I know this is a question I have pondered as a newer cat mom. My little feline loves free reign of the house, but unfortunately for us both, my moderate allergy restricts him from spending time in the bedroom. Not to mention, his disruptive nighttime zoomies.
All things considered, sharing the bed with my four-legged friend is not something I opt for. I ensure we have proper daytime cuddles complete with plenty of quality time. But for me, I prefer a pet-free bedroom.
So… Should your pet sleep in your bed?
Considerations for Thought
Let’s face the bottom line – you should do what works for you and your floof. Odds are, you have a preference for your pet’s sleepytime space. That being said, here are some things to think about when it comes to where your pet rests their head at night.
The Impact on Your Pet
Your pet may find insurmountable joy in a shared bed. According to “Sleep with your pet? How that may affect you (and your pet)” from CNNhealth “Pets who share their human’s bed tend to have a “higher trust level and a tighter bond with the humans that are in their lives. It’s a big display of trust on their part.”’
Pets can have greater health benefits when strongly bonded with their owner – “‘including increases in beneficial neurotransmitters such as oxytocin and dopamine, the feel-good hormones,”’ according to the aforementioned article.
For animals with behavioral challenges, though, sharing your bed may lead to further misbehaviors. Your pet’s bedroom habits can lead to dominance problems between the two of you according to Ventifo. So, if your pet and you tend to tiff, you may want to assess your sleepytime setup.
The Impact on You
Now that we know there are persuasive pros and cons from your pet’s perspective, let’s consider yours. If your pet tends to disturb you in the night, this can cause “microawakenings.” This can increase your stress levels and make your overall sleep quality worse (“Sleep with your pet?”).
On the other hand, those with depression or anxiety may benefit from their pet in bed, their furry friend taking the comforting place of a blanket, pillow, or stuffed animal. The rhythmic breathing of your furry companion may sooth you. Your floof may bring peace and feelings of safety, especially if you live alone or do not share your bed with another human.
Overall, it is important to consider your comfortability. You may be uncomfortable with your pet, especially a dog, sharing your sheets if you prefer a clean environment. Maybe consider a designated section of the bed or blanket for your four-legged friend.
If, like me, you have allergies, it might be best to keep your pet out of your room. My kitty and I get along great until his hair crosses paths with my eyes. And, since he loves curling up on pillows, my bed is not a preferable place for him to be.
Alternatives: In Your Room
So, if co-sleeping isn’t for you, consider if you want your pet inside or outside of your room. If your pet is trainable and obedient, consider having a bed of their own next to yours. This way, you can share a space while having your own designated area.
Alternatives: Outside Your Room
But, if you're like me and want a pet-free zone sans sleep disruptions, consider a sleepytime space you can make for your pet outside of your room. It is great practice to have your pup sleep in a crate. Ensure they have enough space and a comfortable surface. This way, you won’t need to be concerned about their nighttime adventures.
For the pets you prefer to not confine, it is a great idea to still give them a bed of their own. My kitty loves his fluffy bed that is just his size. Morning, night, and anytime in between, he will take most of his naps curled up there.
Remember, if your pet has free reign of any space, it is always a good idea to make sure they do not have access to anything dangerous. Even if they are sleeping in the same room as you, it is great to double check there is nothing breakable or worrisome of access.
If companionship is your main priority and you want to be thick as thieves with your floof, a shared bed might be the move for you. If your pet can be disruptive or you want to prioritize sleep, consider alternatives to being bedmates. So, trust yourself and find what works best for you and your furry friend for the best sleep and comfort!