Dogs in bed: is sleeping with your pet really good for your health?

László Enikő

2023. June 2 - Photos: Getty Images Hungary

Several studies show that half of dog owners sleep with their pet. Whether this is good for the farmer is a controversial issue. What are the pros and cons?


Sleeping with a dog is one of the most intimate things you can do together. There have been several surveys on how many people spend the night in bed with their four-legged companion. The results were always above 50%. According to one study 62% of small dogs, 41% of medium-sized dogs and 32% of large dogs sleep with their owners.

Sleeeping with your dog is so intimate.

What is the most effective method?

In a Mayo Clinic study used special equipment to study the sleep of experimental farmers for a week. In total, forty people took part in the testing. The results showed that the quality of sleep improved for those who shared a bed with their pet. However, the position of the four-legged animal was not always appropriate, and in some cases it disturbed the owner. Sharing a room but sleeping in separate beds was found to be the most effective method.

But let’s not overdo it!

Why sleep with a dog?

It used to be a common misconception that sleeping with a dog is unhealthy and that it also affects the quality of sleep. However, this claim is wrong, as the above research shows. But there are other advantages to huddling together.

Provides security, reassurance

People in the research felt safer when they slept with a dog. Not surprisingly, almost all dogs – large or small, guardian or lapdog – will wake up and alert their owners if something is wrong. The feeling of security also increases the level of relaxation, lowers blood pressure, relieves stress and makes sleep more pleasant.

Good for your relationship

There’s nothing more intimate than sleeping with someone. This is when we are most vulnerable, so it takes a lot of trust to share a bed with a human or even a four-legged friend. This creates a truly intimate relationship between dog and owner.

Getting used to routine

Some say that people who sleep with a dog fall asleep faster than those who don’t. It’s also easier for them to get up, as the dog will give you an immediate signal if it wants to go for a walk. And there’s not much the owner can do about that, unless he wants an accident, a surprise on the floor.

Good morning!

They are not the last ones for bed warmers!

Some dog breeds, such as the Pekingese, were bred specifically to snuggle up to their owners for warmth during cold nights.

Better with a dog than a cat

Cats are not known to be house-sitters, and they don’t necessarily get excited when strangers enter your home. This is why the sense of security of the farmers who sleep with them is not increased at night. At night, cats are much more active than dogs, who sleep through most of the night. For this reason, a squirming furball can be disturbing and is more likely to wake you up.

Why is it not good to sleep with a dog?

Some people don’t like sleeping with their dogs because they think they are dirty. Let everyone decide for themselves what they think. However, some basic hygiene rules should be observed.

  • the dog must always be free from external and internal parasites
  • wipe his feet after walking
  • change the bed linen more often

It is also important that the dog does not develop an over-protective instinct. For example, let your owner’s partner go to bed with you, and don’t behave aggressively. Sleeping with restless dogs at night can reduce the quality of sleep. For example, it’s harder to have a good snooze with pets who snore because of their short noses. For large dogs, lack of space is a big problem.

Make sure that if you let one of your pets into your bed, you let the other one in too, no favoritism should be shown because jealousy can turn into aggression. In this case, it is best not to let anyone up to your bed, but just to sleep in the same room with them.

There is no general rule about whether or not you should sleep with a dog. This is always up to the individual to decide, as they know what is right for them and their pet.

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