The Big Question: Is It Safe to Sleep With Your Pet?

October 11, 2019
Making sure your pet is clean is important, as it will help avoid any illnesses, especially if you're sleeping with it.

There are lots of people who like to sleep with their pets. It may be out of affection, for a sense of safety, or just a one-time thing that has turned into a routine. But you should be careful. This isn’t always a good habit, depending on your case. That’s especially true if it’s affecting your sleep.

Dogs and cats are the most common animals when it comes to owners who sleep with their pets. We all know that cats love to go wherever they please, but it may also be a question of company for both species. In general, people who live alone and kids are the most likely to sleep with their pets in bed, or even just in the same room.

There are a lot of conflicting opinions about this, but most animal and human health experts see no problem with sleeping together, at least in theory. They do say there are some basic requirements:

  • Both owner and pet need to be completely healthy.
  • Both need to be getting good sleep, especially the owner. It’s usually the human in bed who has the most trouble sleeping.
  • This needs to be something both parties want or accept. It shouldn’t be the result of an inability to learn.

Is it safe to sleep with your pet? Pros and cons

If you sleep with your pet solely because it wants to, and you give in to it when it insists, then there are some things you need to consider.

On the one hand, being near an animal can be good for your mental well-beingThis factor has a direct relationship with your emotional health. It comes from the company, affection, and relaxation that you get out of the relationship.

There are lots of therapies out there that say having animals around can provide lots of benefits for mental balance. This is part of why they can be so good for people who are more socially dependent. Some people, including children, can benefit even more from this when it comes to questions of safety.

A girl sleeping with her dog.

Another aspect of it that can be good for you has to do with waking up. This is mostly the case with dogs, though. Dogs tend to get their owners up in a very active way in the morning. They want to go out for a walk, so they’re full of energy. Some people hate this, but it can be a great way to start your day quickly and without any lethargy. 

On the other hand, even if your pet is completely healthy, it may have a tendency to snore, breathe loudly, or make other sounds that interrupt your sleep. Some of the loudest pets out there are bulldogs, obese dogs, and old dogs. Movement is also a potential negative, for both owner and pet, as well as the extra heat.

Basic recommendations

Once you’ve made sure your pet is healthy by getting it all the necessary tests, there are some major things you need to consider.

A cat lying upside down in a bed.

  • Hygiene: this is the most important thing when it comes to dogs because of how much more time they spend outside. Though you don’t need to bathe them all the time, you should still clean dogs off a bit every day if you want to sleep with them. The dust, mud, and damp could be a breeding ground for mites and other bugs.
  • Stable schedules: whether you have a pet or not, you need to make sure you have as stable a sleep schedule as possible. If you sleep with your pet, then that routine needs to be even stricter than it would otherwise. You don’t want this to affect your sleep quality and throw you off your routine.
  • Prevention: if you think your pet might have a respiratory issue, fleas, or any issues getting to sleep, it’s best to re-train it to sleep in another room. Making sure you can both get good sleep every day is a fundamental part of maintaining the mental and physical health of both owner and pet.

Do you sleep with your pet already? Are you thinking of trying it out? Whatever your situation is, think about what we’ve talked about today. Make sure you’re doing it in a healthy way for you both!

  • Breus, M. (2018). Sleepdoctor. Does Sleeping With My Dog Or Other Pets Help Or Hurt My Sleep? Recuperado de https://thesleepdoctor.com/2018/10/20/does-sleeping-with-my-dog-or-other-pets-help-or-hurt-my-sleep/
  • Dunham, N. (S.f). Petmd. Is It Safe to Sleep with Your Pet? Recuperado de https://www.petmd.com/dog/care/is-it-safe-to-sleep-with-pets