Hey, fellow pet lovers!
Today’s post is all about your canine companion sleeping in your bedroom or bed, and whether this can have a detrimental effect on your sleep? I’ve been feeling a bit under the weather lately and haven’t slept very well the last few nights, and this got thinking, how much does sleeping with Lily or Nia in my bed each night affect my overall quality of sleep?
Let’s jump straight into today’s post and learn whether you should snooze with your four-legged companion or not?
Should your Canine Companion share your Bed?
Ever since getting Lily as a pup she has slept alongside me in my bed and I know I’m far too much of a softy to even consider kicking her out and making her sleep on her own bed, but I have thought many times that this would help me get a better nights sleep.
With the weather getting warmer and Lily’s fur being outrageously long at the minute since it’s still too early to strip her. she gets far too warm even when it’s fairly mild. This can be a bit annoying as she tends to pant for a little while and jumps on and off the bed during the course of the night to cool down, which is normally just as I’m managing to drift off.
However, this got me thinking about our four-legged companions sharing our beds and I’ve had a little search online and I’m fairly surprised at the results I’ve found. I’ve always known this topic to be a bit of a controversial one amongst dog owners, so I thought it would interesting to write a short yet informative post all about sharing our beds with our pooches.
So how many people actually share a bed with their canine companion?
There are plenty of loving pet parents out there who choose to sleep alongside their pets for a variety of reasons, but there are also many loving pet parents who choose not to sleep alongside their pooch.
The truth is it all depends on you, do you prefer the comfort of having a canine companion by your side even if this means having a worse nights sleep, or would you rather have your pet sleep in another room, or in their own cosy bed and not on yours?
I actually couldn’t find any statistics that were up to date saying how many pet owners slept alongside their pooch but I did find some data from 2017.
A survey by the American Pet Products Association found that nearly 50% of dog owners share their space with their pet.
When they say share their space with their pet I assume they mean sleeping in the same bed and its clear that the smaller the pooch, the better chance they have of sleeping with their owner. Lily is the perfect sized dog to sleep alongside whereas Nia is just verging on a bit too big, but she’s still comfortable to snooze with.
However, most American pet owners prefer to sleep alongside a smaller pet as 62% of small dogs sleep with their owners, 41% of medium-sized pooches sleep with their owners and lastly, 32% of large dogs sleep with their owners. I just want to mention that I couldn’t even imagine sleeping alongside a large breed such as a Great Dane, how do you even get any space?
Nevertheless, I can see how pet owners can struggle to say no to those large puppy dog eyes and knowing me if I ever get a large breed they will most likely end up sleeping on my bed as well.
Research by Animalfriends.co.uk found out that nearly half of all Brits (46%) are happy to let their pet share their bed with them.
My partner and I fall in amongst this group of pet owners but I was seriously shocked with some of the other statistics that came with these findings. The post I was reading was titled, Why you should never let your pet into your bed.
The argument for this was because pets are unhygienic and can spread various diseases such as Salmonella, parasites, fungal infections and various worms such as tapeworms or roundworms. However, if your pet is clean and properly cared for then the chances of you falling ill or catching a parasite, fungal infection or tapeworm off them are very slim.
Something that always comes up during a conversation about sharing your bed with your dog, is how unhygienic is it? While researching for today’s post I came across another article in the Mirror which says half of Brits share their beds with their pets despite dangers they pose to their health.
Both articles seem to be referring to the same study and some of the statics within the article from the Mirror are extremely shocking!
Nearly one in five (18%) of pet lovers also let their dog or cat eat from their family’s plates.
A third of Brits (30.5%) of pet lovers never wash or clean their pets with around 25% not washing their food and waters bowls regularly.
54.6% of Brits wash their dog or cat less than once a month.
And lastly, 2.68% never wash their dog or cat bed.
Ensuring your pets bedding, food and water bowls are clean at all times are super important for keeping them healthy, as well as yourself. You also need to ensure your pooch is washed regularly to keep them free from fleas and various other skins issues such as ringworm and mange. Currently, we are washing the girls at least once every week since they are getting covered in mud and dirt when they are running around off the lead on our adventures down the Lea’s or when they are getting covered in sand when we go to the beach each week.
