The controversial debate on whether or not to share the bed with your furry friends is still a hot topic for animal lovers. Personally, I enjoy having my dog next to me at night and I have found I sleep better with him curled up by my feet. Letting my dog sleep on the bed usually means he hogs the blanket, so there are definitely pros and cons. Today we figured that we would go over some of our favorite reasons to let your dog doze off next to you in bed.
- Lowers Blood Pressure
While it’s true that owning pets can be stressful at times, more often than not it is the opposite! Just being around a furry friend can improve your mood. I know that when I come home from work I always feel better after my dog greets me. One of my favorite things to do when I get home from work or when settling down for bed, is snuggling up to my dog.
Pet interactions, such as petting or cuddling your dog, lead the release of a stress reducing chemical known as oxytocin that lowers blood pressure. This chemical is famously nicknamed “the love chemical” from the feel-good emotions that it causes in our brains.
- Reduces Depression and Anxiety
It's probably common knowledge, but we couldn’t pass up mentioning it. Sleeping with your furry friend at night can reduce depression and anxiety. Cuddling up to someone you care about at night can help anyone fall asleep faster. The sense of love and family that I get from my dog when he curls up close eases any anxiety I have from the day and helps me to fall asleep.
- Feeling of Companionship
Dogs are nicknamed as “man's best friend.” because of how loyal they can be to their owners. The feeling of companionship that one gains when adopting a dog can be life-changing. If you live alone, coming home to a furry friend is something to look forward to. Snuggling up to my pup in bed makes me feel less alone and safer than I would be without him. That feeling of having someone you love close helps me fall asleep faster at night.
- Strengthen Bond
Letting my dog sleep in the bed with me reminds me of the way that puppies sleep together when they’ reyoung. That “pack mentality” makes me feel as if my dog considers me safe and a part of his family, and that feeling reassures me that my dog is happy. Sleeping next to my dog helps build trust between us, which is essential when it comes to things like training.
When to not let your dog sleep with you
Having a new puppy in the home is very exciting, and it's hard not to snuggle up to them in bed. Make sure that your puppy is potty trained before letting them sleep in your bed, just to ensure that there are no night-time accidents on your blanket when you wake up. Puppies also like to chew on everything, including pillows and blankets. Make sure that your puppy won't become distracted by these things in bed. You don’t want to confuse play time with bedtime, and you’ll save your linens too. We recommend always sleeping with a waterproof mattress protector, just in case an accident does happen.
As much as we love animals, we have to remember our own health. If you have any allergies to your animal, it might not be best to let them sleep on the bed with you. Waking up in the middle of the night unable to breathe isn't ideal, despite how close you may want them to be.
Setting up Boundaries
Don’t be afraid to set up boundaries with your furry friend. Let your animal know what they can and can't do in bed. Don’t allow your dog to bring any toys into bed if it distracts them at night; the bed is for sleeping and not playing. Your comfort is important, so don’t let your dog lay anywhere on the bed that could interfere with that. I have no problem with my dog laying against my back or resting his head on my leg, but I don’t want to share a pillow with him.
For me, it's not a debate. Letting my animals sleep in the bed with me is a must. There’s nothing that makes me fall asleep faster than feeling my dog lean his head against my foot. We highly recommend letting your furry animals snooze next to you in bed, just make sure that it’s the right decision for you, your family, and your pet.
Leighanne is the marketing intern at Celestial. When she's not learning about all things sleep-related, she loves to spend her days reading and going on walks with her dogs. Leighanne hopes to one day travel around the world and write about her experiences.