We don’t want to be the ones to start this debate, but for the sake of you, your pet, and possibly your partner—let’s jump right in. Shall we? If you’re a dog owner and reading this article, there is likely a 100% chance that you’re obsessed with cuddling with your fur baby.
But when does cuddling and being close to your beloved pet get to be too much? Is it okay to have them sleep with you in your bed? In actuality, less than half of pet owners share their sleeping accommodations with their pets, so who has it right?
If you love cuddling with your pup, the benefits are a no brainer. However, there are some legitimate reasons as to why it might feel good.
What Science Says
Pets provide comfort in their mere existence. But getting close to them as you both relax and unwind for sleep can keep you warm. Not to mention lower blood pressure, combat insomnia, contribute to feelings of safety, and reduce symptoms of anxiety and depression.
Also, it’s a bonding experience for you and your pet to enjoy and grow mutually. These combined factors can make for a more restful sleeping experience.
For those who have service dogs specifically for any of these reasons, sleeping with their dog might seem like the natural thing to do. However, knowing the risks on your end as well as your dog’s is important.
Now for the hard part, the bad news. Well, it’s not terrible. If all mutual parties are in agreeance, the risks are limited. Mutual parties meaning you, your dog, and whoever else is a part of your regular sleeping scenario.
While humans and dogs tend to have differing sleeping schedules, if they can sleep together without disturbances, it’s generally okay. Disturbances such as too much movement, potty training mishaps, allergy flare-ups, or injuries are all things to consider.
Bad News from Science
A more psychological consequence would be if you, at any point, needed to cease allowing them into the bed with you. Be it a medical reason, relationship, or other reason—it could potentially affect your pet’s emotions (and probably yours). If you shared the experience of sleeping together consistently with an abrupt end. It would be awesome if you could sit down and have the hard talk with your dog. If only.
Some more severe concerns are catching an infection or disease from your dog, though this is less likely to happen if you regularly keep up with their vet visits as well as whether or not your dog experiences any behavioral issues that may cause erratic behavior or conditions that require sensitivity to the body, such as arthritis.
With these perspectives in mind, there are some sound stances on what I assume is an argument for many. Whether or not any of these risks or benefits apply to your situation is dependent on the details.