Sleeping With Pets


This article was written for Pet Guardian Angels of America by Jenn Lee

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What You Should Know About Sleeping With Pets

As a proud loving fur parent, you love spending as much time as you can with them. After all, they’re like your very own children. Most people leave their pets at home while they work, so it’s important to maximize quality time when you get home in the evening. Few things in life are as special as the love of a pet, and so it’s no surprise that many owners love to cuddle with their fur babies. Whether on the couch in the living room, or in your bed at night, here are some things to know about sleeping with your favorite four-legged companions.

Boundary Issues

Many owners have been led to believe that letting a cat or dog jump on the bed is a cause of aggression and other behavioral problems. Experts believe that aggression tends to be rooted in fear and not by physical boundaries. Pets tend to love being around their parents and dozing on elevated spaces, so beds are especially inviting to them. Ask yourself if you can handle your furry friend sharing a bed with you. Are you okay with dander in the bed? Will their sleep cycle disrupt yours? Most importantly, is your bed large enough? If you’re considering buying a new bed, make sure you get the right size for all occupants. Consider a queen vs king vs California king mattress when making your choice.

What About the Kids?

When it comes to kids, think carefully about letting them sleep with pets. As with other aspects, you need to make sure that a child is mature and responsible enough to tend to a furry friend’s needs. Do the children normally offer care in other aspects? Are they feeding, watering or walking the pets regularly? Are your kids comfortable around your pets and vice versa? Some children are inadvertently rough with animals who may not respond well to their handling. While it’s generally believed that a child should be over a certain age, no one situation fits all. There are noted benefits for children who spend a lot of time with animals growing up. If your kids are mature enough, there should be no problems with them sleeping with pets.

Furry Therapy

Resting with your fur baby can offer benefits, if you decide not to provide them their own sleeping space. The most obvious is the physical comfort of sharing your bed. Dogs for example, have higher body temperatures than humans so snuggling with them offers warmth. Studies have shown that being in proximity to pets not only adds a sense of calm, they can even help lower your blood pressure. Sharing a bed may help fight insomnia as many owners have reported that the gentle, rhythmic breathing and/or snoring of a slumbering animal can be soothing, not unlike white noise and the sound of rain. The closeness can also help fight feelings of depression and loneliness. You may also appreciate the feelings of security that may come with having a pet nearby. Certain creatures are naturally protective and may alert you to the presence of an intruder.

Health Concerns

While there are several benefits you may see from sleeping with animals, there are health concerns. Your pet should be up to date on vaccinations and flea medication for their health. Be careful of transmission of certain zoonotic diseases such as meningitis and the plague. If you suffer from asthma or allergies, bunking with a pet may exacerbate those conditions. If your immune system is compromised by a chronic condition, you are especially at risk of getting sick. The last thing you want is a dog licking mucus from your nose and spreading it all over your face.

We know that fur parents love spending quality time with their fur babies. This quality time often extends to nighttime sleep. It may have once been widely held that snoozing alongside a dog or cat was dangerous, but for most people that isn’t true. Resting is essential to the health of most living creatures, including you and your pets. Sharing a bed with your favorite furry darlings is fine as long as no one suffers.

Jenn Lee, is a family blogger and proud parent of Reggie the Golden Retriever .