There is an old saying, “If you lie down with dogs, you’ll wake up with fleas.” Maybe that’s why there’s such a controversy over whether or not dogs should be allowed to sleep in bed with you. Is co-sleeping with pets really a good idea? Is it better for your dog if they sleep in the bed with you or in their own bed?
According to a study done by the Mayo Clinic, sleeping with your dog is more beneficial to your health than previously thought.
Dr. Lois Krahn, a sleep-medicine specialist at the Mayo Clinic Center for Sleep Medicine in Arizona, said in her study that in spite of what experts have claimed for a long time – people who sleep with their dogs actually get a higher rate of peaceful sleep than those that don’t.
“Since commonly people with pets dismiss placing their pet outside of their bedroom at night, the question of whether having the pet on the floor, on the bed or curled up next to them becomes important in realizing the goal of helping them to sleep as well as possible with their pet,” Krahn said.
In the experimental study, Krahn had 150 participants fill out a questionnaire that included details about the type and number of animals in the home, and what sleeping habits were. Only 20 percent of the participants reported sleep problems because of their pets – about 40 percent believed having their dog in the bedroom helped them get a better night’s sleep.
She was quoted in other media as reporting these findings:
One married woman described her two small dogs as ‘bed warmers’.
One 50-year-old woman did ‘not mind when my lovely cat’ slept on her chest and another described her cat as ‘soothing’.’
She added: ‘Patients volunteered that they deliberately acquired a dog or cat to help them relax.
‘People sleeping alone, not always single but sometimes with a partner who travels or works some nights, more often spoke of the beneficial companionship stemming from a pet in the bedroom or on the bed.’
She believed the more pets in the household, the more increase there was for the participant who didn’t sleep well. Dogs tend to cuddle more in bed, and lay still than cats do.
Even if the dog doesn’t do well in bed, having the dog sleep in a crate or pet bed in the room can be helpful.
Krahn’s findings promoted the idea that dogs can help people with anxiety and help people relax.
To put it simply, dogs are good bed partners for most.
Krahn did point out that there are just as many cons for not letting a dog sleep with you.
Those cons include:
Deciding if you want to chance having your dog sleep with you needs to be well-thought out, and researched, some doctors say. Other experts disagree. If it feels good, do it. All in all, it is up to you and your dog. Sometimes, a dog will start out in bed with you, and end up elsewhere before the morning. Don’t take it personally, they’re just trying to get comfortable, too and people can generate a lot of heat. Plus, we tend to snore and hog the pillow.
From your dog’s standpoint, sleeping together is just a normal part of pack life. Dogs often “cuddle” or lie near each other for warmth and comfort. therefore cuddling with you is just another way to say “I love you” in your dog’s language.
What do you think? Should dogs be allowed in the bed?
My dogs have given me an entirely new spiritual perspective on life. I now have a genuine understanding of unconditional love and provision.