Is it Healthy to Sleep with Pets? (Especially Dogs)

Contents

At the end of the day, one of the last things many pet-owners do is call their furry friend into bed with them. Whether it’s a dog or cat at the foot of your bed, it can be quite comforting to have your pet sleep with you. But is it really a healthy practice to have your pet in your bed? Beds and mattresses are already home to a large number of allergy triggers, like dust. Having an animal in bed can introduce further irritants.

Is it Healthy to Sleep with Your Pet?

Here are six reasons why you should reconsider sharing your bed with your pet.

Allergens

It’s a known fact that pets carry allergens. The pet dander is usually not visible. If you aren’t one to suffer from allergies, there’s a good chance you won’t even notice it. But after going outside and rolling around, they can bring in things that will irritate your skin or eyes. If you do suffer from allergy symptoms, your furry friend could be bringing even more irritants where you’re supposed to be getting some rest.

Risk of Disease

It’s probably something you haven’t considered, but sharing your bed with your pet greatly increases your chance of disease transfer. For example, there have been confirmed cases of H1N1 and MRSA skin infections being spread through sharing a bed. This can be especially dangerous for groups that are highly susceptible to diseases, like children or the elderly.

Three’s a Crowd

Having a pet in your bed, along with your partner, could lead to possible conflict. If one person is completely against it, this will be material that can lead to arguments. Discuss it openly and see where they stand. You might be alright with cuddling your pup but maybe your significant other wants that same privilege. It might seem alright but intimacy can suffer for it.

Interrupted Sleep

Sometimes, having a pet in your bed is much like having a partner who snores too loud when you’re trying to sleep. Animals tend to make noises and if they move during the night, both of these could wake you and interrupt your sleep cycle. You might be used to tossing and turning, but it’s not going to be a restful night if you have to deal with a dog doing the same while trying to pull your blankets away.

Exposure to Pests

One of the more annoying things about owning a pet is having to deal with making sure they are free of any tiny bugs. But having your pets in your bed can also expose you to these same bugs and more. Dogs typically carry infectious parasites like roundworms and hookworms.  You also run the risk of having your bed populated with fleas.

Develop Dominance Issues

Animals, especially cats, are known to get territorial. Having them sleep regularly in bed with you can trigger this development of overly aggressive behavior. It might become harder to remove them from the bed when you really want some privacy.