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Sleeping With Pets

Sleeping-with-Pets

Last Updated on July 9, 2020 by Ben Locke

The National Pet Owners Survey was conducted in 2017-2018 by the American Pet Products Association. The survey found that 68% of American households (85 million families) have pets. These lovely creatures often become the dearest members of our family; when bedtime strikes, they prefer to sleep with us, in our beds, rather than sleeping on their own. However, there are certain pros and cons of sleeping with pets, which we have discussed below. It is easy to understand why pet owners like to bring their friends from the animal kingdom into the bed. Even if you’re sleeping alone, or with a partner, the added comfort of having another living soul with you while you sleep is very calming for most people.

Pros of Sleeping with Pets

Sleeping with your furry (or not furry) friend can have advantages for both you and your pet. A recent study from Mayo Clinic has shown that 41% of people who share their bed with pets found it beneficial, particularly if these people were patients of one disease or another. Pet owners feel a heightened sense of security when they sleep with their pets, who also make it easier for them to relax, for instance-

  • People with depression, the anxiety of other psychological anomalies also discover that they can recover much better in the presence of their pets that reduce their stress levels in the night.
  • The rhythmic beating of an animal’s heart is supposed to be very comforting for night time blues and also helps your mind calm down.
  • Also, there is the added advantage of having warmth, which is always a welcome factor in your bed.
  • For children who are scared of the dark or of sleeping alone, pets are a wonderful way to get a good night’s sleep while feeling secure.
  • Pets are highly alert even while they are sleeping. Most of the time, in case there is an intruder, your pets will make sure that you are made aware of his/her presence.
  • Sleeping with your pet helps deepen the bond that you have with it.

Cons of Sleeping with Pets

Just as sleeping with another human being can disturb your sleeping pattern, sleeping with a pet might also do the same. According to a survey, many people were more disturbed throughout the night when sleeping with their pets than without. Sleeping with pets might –

  • Trigger allergic reactions in people who are sensitive to animal fur or dirt.
  • You might get introduced to unwanted organisms in bed, such as ticks and fleas.
  • You might injure yourself or your loved pet while you’re sleeping in the night.
  • You have to take additional care to wash your sheets regularly and maintain hygiene around your bed.
  • Some veterinarians and dog trainers are of the opinion that by allowing your pet into your bed, you are foregoing your position of dominance. This might make your pet disobedient or very whimsical.
  • If proper hygiene is not maintained, a number of diseases such as Chagas and cat-scratch may spread to the owner from their pet.
  • Smaller or older pets have a hard time getting into the bed as well as getting out of it. Their life might be at risk in the night if you move a lot in your sleep and might end up suffocating or smothering them.

Tips for Sleeping with Your Dog

Other than the concerns of hygiene and dominance, there are a couple of more reasons which might make you reconsider sleeping with your pet. For instance, your pet might take too much space in the bed if it’s large enough or end up restless in the night waking you up in the middle of your sleep. Dogs are even known to snore at night, creating a noisy disturbance while you sleep and might even smell bad, causing you to feel uncomfortable. However, after you have weighed the pros and cons of sleeping with pets, and you still decide that you would like your four-legged friend in bed with you, consider the following tips-

  • Make sure that your dog stays on the floor while you remain in the bed for a minimum of 10 minutes. You can invite your dog up to your bed later as per your terms.
  • Your dog should show obedience enough to lie on one side of the bed without being restless and nudging or pushing you.
  • Your dog should not be allowed into the bed with their toy bones or food. You have to make it clear to your dog that your bed is a place of rest and nothing more.
  • If your dog is unable to comply with these rules of co-sleeping in the bed, then you might want to keep them on the floor, or their own private bed-space.
  • You can encourage your dog to sleep on a couch, chair, or small bed beside you, to ensure that it comes into the habit of sleeping alone.
  • If your dog is used to sleeping with you in your bed, it might hop up or jump in beside you even when you don’t want. In such cases, it is best to be very gentle with your pet and quietly put him down every time he makes these mistakes so that he can learn on his own with time.

Tips for Sleeping with Your Cat

A large number of people around the world like to sleep with their cats. As a matter of fact, two-thirds of total cat owners prefer to invite their feline buddies into bed with them. Cats are easy to cuddle, cozy, and very soft. Although there are pros and cons involved, the purring of cats is also known to have the same relaxing effects as a white noise machine. If you want your cat to sleep with you in bed and thus deepen its bond with you, then you might want to consider the tips given below:

  • Establish a playtime with your cat during the day so that they are tired by the evening. If you are away at work, you might want to leave your cat’s toys out so that it can play with them at will. Bring such toys into the house which allow the cat to climb, crawl, and explore.
  • If your cat has trouble sleeping in the night, you should engage her for fifteen minutes before bedtime. This will tire her and help her sleep at the same time every day.
  • You should consider adding a perch close to your bed because it is likely that your cat might wake up in the night. If this does happen, she should be able to get a space she can climb up to, since cats naturally like to do so.
  • Make sure that you have a clean and soft blanket laid out for your cat. Cats are attracted to such surfaces, and a freshly cleaned furry blanket will help your pet get a good night’s sleep.

Sleeping With Pets Commonly Asked Questions

Is It Okay to Get Your Cat into The Bed?

As per medical research, sleeping with cats can offer a sense of security and help you relax in bed. Almost 56% of people who own pets allow these animals into their bed to sleep with them. This is mostly done to get an extra sense of comfort and warmth. If you’re not allergic to your cat, and if she is not sick, there is no particular harm in allowing her to sleep with you.

Is Sleeping with Cats and Dogs Not Healthy?

Sleeping with your pets can be unhealthy, as per studies. Cats and their kittens might look cute and clean; however, they might spread diseases if you allow them into your bed. Although a large number of people prefer to let their dogs into bed with them, health professionals say this could be unhealthy in the long run, especially for older people.

Why Do Pets Like to Sleep with Their Owners?

Many pets like to sleep with their owners at night because they feel unsafe at this time of the day. Since these animals could have been hunted if they were out in the wild, they still carry a sense of vulnerability inside homes. However, cats might not like to sleep with you at night because they sleep irregularly and want to move around at night.

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