Should I let the dog sleep on my bed?


Dogs. Man’s best friend but sometimes not the best match for your mattress. There are more than 1.2 million dog owners in New Zealand and we’ve heard many horror stories among our Sleepyhead social community of waking up to dog bones under pillows, vomit in the sheets, or their pet pooch gnawing the end of the bed.

But, in our recent Sleepyhead Sleep Survey, 30% of those surveyed said they either slept sometimes or always with a pet in their bed. 

Love it or hate it, there are pros and cons to having your fur baby in bed with you.

Pro:

Emotional wellbeing

Our pets bring love, joy & companionship. Except cats – they are mostly coldly indifferent! But seriously, an animal in the house has been the subject of many surveys and almost all of them say a pet has a positive impact on your health and wellbeing. Why? A pet can reduce anxiety and stress & depression. Our domestic animals also help with isolation and loneliness – especially among older New Zealanders.

They give a sense of purpose and routine for many and the need to care for something other than yourself. Getting outside into nature to walk the dog regularly for some is their only form of exercise.So, does enriching our lives give our fur babies a ticket to sleep in bed with you? That’s only a question you can answer  but plenty of studies say that it’s a comfort for both you and your dog & strengthens your bond so keep reading.\

Pro:

Security

Dogs are on high alert to any noises or movement in and around the house and most will wake up & in turn likely wake you up. This can give you peace of mind and let you sleep comfortably, especially if you live alone.

Pro:

Doggie alarm

Warning: this alarm does not have a snooze button. Most dogs know when it’s time to get up for food, to pee, walk or all of the above. This might also help you for getting into a routine with your pet & a lick to the face is possibly more pleasant than an annoying ringtone to wake you up in the morning.

Pro:

Reduces dog separation anxiety

If your canine suffers from separation anxiety, having them sleep on your bed at night will help calm them. It’s not a solution to the problem but letting them sleep nearby lets your pooch know they are loved & safe.Plus, the bonus is that on cold winter nights, having your fur baby nearby provides a bit of extra warmth. 

Con:

Disturbed sleep

Whether you have a dog or cat sleeping on your bed at night – be prepared for disturbed sleep. Cats are nocturnal and dogs are polyphasic sleepers – that means they have several sleep/wake cycles each hour at night. As mentioned above, dogs are also very tuned into noises and disturbances and will generally wake up and likely wake you too. So, a pet sleeping on your bed might play havoc with you getting good quality deep sleep.  We recommend looking at The Good Pet Home for any accessories or animal beds that might help them sleep, but also give you the sleep you deserve.

Con:

Mattress mishaps

Your dog or cat, especially when they are young, might pee on your bed or as some of our Facebook community has alluded to, actually vomit on pillows and sheets. Not something you want to wake up to in the middle of the night. While it might be a one-off, it always pays to play it safe and protect your pillows, linen and mattress. We have an affordable range of Sleepyhead pillow & mattress protectors that will help guard against any nasty pet or human accidents. 

Con:

Hot mess

One of the most common complaints from sleepers is waking up in the night too hot. Having your fur baby lying next to you, not only takes up valuable real estate on the bed but will also add to the heat problem in bed. We suggest firstly, that you buy a bed with our unique and exclusive Kulkote innovation.  It senses whether you are sleeping hot or cold through temperature regulating technology. Of course, it will work with your pet in the bed too & this month we’ve even created limited edition bespoke dog beds that also carry the Kulkote technology so your canine doesn’t have to suffer on hot summer nights. Check out our Facebook page to see the latest giveaways for these dog beds.

Photograph by Babiche Martens. www.babichemartens.com

Con:

Allergies

Dogs and cats on your bed can make any allergies worse because they shed fur & dander or dead skin cells.. The allergens can make sleep worse for your or your children  and tend to cling to furniture and furnishings, so it might be a better option to let your pet pooch sleep in their own crate or dog bed out of your bedroom.

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