Does your pet often want to take a place of honor on the bed next to you? Great, but remember that the coin has two sides. You will learn about the pros and cons of sleeping together with your pet in this article.
The benefits of communicating with dogs, especially the psychological ones, are well known: interacting with dogs helps relieve stress and anxiety. And for many, dogs become not just pets, but full members of the family. Naturally, we want to spend as much time with them as possible. Psychologist Lois Krahn and colleagues from the Mayo Clinic in Rochester investigated whether it is a good idea to sleep with a dog.
The Scientific Research Gives The Answer
The researchers worked for five months with 40 dog owners who did not suffer from any sleep disorders. All dogs were over six months old. For seven nights, the researchers studied the sleeping habits and quality of one pair of humans and dogs. For this, both the owner and the pet wore special devices that track their activity — accelerometers.
It turned out that those who sleep in the same room with their dog had better sleep quality. But owners who allow their pets to climb into bed sleep worse.
So, if you were worried that you were spending a little time with your dog, you can relax. The results ofLois Krahn’s research confirm that you can safely leave your pet in the bedroom overnight. It will even have a positive effect on the quality of your sleep. Just do not forget to set certain boundaries: it is still better not to take the dog on the bed.
Set Limits For Your Pet
During the first study, 298 people were interviewed. About half of them took pets (more often dogs than cats) to sleep in their beds. A third of those surveyed reported that their pets wake them up once a night (at least). 63% of respondents who shared a bed with their pet over four nights a week noted they noticed a sharp decline in the quality of their sleep. Another study found that 10% of pet owners feel annoyed when their pets interrupt their sleep. Of course, we are not experts, but this figure (10%) seems insignificant to us.
You should also not discount the comfort and joy that you experience curling up next to a sleeping dog or cat. In addition, it is warmer with pets, their body temperature is several degrees higher than ours.
Psychologist Stanley Coren refers to the thoughts of anthropologists who believe that the desire of a person and pet to share the same bed for two may not be just a whim by you or your pet — the roots of this behavior are much deeper. Finally: leave the dog in your room overnight, but don’t let it go to bed.
Sleeping with your pet has benefits, of course. Your dog will help you relax and strengthen your relationship. It is up to you to decide what is more in this matter: pros or cons. And you can find a middle ground by placing your pet’s bed near your bed, then he will be nearby, without disturbing your sleep. Whatever you decide, remember that there is no right or wrong decision — the choice is yours.
Finally, we concluded (without a shadow of disrespect for our younger brothers) that dogs are skillful manipulators. Or maybe they, like people, want simple comfort. And it is understandable why they prefer the bed to the floor or even to the luxurious dog bed.