Health Risks Of Sleeping With Your Pet
"Set goals that scare you and excite you at the same time"
I’m always trying to post awesome photos of Jake and Maggie and trying to show their personalities in each photo. I’m trying to get good quality content and make it look easy and effortless. Well…this is what is actually like when Thomas and I take pictures. Just sayin :-). I wanted pictures of them in their new collar and bandana from Aki-Oka Pet Boutique…you know because they are well behaved Ambassadors for the company…and this was part of our photo shoot! LOL! Enjoy!
Animal behaviorists from Canisius College set out to explore the impact pets have on human sleep quality. They collected data from 962 women living in the United States. 55% shared their bed with at least one dog, and 31% with at least one cat. In addition, 57% of participants also shared their bed with a human partner.
“Compared with human bed partners, dogs who slept in the owner’s bed were perceived to disturb sleep less and were associated with stronger feelings of comfort and security,” the study authors wrote. “(It) may be related to dogs’ abilities to deter intruders and warn their owners of potential threats.” The researchers further speculated that dog moms were more likely to stick to a strict sleep schedule, and therefore enjoy better rest.
A study by the Mayo Clinic measured the effect of dogs on human sleep in the home. There were 40 participants, all healthy adults with dogs over the age of 6 months. The results showed that having a dog in the room benefited the sleep of the participants who maintained 83% sleep efficiency. However, participants who allowed their dog to sleep on the bed had a slightly lower sleep efficiency of 80%.
When it comes to sleep efficiency, 80% is considered satisfactory, so even the participants with dogs on the bed had a pretty good sleep.
Is it unhealthy to sleep with your pet?
Studies show that you are more likely to get a disease by sleeping with another person than having your pet in bed with you. Keeping your pet clean as well as any bedding should cut the risk of any infection and keep your room smelling fresh. It is recommended you wash bedding once a week or more…or more if you have your pets sleeping with you.
Reasons why you wouldn’t want to sleep with your pet:
Hygiene – Although studies show that sleeping with your pet will not kill you, you still have to consider such things as dirty paws from the earlier dog walk, etc.
Affecting sleep – As I stated earlier, the bigger the dog, the more room they take up in bed and the more body heat they put out.
Confuse the dog as to who plays the role of pack leader – Allowing your dog on the bed will undermine you as the pack leader, and could affect discipline in other areas such as training and obedience.
Be consistent on what you allow your dog to do – Allowing your dog to sleep in your bed one night and not the other will confuse them. They will not understand boundaries as well.
Dogs have parasites that could infest your bed – Make sure you are treating your pet with flea and tick on a monthly basis. Children should never be allowed to sleep with the family dog as common worms that dogs are prone to get can cause blindness if a child comes into contact with them.
Consideration for your partner – If the desire to sleep with a pet is one sided, this may cause irritation, resentment, or jealousy in your relationship.
Injury and risk of hurting yourself or your pet – If you shout in your sleep or move around startling your pet, they may wake up snapping at you. In older pets, their bones could be more brittle and with a chance of you kicking them or rolling on them could very well hurt them or break a bone.
Old age and illness – If you have an older pet, they may be prone to more accidents or sickness like vomiting in bed.
Undoing learned behavior – If your pet has been allowed on the bed and now is not allowed, you may have a very high anxiety situation where they are crying during the night to be on the bed with you. They will not understand the change in routine and they may think they have done something wrong.
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