Consider these facts before sharing sleeping space with your pet.
Pet owners like to share things with their pets, and that doesn't stop at bedtime. According to a recent study by the American Pet Products Association, nearly half of dog owners allow their dogs to sleep in bed with them, and this number is even higher for cat owners, falling around 62 percent.
But, while it may be popular, is co-sleeping with your pets a good idea? There are both pros and cons to this cozy arrangement.
Allergies are one of the main concerns of sleeping with your pet. If you are allergic to pet dander, or have asthma or weak immune systems, pets should be kept out of the bedroom entirely, and should definitely not be in your bed.
But there is good news, too -- for those who are not allergic, there are no health issues associated with sharing a bed with a pet.
As Dr. Lisa Shives, medical director of Northshore Sleep Medicine outside Chicago, said in an interview with WebMD, another big con of sleeping with your pet is quality of sleep.
"I've had patients that I've spent visit after visit going over their insomnia problems, trying to figure out what's happening, then I found out they have a dog that's scratching all night," she said.
Because of this, if your pet snores, kicks, moves constantly or hogs the covers, your furry friend may not be a good candidate for co-sleeping. That's when a good dog bed or cat bed is a good idea. The dog's size also matters. If you have a small dog that only takes up the corner of the bed, they are probably fine. But sharing a queen-sized bed with a Great Dane or other large dogs is another story.
However, if you are a good sleeper with no sleep disorders and your pet doesn't move excessively, sleeping with your pet can actually be a good thing. There have been many studies on the medical benefits of owning a pet, and having a pet in bed makes many people feel safer or calmer, and may actually lead to better sleep by reducing anxiety.
Keep these pros and cons in mind when you consider your own sleeping arrangements, but know that you can't go wrong no matter which option you choose. And remember to talk to your partner about your decision! Though your dogs are considered family members, a successful marriage depends on discussing these kinds of compromises.
Good night and sleep well!
Do you sleep with your pet in bed? Let us know in the comments below.
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