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So… the question begs should I let my dog share the bed with me? There’s no right or wrong answer to this question, in the end, it comes down to your personal preferences and comfort level. There are pros and cons to both sides of the argument, and I’m going to lay them all out on the table to make it easier for you to decide whether or not your furry friend gets to share the mattress.
It’s important to know your preferences and to have an understanding of the personality of your dog before making a decision about whether or not to allow it to sleep in the bed. It can be difficult and confusing for the animal if you change your mind later; it’s easier to set consistent rules than to break an animal’s habits.
Just like when you sleep with a spouse or partner disturbance from the movement of your pet can affect your quality of sleep. It’s true that many larger breeds will spread out and take over the bed. It can be incredibly annoying to be awoken by a dog pushing you to the very edge or all the way off the bed. Some dogs prefer to sleep towards the foot of the bed and don’t have this issue, but for others, it’s a problem.
This can happen whether or not your dog is in bed with you, but chances are that if your dog sleeps in the same bed as you, it will wake you up at some point. Like people dogs can snore. Fido might get thirsty or hungry at 3 AM or decide that it’s time to go outside. My personal favorite is from first-hand experience of a wet nose, slobbery tongue, or whimpering and crying because they’re bored and opt for the unexpected rude awakening. We call our little “Callie” our weekend alarm clock because even though we haven’t set our alarm clocks since were off work, her personal alarm clock becomes our alarm clock if you know what I mean.
Most dogs shed, and a lot of this shedding happens at night. We opted for a Cockapoo that doesn’t shed and unless you are the owner of a breed that doesn’t shed any fur, you will never be able to escape the constant onslaught of dog hair. It will stick to your blankets and cling to your clothes and could affect your health or allergies.
Sufferers of allergies may experience increased symptoms as a result of sleeping with their furry companion. Symptoms may include a congested or runny nose, headaches, itchy eyes, and asthma. This gets worse the more time an animal spends outside, as allergens can cling to their fur and rub off on the bed.
It’s no secret that dogs aren’t the cleanliest of animals, and allowing them into bed may result in mud, dirt, and other unwanted contaminants getting on pillows and bedding. As if that isn’t enough, the dog fur and potential allergy symptoms will mean that your bed will have to be cleaned much more often than usual.
All of these reasons put together make a convincing case against allowing dogs into bed, however, there are plenty of good reasons arguing for the other side as well.
Not that my opinion matters, but my wife and I over the last 20 years have always had a dog sleeping with us. While it has come with its challenges I wouldn’t dream of not sharing the bed with them. According to a survey done by the American Kennel Club¹, the majority of dog owners report allowing their dogs to sleep in bed with them. Of those, many reported that sleeping with their dog gave them feelings of comfort and restfulness they didn’t have without their pet in the bed.
My wife loves Callie when she cuddles against her feet. The body temperature of a dog is naturally a few degrees higher than that of a human. This means that your dog will keep you warm and cozy on even the coldest nights. This could be seen as a bad thing for some people, who may prefer sleeping in cooler temperatures.
Regardless of the other pros & cons associated with sleeping with your pet, there is something magical about the bond formed between a human and a dog. It’s a connection almost unfound anywhere else, and spending nights cuddled together can help bolster this connection.
The decision of whether or not you sleep with your dog can have a big impact on both your life and that of your pet. Making an informed decision can mean the difference between suffering and comfort. Different people will come to different conclusions, but with the information discussed in this article, you should be able to make an informed decision.
¹Study: Sleeping With Pets May Be Beneficial – American Kennel Club. N.p., 15 Dec. 2015. Web. 05 Jan. 2017.