Should You Let Your Pet Sleep in Your Bed?
Whether or not you let pets sleep in your bed is a personal decision. There are both pros and cons to sleeping in the same bed as pets, so you'll need to weigh your priorities when deciding if bed sharing with your pets is right for you or not.
Sleeping with your pet in the bed with you can offer comfort for both you and your pet and strengthen your relationship. However, it can flare up allergies and bring dirt into your bed. Dog owners are split about down the middle on pet bed sharing, with about half of dog owners sleeping with their dogs in bed at night.
Pros of Sleeping With Your Pet
Thinking of sharing a bed with your pet? These are the positives of pet bed sharing.
- Closer relationships. Sleeping as a pack can make you and your pet feel closer and build a stronger relationship. This can be especially helpful if you work during the day or otherwise don't get to spend a lot of time with your pet. You can catch up on lost time together at night.
- Comfort. Pets can help you feel more comforted at night, or even offer some warmth for sleeping on a cold night.
- It's easier to support high needs pets. Whether you're training a puppy or have an elderly cat, your pet may need your attention at night. When you're sleeping in the same bed, it's easier to give them attention, snuggles, or take them out to relieve themselves at night.
- You may feel safer. Some pet owners have animals in their home not just for companionship, but security. If you have your pet with you in bed at night, you may feel safer knowing your pet is right there to alert you to danger and help if needed.
Cons of Sleeping With Your Pet
Although sleeping with pets can offer comfort, it's not always a good choice and does have its drawbacks.
- Your pet can bring germs and irritants into your bed. Pets may be family, but they're animals, and can bring allergies or fleas into your bed. If they spend time outside, they might bring in pollen from the outside. So even if you don't have an allergic reaction to your pet, you may be bothered by pests or substances that get attached to their fur and brought into your bed.
- You might get sick. Transmission of illness or disease between pets and humans is rare, but it can happen in some situations. Generally, if you and your pet are in good health, you don't need to worry about getting each other sick. But if you have a compromised immune system, you could be at a greater risk of getting sick if your pet sleeps in your bed.
- Your pet may keep you up at night. Pets don't have the same sleep cycles we do and may have more disrupted sleep. They may get up in the night to scratch or clean themselves or get out of bed to stretch, and the movement can disturb your sleep or completely wake you up so you experience less deep sleep.
There are both positives and negatives to sleeping with your pet in bed, so ultimately, this decision comes down to personal choice. Consider your preference and whether the pros outweigh the cons when deciding whether you want to share your bed with a pet.
Sara Westgreen is a researcher for the sleep science hub Tuck.com. She sleeps on a king size bed in Texas, where she defends her territory against cats all night. A mother of three, she enjoys beer, board games, and getting as much sleep as she can get her hands on.
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