There’s been debate through the years over whether having your pets sleep in bed or in the bedroom with you is beneficial. But, most recent research suggests it is a good idea, making pet parents feel less lonely, more secure and strengthening their bond to their animals.
For the dogs
The Mayo Clinic in Scottsdale said in 2017 that in most cases sleeping with your dog is just fine and actually beneficial on both ends. This finding is based on a five-month study of 40 healthy adults and their dogs, ages 6 months or older.
Both humans and canines wore monitors for seven nights during the study to gauge the quality of their sleep. As long as they slept in the same room, the humans were found to have 81% sleep efficiency while the dogs did even better at 85%. Quality of sleep for humans did decline a little if their dogs slept in bed with them.
Content with cats?
There doesn’t appear to be a recent study of the same scale as the Mayo’s scientifically observing how well cats and their people sleep together, but there are pluses and a few minuses to the practice.
Kitties are nocturnal by nature, so there’s a better chance your pet will be jumping up and down during the night and deciding they want to play with you at 3:30 a.m. If you have allergies or asthma, sleeping with a cat nearby may be detrimental to your health, and the same may apply in some cases with dogs.
On the other hand, there are many reasons why you and your cat could enjoy snoozing in bed together, and one survey from the American Pet Products Association found 62% of cat owners permit this, versus 50% of dog owners.
Felines run a few degrees warmer than we do at around 102 degrees and tend to seek out more heat, so cuddling up with a slightly cooler person can bring both of you more pleasure and comfort.
The emotional benefits of pet ownership extend to bedtime, too.
Photo: Blushing Cactus Photography