For many dog lovers, it would be a big surprise to be asked if sleeping with their dogs is a good idea. They are doing it with no thoughts involved whatsoever. However, some medical studies tell us it's not something we should be doing. On the other hand, there are also proven benefits to doing it. Let's look at the pros and cons and then decide for ourselves.
The Benefits of Sleeping with Your Dog
Owning a dog has been proven to offer many incredible benefits, not only for our bodies but also for our minds. Companionship, love, entertainment, and many more are a few of these. For many dog parents, sleeping with their dog prolongs the bonding and the time spent with them.
Below are some of the wonderful benefits of sleeping with your dog:
Comfort and companionship
Sharing your bed with your dog can be a deep source of comfort and companionship. To some, it is more than just a thing out of habit. It is finding solace in the arms of your beloved. Here are the advantages of sleeping with your dog:
It benefits you emotionally
Most everyone is aware that dogs are some of the best providers of emotional support. We see them on the streets guiding the blind, caring for the unwell, and in many other amazing ways.
Sleeping with your dog offers a profound sense of comfort and reassurance, whether we know it or not. Their presence (even when in a weird but comfy sleeping position) helps lessen feelings of loneliness. They are a great source of warmth and connection, giving us peace of mind.
Sense of connection and security
Sharing your bed with your dog promotes a sense of security. Dogs have a heightened sense of alertness, the very reason many of them double as guard dogs. Many dog owners feel safer when we have them by our side (aside from the fact that they love shadowing us).
Their presence can serve as a sort of first defense against intruders and a natural form of security. For many, their dogs give them a feeling of safety, especially those who live alone or in secluded areas.
Comforts you through body heat
Our dogs' body heat can be remarkably soothing, especially on chilly nights. They are warm-blooded animals and, thus, provide natural warmth that makes the bed cozier and more appealing. It's as simple as having a few extra blankets that not only generate heat but ooze with love and affection that is heartwarming.
It reduces stress and improves your sleep quality
Cuddling your dog or simply having them by your side helps release oxytocin. It is a hormone that is associated with bonding and relaxation. When this happens, your stress levels will be reduced, and you'll notice an improvement in the quality of your sleep.
For many dog parents, their dog's breathing provides a soothing rhythm that helps lull them to deep sleep. Additionally, their mere presence can lessen anxiety and promote a sense of calmness that contributes to a good night's slumber.
The Drawbacks of Sleeping with Your Dog
Sleeping with your dogs has many beautiful benefits, but it also comes with a few drawbacks.
Concerns About Hygiene and Allergies
While allergies have never prevented many dog lovers from owning them, you need to be cautious when it comes to sharing a bed with them.
Potential health risks
This is especially true for people with allergies. Dog allergens from saliva or dander can trigger allergies, and sleeping with them increases your exposure to these. They can aggravate reactions such as sneezing, skin rashes, itchy eyes, and congestion.
Requires more cleaning and grooming
To help reduce the risk of allergies and other health concerns, you will need to do more than your regular grooming and cleaning. You will have to brush your dog more often to reduce shedding and wash your and your dog's bedding frequently.
You may also want to invest in allergen-resistant beds and pillow covers to create a safer sleeping area for you and your dog.
Cause disruptions in your sleep
Dogs are known to bark at random, especially when they hear unusual noises. This may cause sleep disturbances along with other commotions such as snoring, restlessness, and sudden movements during the night.
Tips on How to Sleep Safely with Your Dog
If you do decide that the advantages of sleeping with your dog outweigh the drawbacks, here are a few helpful tips for doing it safely:
Set clear boundaries
Let your dog know where they are allowed to sleep to help prevent you from rolling over or accidentally hurting them, and vice versa.
Maintain a routine
Dogs thrive on routines, and sleep time is no exception. Establish a regular sleep schedule to lessen their restlessness at night.
Train them for potty breaks
Make it a habit to take your dog for a bathroom break before going to sleep to reduce their need to do so at night.
Keep your dog clean
Give them regular baths and grooming to ensure they are clean before letting them on your bed.
Ensure your dog wants to sleep with you
Pay attention to their behavior to see if they are uncomfortable or restless when sharing your bed. If they are, maybe it is better to have them sleep in their own bed.
Give them regular exercise
Ensure your dog gets regular exercise to make them sleep more soundly at night. This reduces disturbances in your sleep. If you can, walk them before going to sleep to burn off excess energy.
For many dog parents, there are numerous benefits to having your dog sleep with you. You may know more that may not be listed here, making the act even more enjoyable. The warmth, comfort, companionship, and relaxation it offers are priceless. However, it's also essential to consider the circumstances and your dog's well-being and behavior. This ensures you and your furry pal enjoy a peaceful sleep together.