Should You Let Your Pet Sleep in Your Bed?
Sometimes when we come home from a long, exhausting day at work, we just want to get in bed and snuggle up with our pets. They make us feel safe, give us a sense of comfort, and provide us with unconditional love. This is why 71 percent of all pet owners say they frequently or occasionally allow their pets to sleep with them in their bed. However, is it a good idea?
Potential Dominance Issues
There are very conflicting views on whether or not people should sleep with their pets in bed. Some pet trainers and veterinarians discourage making it a habit because it might create dominance issues. When a dog or cat sleeps with you every night, it blurs the line and can teach them that you are not the leader or dominant being in your home. However, one way of eliminating this issue is by verbally inviting your pet into bed. Pets should stay on the floor for at least 10 minutes after you’ve gotten into bed before you allow them to come up. This will teach them that it is a privilege to be sleeping together and that you were the one that allowed it to happen.
According to researchers in California, people can contract infections by being too cozy with their pets. Since 1974, there have been multiple cases of plague that have been related to people allowing flea-infested cats to sleep in their beds. In 2008, another study showed that people infected with bubonic plague were more likely to share a bed with their dog than uninfected counterparts. Other infections such as Pasteurella, rabies, cat scratch disease, Chagas, MRSA, and parasites are also known to transfer through cuddles in bed. Therefore, if you allow your pet to sleep with you at night, it is important to constantly get them checked by your local veterinarian. Be sure that your animals are kept clean, dewormed, and free of fleas.
Restricting Sleep Quality
One major controversy is that regarding whether pets affect the quality of your sleep. Although the studies are conflicting, some research shows that people that have their pets in bed with them lose quality sleep. This is because many pets snore, whimper, play, or move around during the night which disrupts human sleep cycles. When this cycle is disrupted, it can be hard to return to a deep sleep. However, other studies have shown that 40 percent of pet owners actually sleep better with a pet sharing their bed. It makes them feel safer and attributes to a worry-free night of sleep. Your quality of sleep depends on your relationship with your pet, your sleep patterns, and your pet’s activity level.
Ultimately, the decision lies with you. If you feel as though you can get a good night’s rest with your pooch in bed, then go for it. However, if you wake up feeling tired and unrested, then your pet may be the reason why.