Love sleeping with your pet? Know its pros and cons from expert - Hindustan Times

Love sleeping with your pet? Know its pros and cons from expert

By, New Delhi
Mar 29, 2023 05:13 PM IST

Can't decide whether to share bed with your pooch or not? Know the benefits and side effects from expert.

Sharing bed with your pets can work wonders for your mental health as research says it reduces symptoms of anxiety and depression and promotes a sense of well-being. While many pet lovers across the globe were already reaping benefits of co-sleeping with their little companions, the trend especially caught up in pandemic times when people were stuck alone at their homes without a human company. People experiencing sleep difficulties can also benefit greatly as presence of a pet can relax one deeply and aid in a restful sleep. However, the practice is not for everyone and people who have allergies or those who are used to sleeping freely may find it troublesome. Besides, there could be hygiene issues and risk of infections. (Also read: Summer nutrition tips for your pet to prevent dehydration)

People experiencing sleep difficulties can also benefit greatly as presence of a pet can relax one deeply and aid in a restful sleep. (Freepik)
People experiencing sleep difficulties can also benefit greatly as presence of a pet can relax one deeply and aid in a restful sleep. (Freepik)

"One big thing that all humans and dogs have in common is a deep love for sleep. There is no problem that a good night’s sleep cannot solve. For pet parents, this sleep sometimes also comes in the company of their pets. Due to the loneliness felt by many during the covid-19 pandemic, the number of people who have begun co-sleeping with their pets has increased and this has sparked a debate in the online world about whether or not this is a good choice," says Ashish Anthony, founder of JUSTDOGS.

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Anthony also elaborated on the pluses and minuses of co-sleeping with pets.


Proven benefits for mental health

Sharing a bed with your dog can boost the production of serotonin and dopamine which in turn can prove very beneficial in lowering anxiety, stress levels and aid in reducing depression. The sense of warmth, security and positivity that sleeping with your pets promotes helps with a much healthier emotional outlook overall, both for you and your pets.

Strengthens your bond with your pet

The aforementioned benefits of producing happy hormones in your pet’s company can help you and your pet form a much stronger and meaningful bond. The mutual sense of safety and security that this leads to helps for a pet and its parents to develop a more trusting relationship.

Benefits in cases of insomnia

The positive feelings reinforced by sharing the bed with your pets can lower anxiety or depression-led insomnia and be a key factor in helping your brain feel relaxed enough for more beneficial sleep. The comfortable environment that having a pet in your bed creates has been proven helpful in cases of insomnia in many scientific studies.


Potential trigger for allergies

Sometimes if pet parents have a stronger tolerance for pet-hair during the day with a certain distance from their pet, they may not realize that they have some allergies that could be triggered and cause them great discomfort if they begin to sleep with their pets as this requires sharing a limited space with the pet for an extended period of time. In such a case, it is not advisable to share the bed with your pet or it could cause severe discomfort and lead to a lack of decent sleep.

Lesser space for you

Having a pet in your bed could mean that you have less space to move around or stretch out in your bed. This could lead to poor sleep as good rest requires manoeuvrability and enough space. This is an issue that can be easily rectified by acquiring a bigger bed that can be comfortable for you and your pet. However, if this is not something that works for you, it may be a good idea to get your pet a separate bed to get better sleep for you both.

Disturbance in the night

Pets, just like humans, can occasionally move around or roll over in their sleep, and even if you have a big bed, a bigger dog increases the possibility of such physical disturbances in the night. This could lead to poor sleep for you and consequently, a bad next day. In such cases, the only solution can be to stop sharing your bed.

Lack of hygiene

This is perhaps one of the most concerning reasons to reconsider co-sleeping with your pets. No matter how much one can try, one may face hygiene issues when sleeping with pets. With seasonal shedding, the amount of fur that you would find in your bed every morning could be a hassle, as well as dirt brought into the bed by dirty paws. To maintain a decent degree of cleanliness in your bed, a sense of constant vigilance is required to ensure that your pet never enters the bed with mud on his paws or coat. This can become tedious for some pet parents as even a slight oversight could lead to hygiene issues.

"There are many points to consider while deciding whether it is a suitable choice for you to share your bed with your pets. The best understanding of your own requirements can come from you and keeping in mind these pros and cons, you can make the decision that works best for you!" concludes Anthony.

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