Sharing your bed with your dog

Sleeping with pets in your bed isn’t classed as unusual for many of us; however there is an ongoing debate whether it is healthy to share your bunk with your beloved pooch. Ultimately it is down to personal choice, so we have outlined below the main reasons for and against this argument…the rest is up to you.

Cons

Establishing the alpha position?
While the validity of the alpha role has been challenged it is important that your dog understands household rules. If you decide to let them into your bed, you could well be also letting them think that they are in control – and this could not just be in the bedroom, but elsewhere too.

If you own a wolf hybrid dog, they have a requirement for structure and key boundaries. Rather like the rules in a wolf-pack. In order to eradicate any behavioural issues, they need to be aware that the owners bed is out of bounds, as if an alpha position has been established by them initially, it will be very difficult to change at a later stage.

Sleep patterns
Many dogs have short sleep cycles and snore loudly, and if you share your bed with them, this can affect your sleep pattern, which in turn can have knock on health effects. (Not to mention how cranky you will be functioning on broken sleep)! The lack of sleep in a person can reduce reaction times, awareness and how alert you may be to name a few symptoms, so with this in mind, many have to say goodnight at the door to their fury friends.

Allergens
Pets can carry all sorts or parasites that may infest humans. They run around and lie down outside collecting all sorts of detritus and debris. Whether you have allergies to your pet or not, pollen and other particles that stick to their fur which can affect you or your partner at night further aggravating any allergic symptoms you may have.

Building a divide
Dogs can come between you and your partner. If there is a differing view in the house that the dog should/shouldn’t be allowed in the bedroom, it can often lead to disagreements. Dogs may get in the way of intimate relationships in the bedroom. For this purpose, many couples decide against it.

Pros

Providing comfort
Some argue that it provides comfort for the pet whilst they have been at home alone for most of the day while the family are at work or school. Separation anxiety can occur with many dogs if they have been left alone for long periods of time over many days. Sharing a bed may make them feel more included and still feel as part of the family.

Relieving stress
Sleeping with your dog is known to relieve anxiety and stress with many owners. It has been proven that having a dog can most certainly reduce the feeling of depression within humans as touching and stroking pets is known to release oxytocin in the body…also known as the ‘cuddle chemical’. With the dog in the bed, there is a calming affect that often comes with the rhythmic breathing which offers a sense of tranquillity and trust.

Safety
The feeling of safety when your dog is with you at night is probably the main reason many owners bring them into the bedroom. Having restful night’s sleep whilst your dog is around to guard you and the family is usually the case for the larger breeds. Be sure that if you need to visit the bathroom during the night that your dog will let you back into bed!

Warmth
Keeping you warmer. Having your pooch in with you to bed is almost like having a soft, fluffy hot water bottle that never gets cold! Dogs, with their body temperature being higher than that on humans (101 to 102.5° F) can most certainly be a significant source of heat. However some dogs can get too hot sleeping with their owners and if they have health issues this can become a problem requiring them the bedroom to be kept cool with wide open windows and fans which may not suite their owners.

Whatever you decide, you can see there are plenty of pros and cons to sharing your bed – but essentially it is up to you whether your four legged furry friends get to share your bunk with you.

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