Sleeping in the same bed as your pet: Is it safe?

Sleeping in the same bed as your pet can be a bonding and comforting experience. Maybe you’ve just gotten a new addition to your family, or you’ve had a trusted companion for a while, and you’re deciding if you should share your bed!

Many people find comfort in sharing the bed with their pets. There have been accounts of reported benefits such as better sleep quality and overall improved well-being. However, there is also a list of possible setbacks stemming from sleeping in the same bed with your furry friend. Let’s find out everything you need about sleeping in the same bed with your fur babies!

Benefits of sharing a bed 

  • Trust, comfort, and security 💕

Sleeping with your pet can benefit both of you by increasing the sense of trust, comfort, and security. For some, the warmth, heartbeat, and protective feeling received by sleeping with a trusted companion can help sleep quality. Those with sleep issues that stem from psychological distress-related disorders can sometimes rest easier with the added sense of security!

  • Improved mental health 😄

According to the National Library of Medicine, pets are paramount to improving their trusted caretaker’s mental health! Interacting with a furry friend helps increase oxytocin levels (a.k.a. love hormone) and reduce cortisol levels, and this is the perfect recipe to reduce stress and anxiety, topped with a boost of relaxation! People with pets were less likely to take sleep medication as cited from an Australian study published in the Social Indicators Research journal.

  • Better immunity 🐶

It’s been found that animal exposure during early life can decrease the risk of allergies in adulthood! Those who were exposed to feline friends during the first year of their life have been shown to have the risk of developing allergies by the age of 18 reduced by more than half! Chances of dust mites, bluegrass, and ragweed allergies also lessened if the person has been exposed to more than two or more pets during the first year of life.

  • Better health 🐱

From lowering blood pressure to decreasing cholesterol levels, parenting pets is correlated with a lower risk of cardiovascular diseases. This suggests that the mental benefit of reduced anxiety and stress can also translate to cuddling up during sleepy times!

Some reasons you should take into consideration

  • Allergies 💊

It’s estimated that globally, up to 20% of the human population is actually allergic to furry friends! If you are allergic to your pet, sleeping with them is very much discouraged. Although it has been found that exposure to animals during infancy can lessen the chances of allergies in later life, it is also worth noting that the opposite is not true. Having a pet for the first time in adulthood actually could contribute to a higher sensitivity toward pet allergies, specifically exhibited in the form of eczema.

  • Germs and pests 🦠

It’s no secret that pets can be the carrier of various microorganisms and parasites that might potentially be harmful. Ticks, fleas, or other parasites can be a nuisance to pet parents and members of the family. Those who have a compromised immune system are also not advised to sleep in the same bed as their pets, as exposure to these pathogens or parasites can further weaken their health.

  • Disturbed sleep 😴

According to research published in the Mayo Clinic Proceedings, a human’s sleep efficiency was lower if their furry friend slept on the same bed as them. Although the same study states that sleeping in the same room did not affect sleep quality for pawrents unless your furry friend has nightly zoomies!

  • Less space to sleep 🛏️

Who else loves the starfish sleeping position? Arms laid out, taking up all the bed! Well, sleeping with a pet might come in the way of that. There are multiple anecdotes of doggos pushing their parents off the bed, taking up the middle of the mattress. Some say it’s a dominating behavior, or it could also be that they find it more comfortable.

  • Night-time accidents 🐾

For those who are light-sleepers or those who move a lot during the night, dogs can be woken up unexpectedly causing them to be startled. Being suddenly woken up can make them accidentally snarl, growl, or even bite the person next to them. These bites can cause injury and harm, so make sure you’re aware of your own sleeping patterns and tendencies before bringing your pet onto the same bed.

Tips for safely sleeping in the same bed as your pet

  • Set clear boundaries

Commands such as “off” or “no” are extremely important, avoid both of you falling off the bed by giving your pets a designated area within the mattress.

  • Lots of showers & laundry! 

You want to make sure that their fur and paws are clean from everything they’ve done during the day before entering the bed. You should also clean your bedding a lot more often.

  • On the covers 

When furry friends are under the cover throughout the night, it can get hot and uncomfortable! Also, this helps with getting less fur on your actual bed.

  • Get a big bed 

Sharing a bed isn’t always fun! Especially if you have a big breed and a single bed. Make sure everyone is comfortable by having the appropriate size for sharing.

  • Stay up to date on all of their vaccinations and medications

Healthy pets are happy pets! Protect your furry friend and yourself by keeping up with their well-being. Maintain flea, tick, and deworming work on schedule. Check out our Healthcare feature to keep up with all your pet’s appointments!

This article is reviewed by the veterinarian from Small Animal Teaching Hospital, Faculty of Veterinary Science, Chulalongkorn University (CUVET)

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