Should you sleep with your dog? What are the benefits? Are there problems or issues you should know?
Personally, we do sleep with our dogs. Not only in our room, but in the bed. And, depending on the dog and his personal preference, under the covers. And we’re not sorry.
Research is with us
Sleeping with your dog is actually good for our health. The benefits of sleeping with your dog include lower blood pressure, reduced insomnia, increased calmness, security, warmth, and even less depression. In all the research we did preparing for this post, we only found one article, written by an admitted germaphobe, that listed some reasons not to. And this person actually cited bubonic plague, spread by fleas, as a reason not to allow his dog in bed.
The simple answer would be to make sure your dog doesn’t have fleas!
Calming all around
It only takes a few minutes of petting a dog to lower blood pressure. We’ve all noticed the sense of calm we get when our dogs are next to us and we, even unconsciously, reach for them and start stroking their fur. Our dogs also seem to know when we need special comfort. How many times has your best caretaker been the dog who won’t leave your side when you’re not feeling good?
Research has also shown that women, in particular, find it more soothing to sleep with their dogs than with their human partners. We have a theory that women are too considerate of their human family and will sacrifice their own space, comfort, and even leg room, to accommodate their partners. With their dogs, women in our theory are more likely to claim their fair share. We love having that warm puppy snuggled up against us – but we make them stick to their own share of the night real estate!
Safe and sound
A few years ago Hope went to an out-of-town agility trial and shared a hotel room with a friend. It turned out the friend snores like a band saw. The one night Hope and her dog managed to fall asleep before her friend, her friend complained the next morning about Hope’s dog’s snoring! Too funny!
And it’s true that some of our dogs have snored. And we’re not alone in finding the sound soothing – just part of the regular routine. The “white noise” of a normal, cozy night.
We think part of being able to relax is knowing you’re secure. Since dog’s senses, especially hearing, are so much better than ours, we can rely on our dogs to let us know if something isn’t right. So many news stories feature heroic dogs who woke their families when there were house fires. Not that we’re throwing out our smoke alarms – but dogs are an extra layer of security.
Upshot? Go ahead! Sleep with your dog
Nowadays dogs are considered part of the family. And we know that both our dogs and we do better when we’re together. Our first dog was relegated to sleeping in the kitchen. Fortunately, those days are gone. However, our dogs aren’t getting their own rooms. You have to draw the line somewhere!