We all dream of it – cuddling up with your pooch in bed on a cool night, reading by your nightlight and snuggling down for the evening. So, is it good or bad to co-sleeping with your dog? We weigh in on the pros and cons of sleeping with Fido in your bed.
First, let’s start with the pros of sleeping with your dog
He's soft and snuggly, and you just adore that light snoring that he has that helps you drift off into dreamland. He's warm and there's nothing like waking up to your sweet boy in the morning. Plus, just having your dog around can help relieve stress and anxiety and sleeping with him can certainly lower any symptoms of anxiety and stress. All great benefits with keeping your pooch with you when you sleep.
Sometimes, we have the blue and are down, and sleeping with your dog can help relieve depression. The chemical that is released when you're in close contact with your dog is called oxytocin, also known as the love hormone, that helps elevate your mood. Also, while you're sleeping, oxytocin promotes theta brain waves that occur during REM sleep – that time of sleep where you have dreams. So, not only is sleeping with your dog comfortable, it helps elevate your mood and promotes REM sleep.
In one study, researchers found that women sleep better when they are next to their dogs. Researchers from Canisius College in Buffalo, New York found that women who sleep with their dogs actually sleep better and feel more secure than if they slept next to their human counterparts. Sounds harsh, but hey, that doesn't mean that you both can't sleep next to your dog! Improved sense of security, better sleep, and they generally had better bedtime schedules. So, cuddle up!
Here are even more ways that sleeping with a dog can help improve your sleep from decreases in loneliness, lowering blood pressure, and bond strengthening with your dog.
OK, so when it is not a good idea to sleep with a dog?
With all of the great benefits of sleeping with a dog, how could there be anything bad? Well, a few things come into play here – allergies, non-house trained puppies, if you're a light sleeper, or if your dog has some health issues.
We all know someone with allergies – whether it's seasonal or animal-related – we understand the misery that they can go through. Even if you have light allergies, it's better to make sure that your fur baby sleeps on the floor next to you. You'll still have the benefits of having your dog around, but the other benefit is that their dander and fur stay in their bed and not yours.
House training is a must as we all know. Puppies take a lot of time to house train and, in general, to train. So, you want to make sure that Bella over there knows when it's time to use the potty and in the right place because your bed certainly isn't the right place. Nothing like waking up to a wet mess because Bella couldn’t hold it in. So, make sure that you have all of that training in place for a good while before you invite her into your bed.
Speaking of house training, it also helps to improve your relationship and bond with your dog. By doing this, it also helps Bella know who's the boss around the house. By asserting yourself as the pack leader helps curb any potential aggression down the road as well as territorial concerns. Some dogs may have territorial issues, and if you introduce someone new around the house, especially at bedtimes, this could turn into a tad bit of an issue. Take care of it early and make sure that you're the boss, not Bella.
So, make sure that you weigh your pros and cons of co-sleeping with your dog and you'll have sweet dreams, cozy nights, and furry cuddles.