Surveys show that about 50 percent of pet owners let their dogs sleep in bed with them, whereas the other half say it's a big no-no in their house. But dog owners aren't the only ones who are divided on the topic. Research supports both sides, suggesting that there are both pros and cons to letting your dog sleep with you. The big question is, which side of the argument do you fall on?
Why Dogs Should Sleep in Your Bed
Pet parents who co-sleep with their furry friends don't just allow Fido in the bed because they can't say "No." There are actually several benefits to allowing your dog into your sleep space at night.
1. It Can Strengthen Your Bond
Spending time with your dog helps strengthen the special bond you share, whether that's during the day or while cuddling at night. Studies show that being with your dog triggers the production of oxytocin, which is referred to as the "love hormone." It's the same hormone that bonds mothers and their babies (or, in this case, pet parents and their dogs).
2. It Could Improve Your Sleep Quality
Think sleeping with your dog can only lead to disrupted sleep? Think again. Recent research shows that the opposite may be true, particularly if you're a woman. In a survey involving nearly 1,000 women, the majority of participants revealed that they actually sleep more soundly with their dog than with their human partner or cat.
3. They Can Function as a Security System
A lot of dog breeds naturally take on the role of guard dog. This can serve as an extra form of security in the bedroom if they sleep with you. Your pup can alert you to any intruders, or let you know when your teenager arrives home five minutes past their curfew.
4. It Can Relieve Anxiety, Depression, and Insomnia
It's no secret dogs provide emotional support for their owners. Pet parents who experience insomnia, sleep-related anxiety, or nightmares can benefit from having their canine companion in their bed. Their presence can help relieve stress and lower your blood pressure, which can help bring on the Zs.
5. It Provides Them With Comfort
Benefits to you aside, sleeping with your pup can be good for them, too. If your dog experiences anxiety, having you there by their side as they fall asleep can provide them with emotional support. This is especially true in a new environment, or when a new pet is adjusting to their home.
6. It's Just Super Cuddly
Let's face it, a fluffy dog by your side when you're dozing off just feels good. They're soft, warm, and give the best kisses. Who wouldn't want to fall asleep with their best friend by their side?
Choose Whatever Sleeping Arrangement Works Best for You
There's absolutely no shame in letting your dog sleep in your bed if it works for you. Odds are your pooch loves waking up next to you as much as you love snuggling up to them. However, this sleeping arrangement isn't for everyone. If your allergies start acting up or having your dog in bed at night seems to be affecting your sleep quality, you could consider training your pup to sleep elsewhere. Weigh the pros and cons to make the best decision for you.