Many people wonder if sleeping with their furry friends is good or bad, both for humans and animals. It is a controversial issue that has both supporters and opponents.
The reality is that the dream is a very cultural phenomenon, different according to the regions and time periods; although a priori it seems that everyone sleeps in the same way. Not long ago, Western societies decided to separate the places where adults and children rest, and also decided to separate completely humans and pets. In the United States, for example, half of the people who live with animals say they sleep with them, while in places like the United Kingdom or Spain, less than 20% of people who have pets share a bed with them.
So, why we should or should not sleep with our animals?
It is demonstrated that for pets is very normal to sleep at the same place with their companions, whether humans or animals, while they are used to live in herd. It is very pleasant and even necessary for them, but on the other hand they can get out of the habit of sleeping with us very easily.
So, what are the inconveniences of sleeping with our pets? In what way does it affect us? Year after year and study after study, experts have pointed out three main drawbacks. So let’s see them!
Could be risky for the health of the person?
The reality is that for those who suffer from allergies or asthma, even though the animals are healthy, can have many microorganisms such as bacteria, fungi or mites. Think of all the corners of its coat! In addition, if our dog goes for a walk, for sure their feet have stepped on dirt or mud. But beyond the hygiene of our animals, what most alarms many experts are so-called zoonotic diseases (those that can be transmitted from animals to humans). Oh, and let’s not forget about the possibility of being bitten or our wounds being infected.
Although all this sounds very catastrophic, if your pet has all the vaccines in order and all other preventive measures are taken, your health does not have to be at risk. You can make sure that your furry companion is not an outbreak of dirt in your bed by washing it every month or month and a half, cleaning its legs after each walk and brushing the dead hair. And, above all, do not forget to give them deworming medication!
However it is not recommended to sleep with animals for people with allergies, as we have already mentioned, and with a weaker immune system, such as the elderly, young children and people with HIV or cancer.
Affects the quality of sleep
Some people say that sleeping with one’s pet provides more pleasant sleep, security and affection. Despite this, the harsh reality is that most experts agree that sleeping with one (and especially, more than one) animal in bed can affect the quality of rest negatively. Animals have sleep cycles that are different from humans, and that is why it is very likely that pets get up often and change a lot sleeping position. In addition, they may wake you up when they no longer want to sleep, and this means not at the time you plan to wake up.
Summer and high temperatures can also be a problem when snuggling with your furry friend and, according to humans who have slept with their pets, the worst thing can be the position that the dog adopts, especially if the dog is of large breed. Another factor to consider is the danger of sleeping with our puppy dog, since there is a risk of crushing it, the puppy can urinate on our bed or fall from it.
However, if we study the situation in detail, the quality of rest does not falls drastically. In addition, it is also shown that closer relationship with our pet reduces stress and anxiety. Therefore, also depends on the person, whether the quality of sleep is affected or not.
The animal can develop behavioral problems
There is a possibility that an animal, when sleeping in bed with its human, experiences an increase in aggressiveness and stress, which can lead to problems related to separation, depression and anxiety. In addition, one of our greatest concerns can become true: when we do not want our animal to get into bed – our pet will not pay attention to us anymore.
To avoid all these problems, you have to learn to set limits and show them when your pet can and when cannot get into bed (for example when there is a baby, when we have our clean and folded clothes, when our animal needs a bath after have played in a mug, etc.).
If you do not want your animal to sleep with you once it become an adult dog because of its large size, the best is not to get used to this since your dog is a puppy, because after it will be very difficult to change this habit and your dog can suffer quite much.
To sum up: it is good to sleep with our animals or not? It depends on you and your preventive measures. If you are a person with a weaker immune system or if you have allergies, it is better your animal sleeps in another bed. What is more if you are the one who have a light sleep, it may not be the best idea either. If not, all you have to do is make sure your dog has up-to-date vaccination, deworming medication and all the hygiene guidelines are followed. And make him understand the rules about sleeping and getting into bed.