The decision whether or not to let pets into bed is a very controversial topic. While many would never dream of letting their animals into their sacred sleeping space, other people find it quite normal to co-sleep with their furry friends.
Sleeping with pets can be a wonderful thing for some, and an unsavoury experience for others. That’s not to say at all that one perspective is right and the other’s wrong. The decision to share your bed with a pet is personal and dependent on each person’s unique situation. There are pros and cons to both sides of the coins, as we’ll highlight below.
Pros of sharing your bed:
- Increased feelings of safety and security for you. Pets are the night guards we never knew we needed. Even if your dog or other animal isn’t particularly vicious, simply having them around while you sleep can help you feel more protected and secure.
- Increased feelings of safety and security for your pet. The opposite is also true- When you allow your pet to sleep with you, their feelings of safety may also improve. In fact, they may even show lower signs of aggression and anxieties when allowed to share your sleeping space.
- Pets can keep you warm. Adding some extra body heat to the bed will definitely help you stay toasty, and is much more energy-efficient than buying an electric blanket. Pets are also much more fun to cuddle up with! So ditch the excessive energy bills and let your pet into bed instead.
- Sleeping with them helps improve your bond. Animals that sleep with their owners are much more likely to develop close bonds than those who don’t. Studies also indicate that animals who share beds with owners are more susceptible to obedience training, even without expertise on the parts of the trainers.
Cons of sharing your bed:
- If you already have difficulty sleeping, a pet may exacerbate it. Just like people, pets sometimes snore, whimper or kick in their sleep. Even their presence in bed may be enough to distract you from a deep sleep. Also keep in mind that the more pets allowed in your bed, the worse the problem will be.
- Letting pets in bed can trigger allergies. If you have asthma or are otherwise sensitive to pet allergens, you may want to keep pets out of the bedroom completely. Even coming into contact with your bed once can be enough to leave traces of hair and skin that can cause allergic reactions for months onwards.
- They may get in the way when you want to get frisky. Nothing like a dog or cat giving you the once over to instantly take you out of the mood. If you can’t easily kick them out when you’re trying to have private time, you may want to limit their bedroom access completely.
- The bed may pose a safety risk for your pet. If they are old, small or have health concerns, they may have difficulty getting in and out of the bed. Some pet steps can be a useful tool, but this still depends on your pet’s general mobility.
While in the past, the common sentiment was that sharing a bed with your pets is a bad idea, experts now believe otherwise. That being said, there is a sweet spot. Allowing your small dog and maybe cat into bed is one thing… Sleeping with three cats, a big dog and a guinea pig is another entirely. Consider your situation and these pros and cons when deciding whether cuddling up with your companion animal for the night is the right choice for you.