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Should you let your pets sleep in your bed? The pros and cons



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Co-sleeping with pets is a personal choice, but you must weigh the pros and cons for your health.

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As a new dog mom, I know how tempting it is to have your fur baby sleep in your bed. Pets love to be with their people, and they love to cuddle, especially at night. Some people enjoy having pets sleep with them, but many people choose to have pets sleep in their crates or other beds. So is there just one good way to get your pets to sleep with you?

We all need more sleep nowadays, and sometimes get good quality sleep feels impossible. Like children or babies, it is no secret that pets can wake you up at night and disturb you. Whether you already have pets or are considering purchasing one in the future, you might be curious about the healthiest place to sleep for you and your pets. Ultimately, it’s a personal choice, but if you’re looking for insight into why people choose to sleep with pets (or not), read on.

Read more: Best mattresses for side sleepers in 2020

The case against pets sleeping in your bed

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Pets can be a source of dander and make allergies worse if you have them.

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Dander and allergies

If you suffer from allergies, you may want to think twice about putting pets such as dogs or cats to sleep in bed. Dr. Kunjana Mavunda, a pediatric pulmonologist, warns that pet dander can irritate allergies, especially if you sleep in the same bed. “Even if a person is not allergic to pet dander, it makes sense to purchase special protective mattresses and pillowcases with zippers that completely cover the mattress and pillow,” says Dr. Mavunda. This can help keep your mattress and pillow clean and prevent skin flakes from settling.

Since dander can easily spread on your pillows, blankets, and sheets, Dr. Mavunda also suggests limiting the amount of other items on your bed and washing everything in warm water once a week if you let pets sleep there.

When it comes to leaving my own pet on my bed, if she’s just been out for a walk through mud, dirt, or even wet sidewalks, I won’t let her get near my white comforter. But even outside of bad weather, my pup can get pretty dirty just running around the house and going outside for her normal potty breaks in the grass (that’s when pet wipes come in handy for dirty paws).

Depending on how dirty your pup gets, you may have a strict rule that you are not allowed to go to bed or sleep together. Again, it comes down to personal preference and how you think your pet might be spurring outside dirt into your bedroom.

Sleep disturbance

Some pets are more active at night which can wake you up and mess up your sleep. If you’ve ever raised a young puppy, you’re well acquainted with the reality of being woken up several times a night for a potty break (or just because your pup is bored). While dogs tend to sleep better when they are older, there is still a reason why pets are disrupting your sleep.

While it is normal for your sleep to be disturbed from time to time, persistent disruptions can lead to bigger problems, such as not being able to fall back to sleep or stay the night, or restlessness all night if you need consistent deep, uninterrupted sleep. If you find your pets waking you up all night sleeping with you, re-evaluate sleeping with pets if they are holding you back from getting the rest you need.

Safety

Pet experts who recommend crate training usually encourage it for dogs to assist in house training the dog, among other benefits. Safety is another concern – I remember when I first got my puppy and felt guilty putting her in the crate, but then I knew she would be safer there than in my bed where she could get off fall or worse – like I accidentally hurt her when I was sleeping (she was a little two pound puppy).

Now that she’s older, I still feel safer with her in the crate, knowing that she might not fall and hurt herself or wake me up to play in the middle of the night.

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If your pet is not disturbing your sleep or contributing to allergies, you should share a bed with him or her if that is comforting to you.

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The potential benefit of pets sleeping in your bed

If your pet doesn’t disturb your sleep and doesn’t wake you up at night, you could argue that there are several benefits of letting them sleep with you. Since so many people love their pets and find comfort in their presence, you can even sleep better with them near you.

Some studies support this, showing that owners who sleep with their pets report that it does not disturb their sleep, and some singles reported that pets helped them sleep better.

If you are still unsure whether or not to let your pets sleep with you, remember it is a personal choice. Weigh the potential pros and cons for you and go for the one that will help you sleep best, since sleep is so important to overall health.

The information in this article is for educational and informational purposes only and is not intended to be health or medical advice. Always consult a physician or other qualified health care practitioner if you have any questions about a medical condition or health goals.


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