How could you resist the big, adorable eyes looking up at you from the side of the bed, begging to come up and snuggle up nice and close. As we all know, it’s warm and wonderful to cuddle up next to a pup. Co-sleeping is really popular on parenting blogs, so why not extend that to your dog? Although it’s tempting and we all do it at least some of the time, it might actually not be that great for us to share our beds with our dogs, at least health-wise.
There are really two schools of thought on the issue. On the one hand (or paw?) a lot of health professionals think that, although it’s not great for people with allergies, sleeping with your dog is more or less harmless. They can track gross things into bed with them and they’ll leave fur everywhere, but reasonable bathing and grooming should take care of anything extreme. That sounds pretty sensible, so we’re certainly not trying to scare you with only the most sensationalist dog journalism.
For more moderate viewpoints, the main issue, outside of breathing troubles like asthma and serious allergies, is that dogs can mess with your sleep hygiene if they snore, roll around, or wake up to smack you in the face with their paws. That last bit may be more of a cat-specific problem. If you are a light sleeper who wakes up easily, or if you have insomnia and find that any little movement or sound will prolong your sleeplessness, it might be a good idea to keep your bed an animal-free zone. They say that about smartphones too, though, so take it with a grain of salt.
The other viewpoint regarding dogs in beds is that you might wind up getting sick from a gross dog-bourne infection. There have been cases of MRSA, worms, and other illnesses likely transmitted from pets to their owners. Yes, this can happen, but the likelihood is very slim. Though if you’re immunocompromised, having a dedicated space without your dog might be a good choice. As with everything in life, you decide when you want to take a risk by looking at the chances of a negative outcome. In this case, the possibility is there, but it’s quite low, and these risks occur in other frequently-encountered situations. Also: puppy snuggles.
The best thing you can do is bathe and groom your dog regularly, change your sheets often, and make sure that your dog’s sleep patterns don’t interfere with getting a good night’s rest. If it really isn’t going to work out or you don’t want to risk illness, invest in a dog bed and make sure that your pup is comfortable, too!
The Daily Mail
Positive Health Wellness