Sleeping with a dog provides a very special feeling either because of the proximity, warmth or affection of resting together. However, many people have doubts about the effect this act can have on our health.
If you are wondering ¿It's bad to sleep with my dog? Either because you do it or because you want to do it, in this Animal Expert article we will proceed to answer your questions. Keep reading and find out if sleeping with your dog is good or bad:
Is it healthy or not?
Sleep with a dog really not bad, mainly if it is totally healthy, clean and free of parasites. However, the dog walks the street on a daily basis at least twice a day. This routine causes dirt and that the animal can catch some disease. Still, here they go some advices to avoid it:
Visit the veterinarian every 6 months to rule out diseases. That means keeping your vaccination schedule up to date. On the other hand, deworm your dog (internally and externally) on a regular basis.
Bathe your dog every month or every month and a half and brush your dog to remove dead hair and prevent parasites. As a last we recommend cleaning your legs after each ride.
What should we cons>
If you decide to sleep with your dog it will be important that you pay attention to these details either for your safety, for yours or for hygiene:
- If you have a puppy you should have a lot of cu>
Benefits of sleeping with your dog
Sleeping with your dog is a unique experience that, once you try, it will be difficult not to want to repeat again. You should know that dogs are social animals that love to spend time with family members. That means that your dog will most likely like to be included in your bed and that will help strengthen your bond.
In addition, sleeping together provides a unique pleasure and relaxation, a feeling of calm and reliability. A feeling of rapport, warmth and relaxation. So, sleep with your dog makes you happier and it helps you sleep better (as long as it is not a very moving dog). Your breathing will help you fall asleep easily.
Finally we encourage you to try it to know what it is like to wake up with your best friend. A unique feeling!
If you want to read more articles similar to Is it bad to sleep with my dog?, we recommend that you enter our Curiosities section of the animal world.
Can't dogs sleep in bed?
Actually, there is no law prohibiting it, but, nevertheless, it would not be fully recommended. Sleeping with your pet in bed can be a bad decision. Maybe not at first, when he is little, but later when he grows up ... Maybe not when you live alone, but when you move in with your partner ... Maybe when the dog is clean, but not so much if he returned from the park all muddy .
Letting the dog sleep with us can interrupt our sleeping hours (which we need so much) if it moves from here to there, has nightmares, or barks for any noise. It can also prevent you from sleeping late on weekends. Remember that he will lick you when he wants to go out and do his needs ...
And that, not to mention what happens when temperatures are high. The animal, with all its own hair and warmth, will turn your bed into an oven. Even more so if it belongs to those who sleep attached to you.
More and more people sleep with their dog
It is very curious that a third of the population that has pets recognizes that they are treated as if they were young children. And it is also amazing that photos are taken as if they were our children. Not to mention the fact that they have permission to sleep in bed with their owners, regardless of age or size (of the dog and the bed).
Now, what are the risks or negative consequences of sleeping with pets (dogs in particular)?
1. Health problems
The dogs harbor a large number of microorganisms that cannot be seen. As an example, bacteria, fungi, dust, etc. When they go out, they snoop around everything that appears in front of them or do their needs. Hair mites or skin particles can generate allergies at any age, and will be more dangerous in the case of allergic people. You also run the risk of getting a disease caused by a parasite (such as fleas or ticks).
Further, while sleeping, the dog can tear or scratch us and cause a wound infection. It is worth remembering that those with weakened immune systems, pregnant women, young children and the elderly are more likely to suffer from diseases caused by pets if they sleep with them in bed.
2. Problems in sleep
Although it seems strange, the best way to rest is to sleep alone. And this includes people and animals. If you don't have another sleeping room separate from your partner, at least don't let your dog get on the bed. Snoring, nightmares, the movements of the other being at our side can impact our sleep quality. This is even more noticeable in those who have trouble sleeping, suffer from insomnia or are too light sleepers.
We must not neglect that animals and people have different body temperatures that descend during the night. Maybe in winter it is very nice to sleep with your dog because it gives you heat. But remember, in summer you won't want to have that "ball of hair" close by.
3. Behavioral problems
If you have not yet convinced yourself that dogs cannot sleep in bed, you should think a little about how much the animal can suffer due to your decision. Maybe you think you are doing good by letting him get on the bed, however, this is not the case. Those canines that sleep with their owners can be more aggressive, insecure, anxious and depressed. In addition, they may want to mark their territory by urinating on the sheets.
Finally, you should not forget the marital or family problems that your decision may cause. Lack of intimacy or space can generate discussions. Once you have read all this, do you think dogs cannot sleep in bed or can they?
What science says about this habit
The debates as far as sleep is concerned can be infinite. There is the discussion about the side of the bed we choose, that of the number of pillows we use, whether or not we lower the blind, etc. If we also get pets involved, the issue is even more tricky.