We wash the girl’s food bowls every day after they have their tea, their water bowls also every day and the Pooss has her Catit water filter which ensures she has clean, filtered water every second of the day. Sleeping with your pet doesn’t have to be unhygienic, you should ensure you wash your bedding at least twice a week if they do share your bed, or whenever necessary and ensure your pet always has clean bedding available.
Does sleeping with your pooch have a negative effect on your overall quality of sleep?
A study wanting to find out this exact question, to objectively assess whether a dog in the bedroom or bed disturbs sleep was done in 2015. The study took place from August 1, through December 31 2015, and 40 healthy humans with no sleep disorders participated, alongside their canine companions who were all over the age of six months. All human participants wore an accelerometer and their dogs wore a validated dog accelerometer for a whole week.
So what were the results?
If you sleep with a pooch then chances are some nights they are going to keep you up but the study showed that dog owners with a single dog in their bedroom managed to maintain a good nights sleep efficiency. However, there was one thing that made a difference and that was the dog’s position on/off the bed.
The overall results showed that human participants sleep efficiency was at a good percentage when their canine companion slept in the bedroom at 83% overall. However, participants who had their pooch in their bed with them did have their overall sleep efficiency decrease by 3% to 80% overall.
The overall conclusion is that your four-legged friend’s presence in your bedroom may not be as distributive to our sleep as initially thought but it all depends on how easy you fall to sleep, how much of a deep or light sleeper you are, how fussy your canine companion is and whether they sleep in your bed or in their own bed within your bedroom. To read more about the study simply follow the link above.
The benefits of sleeping with your canine companion?
I love sleeping with Nia and Lily, even though it may decrease my overall sleep efficiency by a few percent the cuddles I get are more than worth it.
You get the best morning cuddles!!
If you’re a frequent visitor to epoch.pet then you will already know that I mainly sleep with little Lily in my bed and occasionally have Nia some nights. However, one of the best things ever for me when it comes to the girls sharing my bed is snuggling up with them in the morning. Lily gives the sweetest morning cuddles and she’s just the perfect size to snuggle up with.
If you’re wondering what the best thing about sharing your bed with your canine companion is, then for me morning cuddles are top of the list!!
If it’s a cold winter night your four-legged friend can keep you warm.
I’m not a fan of sleeping with the heating on even when it’s freezing cold during the winter, I much prefer to have my four-legged companion there to snuggle up alongside and keep me warm. If you are the same then this is my second favourite benefit of sleeping with little Lily or Nia.
You feel extra safe.
Having a pet by my side makes me feel a lot safer in any circumstance but especially on a night-time when the flat is silent and pitch black. I know that if anything ever happened the girls would be up and barking straight away and this makes me feel extra safe during the night.
The downsides of sleeping with your canine companion?
There are a few downsides to sharing your bed with your pet and below I have listed three that I think for me, cause the biggest issues when it comes to getting a good nights sleep.
Your sleep efficiency will drop a few percentages.
The studied showed if you sleep with your canine companion in your bed you are more likely to have a slightly worse off sleep than if your pooch slept in their own bed within your bedroom. This is definitely something to think about if you’re considering getting a pet or you’re wanting your pet to share your bed.
If your pet has a long coat then they may keep you up panting during the Spring and Summer months.
Like I mentioned above Lily can be quite a fidget during the Spring and Summer months due to her insanely thick coat. This normally means I will have an awful night sleep since she hops up and down off the bed all night and pants like crazy.
One thing I have found that helps is sleeping with the window open or placing her cool mat on the floor alongside her own bed, so she isn’t jumping up all night and keeping me awake.
They may fart and stink out your bedroom!
So this is one of the worse things ever and unfortunately, little Lily was very guilty of this last night. Depending on how much of a smelly pooch you have, you may not have to deal with this issue but if you do, it can definitely disturb your sleep. Thankfully, we have an air purifier which makes a world of difference when your pet decides to stink your room out, so if this is something you have to deal with a lot then you may want to look into getting one yourself.
Thanks for reading today’s post, I hope you all enjoyed learning about how sleeping with your pooch can slightly affect your overall quality of sleep but if you’re like me, then it’s more than worth it! If you enjoyed today’s post then let me know by hitting that like button or giving it a share so other pet parents can learn all about epoch.pet and our diverse range of content.
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