have rolled in. While you obviously don’t want your pet carrying animal droppings or other outdoor irritants, as long as your pet is not sleeping on your pillows or getting under the covers with you there shouldn’t be any serious adverse effects. A good rule of thumb to follow if you choose to let your pets sleep on your bed would be making sure that your cat or dog sleeps at the end of your bed on top of the covers. You can even give your pet their very own sheet or blanket to lay on if you don’t want them laying directly on your bed coverings.
One very valid concern you may have when determining if you want to let your pet sleep on your bed is that they may be carrying in fleas, ticks, or other parasites. Obviously bringing your pet into your bed makes the possibility of being affected by these common canine and feline afflictions greater, but whenever you bring an animal into your home you are at risk for this possibility.
If you have allergies and your pet’s dander or fur exacerbates those allergies then it is not a good idea to let them sleep in your bed. If you are worried about the idea of letting your pet sleep in a child’s bed specifically, there is actually information out there to support making this decision. Having a dog sleep in your bed early on enough in development can actually help diminish one’s sensitivity when it comes to allergies. This may not be the case for everyone as some people have quite severe allergies to animal fur or saliva, but in the right cases having the family dog sleep in your child’s bed can be a great thing for them!
There has been no research to show that pets are negatively affected by sharing a bed with their owners either. When research was done on differences in sleep patterns between sleeping with and without your pet in the bed, pets seemed to sleep the same regardless of whether they were in beds with their owners or sleeping elsewhere.
All in all, there are not any particular risks to letting your pet sleep in your bed that you are not likely to have already thought about when initially deciding to bring a pet into your home. Our pets often become emotional support systems in our lives so especially in times of stress it is a great help to have them sleep in our beds with us as they can help us get to sleep and maintain restful sleep patterns.
There is no research that states that letting your pet sleep in your bed with you will meaningfully decrease the quality of sleep you get or the amount of sleep you get. For obvious reasons the position of your pet in your bed or the amount of space they are taking up (if you have a larger breed of dog or some other kind of large pet sharing your bed), could cause an outcome that was not predicted by studies done by Mayo Clinic. However, for the most part, our pets will position themselves around us in a way that is both comforting to us and comfortable for them! Our pets are usually very intuitive and able to tell when we are uncomfortable and will likely be able to accommodate your sleeping needs so that you do not experience a difference in sleep patterns between sleeping in your bed with or without your pet.
For the most part, it is quite safe to share your bed with your pet. If you have a new pet though make sure to get to know what your pet’s behavior is like before you start letting them sleep in your bed as they may have behavioral issues that you did not know about when first adopting them.
One good thing to do when letting your pet sleep in your bed is to make sure that you set clear boundaries with your pet. Make sure that they understand where they are allowed to be on the bed. It is also not a good idea to let your pet get under the covers for certain sanitary reasons but also because it would likely not be comfortable for you or your pet if they were under the covers with you.
You should also only let your pet sleep in your bed with you if they are completely house trained. Even if your pet is well house trained it is a good idea to take them out at night before getting in bed just so they don’t end up needing to relieve themselves in the middle of the night.
One last tip is that if you do want to keep sleeping with your furry friend in your bed you should be washing them or giving them baths pretty regularly. If you do this then you have much smaller chances of your pet carrying fleas, ticks, or any other dirt parasites or allergens into bed with you.
In short, it is generally quite safe for you and your pet to sleep in the same bed together. It is also not likely that having your pet sleep in your bed would negatively affect your sleeping patterns at all. In fact, having your pet sleep in your bed with you may improve your sleep as they can help you relax and offer you comfort when you’re heading off to bed at the end of the day!
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