Some animal lovers do not hesitate to make the decision whether or not the animal should get into bed to sleep: for many, sleeping with their pets is a pleasure.
In Spain, 14% of dogs and 33% of cats sleep in their owners' beds. According to data collected by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in the United States, in the USA. 56% of people with pets let them sleep in the room and 50% of dogs sleep in bed.
In other countries it is no different: in the United Kingdom 16% of pets sleep in the bedroom and 14% in their owners' beds. In the Netherlands 42% of dogs and 62% of cats can get on their owners' beds and 18% and 30% respectively sleep with them. And list could go on.
However, many other people consider that it is not hygienic and that it cannot be good for health. So who is right? And most importantly: does it pose some kind of danger to people?
Does he rest the same?
According to a recent and small study carried out by experts from the Mayo Clinic, those people who do not want to let the man's best friends go to bed could be right and apparently It is also not the best idea to sleep in the same room.
The team of researchers - made up of pulmonologists, psychologists and statesmen - analyzed the habits of 40 healthy adults without sleep disorders who had a habit of sleeping with their dogs in bed or somewhere in the room. The evaluation period lasted five months and one of the weeks both they and their dogs had to wear devices to monitor sleep habits.
The results showed that sleeping with dogs, regardless of whether they were in bed or simply in the room, it made people's rest worse and caused many to get up several times during the night. One of the things that most affected was the posture in which the dog slept.
Although the quality of sleep turned out to be lower than that of a person who does not sleep with animals in the room, the data is not alarming or a reason to expel our pets from the bed. The results explain whate the people who slept with the dogs in bed got 80% sleep efficiency, those who slept with the animals in the room 83%.
According to experts a normal efficiency is one that is between 85 and 89%, and once exceeded 90% we would be talking about a very efficient dream.
Another previous survey, also conducted by the Mayo Clinic, already pointed to this problem. In 2002, the director of the Sleep Disorders Center at the Mayo Clinic, John Shepard, published the results of a questionnaire conducted on 152 patients who had animals and allowed them to sleep in their beds. Half of them said their pets woke them up every night, and 21% of dog owners and 7% of people with cats complained that their pets snored.
Similar data arrive from Australia. An investigation carried out by the CQ University concluded that people who sleep with animals take longer to catch sleep than those who do not allow them to sleep in bed. They also point out that the noises of dogs when barking or snoring disturb the rest hours of their owners.
However, there were no major differences in the number of times people who let their animals sleep in their beds compared to those who did not wake up, nor in the number of hours of sleep or how tired they were. They were the next day.
In case of respiratory diseases.
Beyond the quality of sleep, some experts say that The main problem is when the owners have some type of allergy or respiratory problem: "People with allergies to animals or asthma should not sleep with their pets or allow them to enter the room," explains Dr. Derek Damin to WebMD.
“If you are not allergic, there really is no problem letting the dog sleep in the bed”, Adds the expert, although he clarifies that in case it bothers the sleep hours we should not let them sleep with us.
For some people, as Chicago Northshore Sleep Medicine director Lisa Shives explains, it can even be beneficial: “Some people feel safer and calm when your pet sleeps with them. ”
The experts of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention remember the importance of keeping companion animals healthy. This implies take them to the vet regularly, vaccinate them, deworm them and keep them clean since, although it is extremely rare, they can spread diseases.
In short, the possible damages that the fact of sleeping with a pet can cause us are not something really so serious, unless we have a disease that contraindicates them or the animal does not receive the care it needs.
Do people really sleep with their pets?
The truth is that sleep researchers have not paid much attention to the subject. We have a lot of pseudo-theories about 'dominance' or 'doggy soul' that enjoy a lot of success in television realities, but research in the 'human-animal colecho' is a relatively forgotten area.
As we have spoken on other occasions, the dream is a more cultural phenomenon of what seems and changes a lot between regions and times (Blunden, Thompson and Dawson, Worthman and Melby, Munroe, Munroe and Whiting). In the same way that relatively recently that Western societies separated the resting places by ages (children and adults), it was only relatively slightly that the spaces between humans and animals were completely separated. In fact, there are many cultures in which these practices of coexistence are maintained naturally. And the strongest studies (Albert and Bulcroft, Westgarth and others, Overgaauw) coincide with the survey in which there is a 50% division in colecho with dogs and cats - which are the most common night companions (Albert and Bulcroft).
Research is insistent: about half of the owners of dogs and cats sleep with them.
In this sense, it cannot be said that the results of the survey are surprising. Research argues that humans continue to show strong attachment to their pets and are often considered important family members (Archer). As Smith says, this is not free: animals are a source of support, love, comfort, security and stability It can have important health benefits.
It is true that the size of the pet has a lot to do and if we look in more detail (for example, in dogs) we see that 76.85% of Yorkshire Terriers or 62.96% of Chihuahuas sleep with their owners compared to 18.18% of San Bernardos or 30.27% of the farmers. Even so, the percentage of San Bernardos is a very high percentage. In addition to what Eckstein already noted, other factors involved are the number of children in the family (more likely where there are no children - Albert and Bulcroft) or gender (more likely with women).
