Should You Allow Your Pet to Sleep in Your Bed?

Do you sleep with your cats and dogs? Do you sleep well in general?

We’re trying something new for our blog. Here is a guest article written for us from an author with the Sleep Help Institute. (

This is a really good website, an independently owned, unbiased sleep resource where you can read about everything “sleep”.  

Should You Allow Your Pet to Sleep in Your Bed? By Samantha Kent.

A beloved pet can feel like a full member of the family. But, should you share your bed with an animal? There are pros and cons to inviting your furry family member in bed. Your personal circumstances will have the largest impact on your decision. No matter what you choose, everyone in the house needs adequate rest. If sleep disturbances, such as insomnia, sleep apnea or restless legs syndrome already affect you or interfere with your spouse’s, or your pet’s sleep, be open to other arrangements.

When the Dog Needs to Sleep Somewhere Else.

There are circumstances under which an animal should not sleep in your bed. Dogs and cats can pass diseases on to their owners through the fleas, or ticks they may have that get transferred to you or your bed. It is uncommon, but certain bacterial infections such as one strain of Staphylococcus, and parasitic infections can be transferred to humans from the pets licking, biting or scratching of you that may happen more frequently due to the close contact of being together in bed. Keep in mind that animals that are up to date on their vaccinations and flea/tick treatments pose a very small risk of passing on a disease. However, the risk is still there.

For that reason, very young children, and anyone with a compromised immune system should not sleep with their pet. Even a small risk of infection could prove to be hazardous to their health.

Pet allergies are another reason you may not want to share the bed. Mild allergies can become more severe due to the immune system being overstimulated when exposed to pet dander all night long. Tightened airways in the throat can result and poses danger for breathing and interfere with your sleep.

If you have allergies, your pet should probably sleep somewhere else. Over time, dander from your pet, attaches itself to almost any surface, and before you know it, even when your pet is not in the bed, the entire bedroom can become a source of sneezing and nasal congestion. So in reality, you’ll sleep better if your animals stay out of your bedroom altogether.

When a Furry Companion Might Be the Best Idea.

A pet in the bedroom isn’t always a bad idea. Your dog or cat nearby can provide much needed companionship and:

*   Relieve Anxiety: Pets are natural stress relievers. For some people, being near their favorite four-legged companion can cause a release of oxytocin, a hormone that helps us feel compassion and love. The calming effect your beloved animal has on you, can help you fall asleep faster and stay asleep longer.

*   Increase Your Sense of Security: One of the number one reasons people own a dog is personal safety. This is especially true for those who live alone. Animals, generally, have a better awareness of their surroundings and have been known to alert owners to potential dangers at night. If that feeling of safety helps you sleep better, your pet in bed is definitely a positive thing.

*   Offer Comfort: A furry friend can be like a warm stuffed animal toy. They’re great for comfort and warmth and are far more personable than an electric blanket.







Making It Work.

Sleeping with a pet might require some changes in your sleeping arrangements. First, you’re going to have to deal with motion transfer. A mattress topper can help absorb motion and reduce disruptions. See this page at for recommendations. Second, consider training your pet to sleep at the foot of the bed so you’re not running into one another all night long. Lastly, sometimes large pets are too much for one bed. A dog bed positioned on the floor next to your bed, close enough so you can touch your dog during the night is another possible solution.

Whether you decide to keep your pet in another room or make him a bedfellow, everyone needs adequate sleep. You need seven to nine hours while most dogs and cats may sleep 12 to 18 hours per day, though not all at once. If everyone is getting the sound, restful, sleep they need, you know you’ve made the right choice.

Samantha Kent, the author, of this article is a researcher for Her favorite writing topic is how getting enough sleep can improve your life. Currently residing in Boise, Idaho, she sleeps in a California King bed, often with a cat on her face.    

There is another article on the Sleep Help Institute website I really like about how your dog sleeps. See it here.

Full Show Notes for Episode 33 – Raising Your Paws Podcast.

Title: A Very Human-like Reason Why Dogs Like to Roll in Smelly Filth & A Guilt-free Strategy for Meeting Other Dogs on Walks.

You can listen to the show here. 

Cats have exceptional noses just like dogs do, and smelling and being smelled is an important part of their social life. They also have a smelling superpower function and I’ll tell you how you’ll know your cat has turned it on.

Then, continuing my conversation with dog trainer, Katie-K-9, you’ll get practical advice about:

How retractable leashes can cause more problems than the “freedom to roam” benefit.

A simple and reassuring thing to do with your dog if meeting unfamiliar dogs on walks does not always go so well.

The best way for you to personally, greet an unfamiliar dog so you don’t get bit.

Plus, did your dog roll in stinky dead remains again? I offer two explanations from the world of animal behavioral science for why dogs delight in doing this.

To support this podcast, please subscribe, rate and review Raising Your Paws on ITunes. Click here.  Thank you.

Resources for the Episode:

Source for story about your cat’s nose. “What Your Cat Knows” by Sally Morgan.

Katie K-9 website. Click here.

Katie K-9.

Source for story about dogs rolling in smelly things.  “The Secret Lives of Dogs,” by Jana Murphy and the Editors of “Pets part of the Family.”




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