Many people consider their pet a family member. Sometimes they are even more moved than the actual family members. So sleeping with your dog in the same bed isn’t an issue with most dog owners. Having a dog as your bed buddy has many advantages. However, on the contrary, it has quite a few disadvantages as well. Let's take a look at both sides of the coin.
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Advantages of sleeping with your dog at night
Various studies have concluded that sleeping with your dog is beneficial on several levels. As long as the owner wishes to do so and the animal is in favour of it, sleeping with a dog, like sleeping with a cat, brings many benefits.
Positive effect on your sleep
Studies conducted by Mayo Clinic in 2015 and 2017 have shown that sleeping with your dog is considered reassuring. Most of the people who participated in the survey explained that they experienced a reduction in sleep disturbances.
In addition, around 40% of the 150 people surveyed experienced positive effects on sleep when sleeping with their dog. Noticeably, the presence of the animal in the bed or in the room during the night disturbed only 20% of the respondents.
It can be noted, however, that the majority of sleep disturbances were observed when the dog was present in the bed. So, the benefits were mainly noted when the dog was in the room, but outside the bed.
Positive effect on stress
Other studies conducted have shown that a short interaction between the two is sufficient to have a positive effect on stress. A study has found out that dogs can tell when you're stressed by sniffing it out. Moreover, sleeping with your dog reduces the impact of stress.
This is because close contact with your pet at night directly influences the levels of the stress hormone cortisol. It also changes the heart rate and increases the level of oxytocin, the ‘feel-good’ hormone.
But is it really healthy to sleep with your dog at night? As mentioned above, sleeping with your dog can be very beneficial in terms of sleep and stress reduction, but there are also several drawbacks.
Disadvantages of sleeping with your dog
Issues with hygiene
We love our pooches, and their company is very pleasant. However, it can be noticed that dogs are not the cleanest pets. Their presence in the bed or bedroom leaves hair on the sheets and in the room. These can contain parasites such as fleas, ticks, lice, ringworm...
All of these unwanted parasites may infest your dog and you as well. Remember to check regularly that your dog is not infected and give him anti-parasitics (collar, tablets, drops...).
Passing on diseases
The dog can fall victim to several diseases. These are mainly diseases classified as zoonoses. These can affect both dogs and humans.
Ringworm, scabies, Lyme disease, brucellosis, leishmaniasis and leptospirosis are some forms of zoonoses. You should be cautious as many of these diseases cannot be detected in animals. Remember to take your dog for regular health checkups, even if he seems healthy.
Tips if you are determined to sleep with your dog
- Brush your dog regularly to remove dead hair.
- Check your dog's coat before sleeping and make sure it is free of parasites.
- Deworm your dog regularly.
- Make sure your dog's vaccinations are up to date.
- Have your dog sleep on his own blanket on top of the sheets.
- Ventilate your room well every day.
- Vacuum the room at least every 3 days.
How to train your dog to be the best sleeping partner
- Your dog should only get on your bed with your permission. It’s your space, and you share it with him, only when you decide to do so.
- If your dog moves around too much or gets on the bed without permission, then he should be disciplined.
- Make multiple places for your dog to sleep. This way, he will understand that your bed is not his and will know where to go when you are not sharing your bed with him.
This article is translated from Oh! My Mag FR.