If you are a pet owner, you might be wondering if it’s ideal for your pet to sleep with you in your bed. After all, doing so would give you a sense of security and comfort. The pet would also feel closer to you and feel that he is part of the family. But is it actually safe? Would you still have a good night’s sleep if you let your pet sleep with you?
Facts about Sleeping with Your Pet
In 2014, at a presentation at the 28th annual meeting of the Associated Professional Sleep Societies, 57% of pet owners admitted to having their furry companions share their bed with them. 54% of these pet owners have dogs, and the remaining 42% owned cats.
From this survey, it was reported that 5% of these pet owners had difficulty maintaining their sleep or falling back to sleep due to their pet. Though the number is quite small, it still prompted experts to explore the possible link of insomnia and pets.
In another study conducted by the Mayo Clinic Center for Sleep Medicine, they found that 10% of pet owners they surveyed got annoyed by their pets when they slept in the same room or bed. Their pets often interrupted their sleep for various reasons, such as wandering about, whimpering, or going to the bathroom.
Due to this possible link, some physicians recommend that pet owners should not allow their pets to sleep with them in the same room. To them, it is a matter of understanding that by letting their pets sleep on their beds, they might end up losing sleep.
In another point of view, Cesar Millan finds that it is only natural for your pet to sleep with you since you are considered as a member of your pet’s “pack”. He claims that “it is a powerful way to bond with your [pet].”
Others try to debunk the studies. They pointed out that the percentage of people disturbed by their pet at night is quite insignificant, so it is statistically irrelevant. They further explained that some studies have been conducted where 3 out of 4 of their participants reported waking up in the middle of the night due to disturbance not caused by their pets.
Medical Concerns When Allowing Your Pet in Your Bedroom
Allergy and asthma are some of the major concerns of physicians about letting your pet sleep with you on the same bed. Dr. Derek Damin recommends that people with allergies and asthma should not allow their pets inside their bedroom. These medical conditions will surely worsen with the presence of an animal close by, in a closed space.
There are, however, other concerns apart from pet allergies and asthma. Even if you do not have pet allergies, your pets may still carry allergens with them which can transfer to you through air or physical contact.
Another concern is the Center for Disease Control report regarding what your pet could be carrying. There are certain bacteria and diseases that our pet might be carrying which can be easily transmitted to you, such as meningitis, MRSA, staph infections, and Chagas disease. Though these are rare cases, the risk exists.
Should You Let Your Pet Sleep With You?
There are a number of studies and findings showing that it is not recommended to let your pet sleep with you in your bed. However, as shown in the numbers above, more than half of pet owners do so. There are even cases of people with pet allergies and asthma who still allow their furry companions inside their bedroom and on to their mattresses.
If you really want to let your pet sleep with you, ask yourself this, “Am I a light sleeper?” If you are, then your pet might make it difficult for you to sleep well at night.
“Do you have pet allergies?” Again, if you do, it is recommended to not let them inside your room. However, physicians advise those who really want to have their pets sleep with them despite their allergies to take allergy shots to build tolerance.
There is really no stopping you from letting your pet sleep with you. It is a personal choice and you only need to understand the possible consequences (if any).