Does your dog sleep in your bed, all snuggled up with you? Or do you judge people who have their dog sleeping in the bed with them? Either way, no one is completely right or wrong. According to various studies published on the matter, sleeping with your dog can be good and bad for you. While they may help you fall asleep faster, dogs may also disrupt your sleep. There are several other factors to think about if you’re thinking of letting your dog sleep in your bed.
Here are the pros and cons of a dog sleeping in the bed with you.
Pros of your dog sleeping in the bed with you
1. Dogs are warm and snuggly
We’re not saying this because dogs are cute. Their body temperature runs higher than humans, so they will always feel warmer to you than a human companion. If you feel cold even in the summer, snuggling up to a dog in bed might be great for you.
2. Women sleep better with dogs, according to a recent study
A study conducted by researchers in New York determined that women tend to sleep better with dogs than with human partners. Or even cats. Led by Professor Christy L Hoffman, the study was carried out among 962 women across the US.
“I had thought participants would have rated their dogs and human partners similarly in terms of the comfort and security they provide,” Professor Hoffman says. “But surprisingly, the women rated their dog bed partners as better sources of comfort and security than human partners.”
3. You might fall asleep faster because of your dog’s routine
You and your dog won’t have long talks in bed. You also won’t fight with each other. These two factors are enough to know that you will fall asleep faster with your dog sleeping in the bed with you. But if you need more proof, a study conducted by the School of Psychology in Queen’s University, Belfast claims that people with chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) can feel significant comfort with a dog sleeping next to them. The study concludes:
“Although animals should not be regarded as a panacea for people with long-term conditions such as CFS, they may, nonetheless, serve a valuable, and currently underutilized, role in promoting well-being, whether in their own right, or in conjunction with more traditional forms of therapy.”
4. It will be easier for you to wake up in the morning
Dogs are fairly set in their ways, especially when it comes to their morning routines. They will wake you up to take them out for a walk. While this is true regardless of where your dog is sleeping, it’s more effective when you’re sharing a bed with them. As soon as they wake up, they will rustle around and make a noise. If your dog is big, you will feel the weight shifting which will wake you up instantly.
5. You won’t feel alone
If you don’t like sleeping alone, getting your dog to share your bed might be nice. You won’t feel the absence of company and their warmth (mentioned above) will comfort you on gloomy days. So if you’re prone to feeling sad when you’re alone at night, your dog will be a great addition to your empty bed.
Cons of sharing a bed with your dog
1. Your partner may not like it
Yes, these people exist. And they’re not wrong for not liking dogs in bed. That’s just their preference. If your partner doesn’t like having your dog in bed with them, you will have to make some adjustments. Resistance can lead to discord. After all, your partner deserves their sleep too.
2. The quality of your sleep may depreciate
You might sleep better with a dog in the room, owing to the comfort of security. But a dog sleeping in the bed could disrupt your sleep. According to a study by the Mayo Clinic, “Humans with a single dog in their bedroom maintained good sleep efficiency; however, the dog’s position on/off the bed made a difference.”
If your dog is sensitive to sound, they will wake up and respond. Any barking, growling or movement will wake you up in the middle of the night. Your dog could also respond aggressively to an accidental kick or nudge at night. So if you move around in your sleep, or snore loudly, don’t subject your dog to the torture.
3. Sleeping next to your dog may aggravate allergies
It may look and feel really cute, but sleeping with a dog can also aggravate allergies. If you have a furry dog, the hair could irritate your allergies and make you miserable. If you know of such health issues, don’t get your dog into your bed. No matter how happy you and your dog feel, it’s not worth it to be sick.
4. You’ll need to wash your sheets a lot more than you do now
Of course, your dog is an angel. But they are also dirtier than you. For your sake and for your dog’s health, you will need to wash your sheets a lot more often than you do now. If you have help at hand, this may not feel like too much. But if you don’t have domestic help and live alone, changing sheets every couple of days will be a humongous task.
5. It can get too hot under the covers with your dog
As mentioned above, a dog’s body temperature is higher than a human’s temperature. While this will feel cuddly in the cold, it will feel stiflingly hot in the summer. This is easily controllable though, if you don’t care much about electricity bills. Run your air conditioner at a lower temperature than you would and snuggle up.
6. It’s not an easily reversible decision
It’s difficult to get your dogs off the bed once you put them in the habit. The transition from your bed to theirs will take a few sleepless nights. The best way to do this is to train your dog to sleep on a dog bed in the same room and then in front of your door. Slowly and steadily, you can keep your dog out of your bed and room. But it will take a lot of time.
No matter how attached you are to your dog, you have to keep your and your dog’s welfare in mind. Forcing your dog to sleep in your bed won’t do any good to anyone. At the same time, if you and your dog like sharing the bed, go ahead and do it. Just keep these pros and cons in mind.