Is it dangerous to sleep with your pet? What do the experts say?

Some pet owners love their four-legged companion so much that they don’t want to say goodbye to him even at night when they go to sleep.

Research shows that 56% of people report sleeping with a pet in their bedroom and nearly 35% of children share a bed with a pet at night. It also seems that animals prefer to sleep with their owner, because v research it turned out that 86% of puppies chose to sleep near a human when given the opportunity.

In the past, doctors warned pet owners not to sleep with their animals. However, new research shows that the practice can have positive effects on a person’s physical and emotional health.

You can read them below advantages and disadvantages about sleeping with a pet along with tips on how to sleep better with your furry friend.

Should I let my pet sleep with me?

Sleeping with small animals such as chinchillas or hamsters who like to nibble and are not easily trained may not be such a good idea. For pets such as cats and dogs, sleep clearly depends on the owner’s preferences.

Pets provide comfort and affection, but sharing a bed with them can cause allergies or sleep problems. Whether the benefits outweigh the risks depends on you, your pet, and your unique lifestyle preferences.

Benefits of sleeping with pets

Research and subjective human experience suggest that sleeping with a pet can provide a number of benefits.

Convenience and security

Some people choose a pet, especially a dog, for safety and protection. Working dogs can provide emotional support to humans post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) when they have nightmares.

Working dogs are trained to detect physical signs that indicate a person is having a nightmare so they can stop the nightmare and wake the person up. In one studies of armed forces veterans with PTSD who had working dogs found that 57% responded that the dog helped them with relief when they had nightmares.

Better emotional health

Having a pet can reduce stress and loneliness, alleviate symptoms of mental disorders, help regulate emotions and add purpose and meaning to life. Unconditional love from a pet can increase oxytocin levels in adults and decrease cortisol levels in children, factors associated with relaxation and stress reduction.

At the very least, the relaxing effect of interacting with a pet appears to be due partly to physical touch. So cuddling with your dog can relax your brain and help you calm down.

Many people claim that sleeping with their pet benefits their sleep, and one study found that people with pets were less likely to take medication to help them sleep than people without pets.

Increased immunity

When there is a dog or a cat in the house, the composition of the bacteria in the house is significantly affected and thus also the immunity of people. Scientists hypothesize that exposure to various microorganisms benefits human health and boosts immunity.

Having a pet can be even more beneficial for the developing immune systems of children and infants. Exposure to two or more dogs or cats the first year of life can reduce the risk of allergies to dogs and cats, dust mites and grass.

General well-being

Pets have been shown to improve human physical health in many ways, including lowering cholesterol, triglycerides and blood pressure.

Dog owners appear to have a reduced risk of death possibly associated with positive effects on the cardiovascular system. In particular, research has found that petting a dog lowers blood pressure and heart rate. If your pet’s touch is a direct route to receiving these health benefits, then a nighttime cuddle can help your body as a whole.

The dangers of sleeping with pets

Although sleeping with pets brings joy to many people, sleeping with an animal can have some disadvantages.

Allergy

Millions of people with pet allergies live with an animal in the United States. However, people with allergies may want to keep pets out of the bedroom, even during the day, to avoid exposure to hair and dander while sleeping. If you think your pet may be causing allergy symptoms, then you need to see your doctor and ask for an allergy test.

Exposure to germs

The bacteria your pet brings into your home may have positive and negative results. On the one hand, exposure to more bacteria and other microbes can help boost the human immune system. On the other hand, pets can carry harmful bacteria, viruses and parasites, endangering the families they live with.

For these reasons, people who are more prone to infections, the immunocompromised, and people with wounds should avoid sleeping with pets.

Poor sleep quality

some animals especially those that are large, they usually unfold and take up a lot of space on the bed. So if you sleep with your pet, you may not get good quality sleep and wake up often.

Sleep problems can vary depending on the type of pet. In one study, women who shared a bed with a dog reported less disturbed sleep than those who shared a bed with a cat.

Tips on how to get a good night’s sleep with your pet

If you choose to sleep with your pet, these tips can improve the quality of sleep for both you and your four-legged friend.

Use an appropriately sized mattress. To reduce the discomfort of changing sleeping positions, make sure your mattress is big enough to accommodate you, your pet, and anyone else sharing your bed.

Wash sheets and bedding regularly. Good hygiene is key to preventing the spread of unwanted bacteria. Wash bedding regularly, as well as pet beds or blankets you bring into the bedroom.

If your pet spends time outside, you can also wipe its paws and fur to keep dirt, pesticides and allergens out of the bedroom.

Go to the vet regularly. Keeping your pet at bay also protects you. Make sure your pet has regular vaccinations, flea and tick treatments, and any deworming program recommended by your vet.

Do not allow your pet to lick or kiss your face. If possible, don’t let your pet lick your face or any open wounds, as they could spread the disease to you.

Walk your pet before bed. Taking your pet for a walk before bed can help prevent them from becoming overworked and restless or tense at night.

Maintain a consistent bedtime routine. Like humans, animals have a circadian rhythm that regulates when they feel tired and when they wake up. Going to bed and waking up at the same time each day can help you and your pet maintain a relatively similar sleep-wake cycle and avoid restless nights.

Conclusion

Although pets’ sleep patterns differ from our own, many people can successfully share a bed with their pet if they make certain adjustments.

To ensure a positive sleep experience, be on the lookout for overheating or other signs that your pet may not be sleeping well. Small children and small pets should not share the bed with others due to the risk of injury.

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