Some problems of sharing a bed with pets
Research suggests that there are some possible problems in sharing a bed with animals.
Health risks. These include some immune responses, allergies, asthma or hypersensitivity pneumonitis, bites and scratches can also occur through which infectious diseases associated with domestic animals can be contracted (Plaut, Zimmerman and Goldstein). The most susceptible to these types of problems are young children, pregnant women and immunodeficient patients (Smith). However, the overall health risks are very low, almost insignificant if the animals receive medical care and maintain proper hygiene.
Sleep problems. In general, the main problems related to sleep quality involve partners (kicks, snoring, etc.) and children, but pets also have an important role. Without going any further, a Mayo Clinic study found that fifty-three percent of pet owners who slept with them had problems derived from it. However, it's hard to know the real impact of these interruptions because they are very short interruptions that by themselves explain little. Interruptions may be related to mismatches between temperatures between humans and pets, as well as differences in sleep and wake cycles (Campbell and Tobler).
Behavior problems in animals. Jagoe and Serpell found that dogs that are allowed to sleep with their owners may experience increased aggression and problems related to separation.
Effect on interpersonal relationships. Finally, animals can be an important source of conflict and stress in relationships. Getting to generate privacy problems (Jagoe and Serpell)
Should we sleep with our pets?
Smith and his research team found that sleeping with pets in bed had a small impact on the quality of sleep in the time needed to fall asleep or the feeling of tiredness upon waking. However, the authors contend that the continued practice of colecho with pets indicates benefits of social support, social interaction and personal security, despite the disadvantages.
In general, it seems that science gives reason to common sense. Sleeping accompanied by animals may have some problems but always related to previous problems at the sanitary and behavioral level. And, on the other hand, if our pet is healthy, it has proper hygiene and a 'good education' not only there are no problems, but it can have very positive effects.
Share What science tells us about sleeping or not sleeping with our dog or our cat
Is it good or bad to sleep with your dog?
At first the answer is not so simple, since sleeping in bed with your dog has both advantages and disadvantages, Everything will depend on who we ask the question. While there are people who will defend the right to sleep with their best friend with arguments based on their own experiences, some experts in canine behavior suggest however that in the long run they can generate many behavioral problems. Another issue to consider is hygiene, as there are people who claim that it is not entirely clean and hygienic to sleep with their dogs. Let's see what are the main arguments of both parties.
Those who defend sleeping in bed with their dogs
Some surveys carried out in the United States affirm that about 50% of the owners of dogs allow their pets to sleep with them in their beds, arguing that when they sleep at their side they provide them with a sense of security, protection and companionship. Another of the reasons they provide is that dogs are warm (in fact their body temperature is higher than that of humans) which helps them cope with the coldest nights.
Another of the arguments they add (in this case for the benefit of the dog) is that Dogs are social animals and need to be in company, so sharing the nights with us we are covering the natural need of dogs to be with other individuals, which makes them feel happier.
Those who refuse to sleep in bed with their dogs
Many experts however claim that our dogs should not be allowed to sleep in our bed. The bed is a place higher than the floor, reserved for the leaders of the group. If we allow our dog to get on it, it can be believed that it has more authority inside the house, which could generate behavior problems over time as aggressiveness or conflicts of territory, especially when new people want to occupy the bed, something that your dog could oppose.
Another reason not to sleep with your furry friends is because a matter of hygiene. Dogs can get dirty easily when they go outside, picking up dirt, dust or pollen, which could cause allergy. Nor should we forget the smell that may be in your bed, even if your dog is not present, since it is the hairs that continue to leave the characteristic smell. This may not be important to you since you will be used to the smell of your dog, but to other people it may not seem so pleasant.
Do I let or not let my dog sleep in my bed?
Leaving or not sleeping your dog in your bed is a personal decision, it is you who must value the pros and cons. For some people, quitting sleeping with their puppy can be a very difficult decision due to the enormous bond that is created after spending so much time sleeping together. However, you can always take a third way, and it is allow sleep your dog in the room leaving at your disposal a special dog bed comfortable enough so you don't have the need to get on your bed. So both of you can enjoy mutual company, but thanks to its own bed, hygiene will be guaranteed and there will never be behavioral problems.
You can always take a third way, and it is to allow your dog to sleep in the room leaving at your disposal a dog bed
Make the decision from the first moment
Finally, we must remember that dogs are animals of customs, so if you decide not to allow your dog to sleep in your bed you must do so from the first moment, since once your dog gets used to sleeping next to you, get him to sleep separately can cost a lot of work. Keep this in mind before making any decision.
What do you think about this? Do you think dogs should sleep in their owners' bed?
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