Is it dangerous for dogs to sleep with us? Every now and again this debate rears its canine head, and we’ve seen it floating around our blogosphere travels lately. So let’s open up the great dog sleeping with human debate, shall we? The danger of sleeping with dogs in our household are but one: That we wake up chilly at 3 am because Dexter has all the covers.
Let sleeping dogs lie, so the saying goes, as many dog moms and dads attest that the best night’s sleep is produced when a dog is lying by their side, pillow to pillow, tail to tush, snout to sheet. According to a survey conducted by the American Pet Products Association, almost half of dogs sleep with their owners in their owner’s beds.
Dogs are creatures of habit, so if a dog enjoys roaming into his kennel at night, why not allow him the comfort and “den-like” ritual of hunkering down into his favorite nighttime spot. Many of us, self included, prefer the soothing rhythms of a dog slumbering by our side, nestled in for a good night’s sleep. For the first two years of his life, my dog, Dexter, used my pillow for his own. This, for me, is quite the norm and many a pet parent would nod in agreement.
Adversely, there is a school of thought, and recently some more scientifically proven studies, revealing that sleeping with a dog might not be good for our health. From the “why’d you put a pin in my balloon” side of things, pet dander may instigate or trigger human allergies. Further, what Fido walks on outside is what Fido brings into the house and onto the bed linens. Diseases that can be transmitted between pets and people, aka “zoonotic,” do exist, but this is in the bedroom as well as any other room in the house.
Dogs who shift during sleep can cause disruptions in human sleep, making it harder to ensure a solid night’s rest. The risk of rolling on Rover or the dog falling off the bed is also of consideration from the “no don’t do it” school of thought. From the pages of “dominance and pack structure” behaviorists, there is a widely-held belief that the leader of the pack should be the only one allowed on the bed to maintain order, structure, and hierarchy.
Phooey I say. If you enjoy having a dog (or more) sleep with you and his or her presence does not compromise one’s health, pile on the pooches.
A friend of Fidose, Terry Casillas of Gulfport, Mississippi, says that she has been sleeping with dogs almost her whole adult life. As the founder of Tired Dog Rescue, she loves the comforting feeling of have a pack of dogs sleeping on her bed. At any given time, at least seven dogs can be found slumbering next to her.
If our recent sleeping dog photo contest is any indication, our pets are sharing their beds, homes, hearts, and everything else with us.
The emotional effects of having a dog in our lives are immeasurable, as study after study reveals. In fact, the Center for Disease Control reports that pets can help to lower our blood pressure, cholesterol levels, and diminish feelings of loneliness. After a long day, many of us find solace in retreating to our beds and having our pooches snuggle next to us.
What’s the “norm” in your household? Do you allow your pet(s) to sleep on the bed? Weigh in and let us know in the comments below. I bet some of the folks in the BlogPaws blog hop below share a bed with their pet: