Sleeping with your Pets - Yes or No?

 I recently came across an article about a company who is selling a 12 foot wide bed due to a request from a client. The client wanted to have a very large bed so her children could cuddle with her while reading a bedtime story.

But others are seeing this bed as a terrific solution for more room while sleeping with their pets. This reignites the age-old discussion of whether your pets should be allowed into your bedroom or not. 

In the past, Pet Experts have advised pet parents not to sleep with their dogs or cats for two main reasons: it would promote poor behaviour in the animal and it could lead to serious illness in humans. 

Some people think it is unsanitary and would never sleep with their dog or cat, but statistics show that today 50% of all dog owners allow their dogs to sleep in bed with them, and 62% of cat owners do as well. 

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It is interesting to know that sleeping with your pets is not just a modern phenomenon.  In fact, some traditional cultures considered co-sleeping with animals as beneficial. For example, Aboriginal Australians often slept beside their dogs and/or dingoes for warmth and protection from evil spirits.

 Allergies are one of the main concerns of sleeping with your pet.  If you are allergic to pet dander, or have asthma or a weakened immune system, then pets should definitely be kept out of your bedroom.

 For others who have no health concerns, experts now say there are no health issues associated with sharing a bed with a pet.  It is said that sleeping with your pet can be a good thing and actually improves the quality of your sleep.  Some people with insomnia have reported that they no longer need any medications when sleeping with their pet.  Of course the size of the pet and whether the dog/cat moves excessively or not during sleep, will affect your rest.  I have friends who own two small breed dogs and these two small dogs are always snuggled beside them in their bed.  They wouldn't think of making their dogs sleep elsewhere.  Every dog they have ever owned has always slept in the luxury of a heated waterbed. :)

 If my husband and I were to let our two very large dogs share the bed with us, we would have to purchase the 12 foot wide bed for sure!

 Cats might not make good bedmates, as they are nocturnal so they may want to roam around at night.

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 Many pet owners are away from their pets for much of the day, so they want to maximize their time with them when they are home.  Pet owners state that they feel safer and calmer and actually have a much better sleep when their pets are nearby. Since a dog's body temperature is higher than ours, on a cold night you have the additional benefit of some extra warmth.

 In 2015 the Mayo Clinic conducted research which studied the effects of dogs on human sleep in a home environment.  The study included 40 adults with no known sleep issues, and their dogs who were six months or older. Each person and their dog wore an accelerometer which measured sleep time and sleep efficiency in both participants. The study revealed that having your dog sleeping with you might improve the quality of your sleep. Due to the small size of the study, the researchers were not able to determine if the breed or size of the dog made any difference. However, the findings are good news to anyone who loves sleeping with a pet but does not want to sacrifice the quality of their rest.

 So, whether you choose to sleep with your pet or not,  as long as you and your fur babies are getting the rest and relaxation that everyone requires, your decision is the correct one.

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