There are two different kinds of pet owners out there: the kind who let their four-legged friends sleep on the bed with them and the other kind. In all seriousness, the answer as to whether or not it is safe and healthy to let your dog share the bed with you is resounding…it depends. The team at Walk! ATX can help break down the pros and cons of sleeping with your dog so you can decide what co-sleeping strategy works best for you.
To Bed or to Crate, That Is the Question
A survey by the American Kennel Club reveals that about 45 percent of dog owners allow their pets to sleep in bed with them. There are plenty of positives to weigh when considering whether you should share your bed with your furry friend.
Sleeping with an animal by your side can be comforting for both you and your dog. It may help ease anxiety and stress and act as a natural anti-depressant. Snuggling your pet can help boost oxytocin production in the brain. This chemical is a feel-good chemical also known as the “love hormone.” Increases in this chemical can help you relax and ease into a better night’s sleep.
However, good pet owners need to assess their animal’s behavior before getting cozy for the night. While sleeping in the same bed can create a sense of comfort, it may not be a beneficial practice for dogs who suffer from aggression, resource guarding, or severe separation anxiety.
In animals who practice resource guarding, they may be more prone to getting territorial about the bed. They can growl, bark, or even nip. In addition, pets who need to be close to you 24/7 tend to lack independence. Giving them space to be on their own at night could help with separation anxiety and unhealthy attachments.
Pet parents may also want to examine their own sleeping behaviors. Some people feel safer when they know their dog is in bed with them and will alert them to noises. Others may be bothered by a dog waking them up. Also, brachycephalic dogs tend to snore more than dogs with longer muzzles. If you are a light sleeper, the snoring may disrupt you.
Pet owners will also want to think about their dog’s needs. If you have an older pet that suffers from arthritis, it may be hard for them to make it up onto the bed. If you tend to move around or kick in your sleep, you certainly don’t want to hurt an already vulnerable animal. Be sure to consider your health as well. Think about whether prolonged exposure to pet hair and dander at night will impact your breathing or result in allergy-like symptoms.
So, should you sleep with your furry friend? Yes. By all means, if it is safe and healthy to do so, go for it. It can help you bond with your dog and help you relax. Besides, there is nothing better than waking up to a wagging tail and a face wash. Just remember, dogs and people have different sleep cycles. Sometimes this makes them incompatible in bed together. That’s okay. Just be sure to give them a crate or dog bed, someplace they know they can be safe and snuggly at night that is all their own.
However, if you find you want to stay in bed and catch a few extra zzzzzs after your pup is up, contact the team at Walk! ATX. We’ll be happy to take your pet on a morning walk for you. At Walk! ATX, we love getting out and getting active with all dogs and can customize a routine to fit your dog’s needs. Contact us today at (512) 655-9557.