Sleeping with Your Pets: Pros and Cons

July 16, 2015

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Pets are possibly some of the greatest cuddle buddies there are. They’re warm (as their body temperatures are naturally six degrees warmer than humans), they’re cuddly, and they’re typically fluffy, making them all the more huggable. They’re also very affectionate, so cuddling with them will easily make you feel loved.

This is easily why many pet owners are okay with co-sleeping with their pets. This has even become quite a common occurrence in the US, as a survey suggests that about 56% of dog owners let their dogs sleep in their beds with them.

While it is a common practice for a lot of pet owners to co-sleep with their furry friends, it doesn’t necessarily mean that it is perfectly okay to do so. Medical experts tend to object to this practice for reasons such as:

1. Allergies that pet dander can cause.

Pet dander is one of the most common causes of allergic reactions among humans. Even if you or your spouse is not exactly allergic to the hair your pets shed, being exposed to it over long periods every night can saturate your system and cause an allergy to develop. This, of course, is harmful to your health, which is why a lot of experts advise against sleeping with your pets.

2. Sleep disturbance caused by your pets.

While some can argue that developing an immunity to pet dander and other allergens that pets cause is an easy solution to point number 1, there are still lots of other things in the list of why medical experts are not too keen on you co-sleeping with your pets. For some, their dogs can be too big to share the bed with. Others get woken up in the middle of the night at least once daily due to their pet’s movements, snoring, or cover hogging among other things. These may sound tolerable to some, but if you’re already put in that position and it happens to you nightly, it will definitely result into sleep deprivation, leaving you like a zombie during the day time.

3. Pets can also bring in lots of other serious infectious illnesses.

There are lots of things that can cause illnesses, and we have to face facts that your pets also pose some risk. You can contract worms, infections, rabies, cat-scratch fever, parasites, and other kinds of infections from them. Dr. Bruno Chomel of the University of California School of Veterinary Medicine notes that keeping them flea-free is just the first step in ensuring that your pet will not put your health at risk, though.

4. Mattress damage from untrained pets.

While there’s no doubt that your pets are more valuable than your possessions, let’s face the fact that for most households, their mattresses are big ticket purchases. They are often times viewed as investments, thus having them ruined should be avoided at all cost.

However, when you have untrained pets, keeping your mattress safe from their harmful whims can be a challenge. Especially if your pet is not yet potty trained, there’s a high chance that they will pee or even defecate on your bed. This, in turn, can easily damage your mattress.

On the other hand, co-sleeping with a pet also has some good effects. In some cases, some insomniacs find snuggling with their pets comforting and calming, allowing them to fall asleep easier.

Despite the many cons co-sleeping with a pet may have, the fact that sleeping with your furry babies feels right may still outweigh expert opinion. So, if you wish to continue sleeping with your pet, it is always best to follow a few precautions at the very least. To get you started, here are some recommendations from specialists like vets and trainers:

1. Make sure that your dog is trained to sleep on his own before letting them sleep in your bed. If they are trained as young puppies to sleep on their own, they will understand their boundaries better and know how to respect your personal space.

2. Keep your pet clean. Indoor cats tend to be a little safer than other kinds of pets when it comes to bed-sharing, as they are not as easily exposed to fleas and other parasites and are less likely to bring bugs home. Other pets, on the other hand, should be cleaned and watched closely, as well as kept in best shape, so you can be sure that they don’t carry any transmittable diseases.

3. Work hard in not letting your dog interfere with your sleep. As sleep is essential, you should never compromise when it comes to your slumber. If your pet disturbs your sleep, reconsider sharing your bed with them and train them to sleep elsewhere.

In the end, it all boils down to your comfort when it comes to co-sleeping with your pet. As long as you’re comfortable, safe from illnesses, and do not get disturbed at night, sharing your bed with a furry friend could prove to be rewarding in the end.

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