According to a recent survey of pet owners by the American Pet Products Association, nearly half of dogs sleep in their owner’s beds. The survey found that 62% of small dogs, 41% of medium-sized dogs and 32% of large dogs sleep with their owners. – WebMD
Ask any pet owner about the notion of sleeping with their dog, and you’ll likely get one of two responses: they do, and they love it; or they don’t, because it’s nasty/disrupts sleep/etc.
From an evidentiary standpoint, the data appears to support the former group. Many studies have been conducted that confirm the health benefits of sleeping with dogs. Even the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has published the opinion that sleeping with one’s beloved canine can bring forth a number of benefits.
And there appears to perhaps be something to this. Nearly 50 percent of all dog owners sleep with their pet. As an aside, this is one area where the Chihuahua, Poodle, Schnauzer and Terriers have the advantage: over 60 percent of small dog owners sleep with their furry, compact friend.
Dog owners that sleep with their pet may already be aware of the things on this list. Some of you may just start inviting Fido under the covers.
Here are 7 amazing benefits of sleeping with your dog:
1. They provide comfort
If you’ve ever cuddled with a dog, you can probably attest to the fact that there is just something so comfortable about the experience. Simple things like listening to the dog’s breathing, feeling their fur, etc., can bring about a strong sense of comfort. When this feeling is carried onto the bed, it may provide additional benefits. This may mean improving sleep, or strengthening the special bond that you have with your pet.
2. They improve sleep quality
In many cases, the physical and mental benefits brought about by a dog’s presence in the bed can result in better sleep. In general, dog owners feel a sense of calm and assurance when their furry companion joins them in the bedroom. Interestingly, some insomniacs have reported an improved sleeping experience once their dog began sleeping in their bed.
Of course, this can swing both ways. Some people simply don’t sleep well with their pet, and vice-versa. Still, it doesn’t hurt to give it a try.
3. They relieve distress
Most dogs naturally have an exceptionally attentive nature. They love being close with their owners. This fact, combined with the usual comfort that a dog provides, can be a great stress reliever.
The use of therapy dogs is a common practice for this very reason. Therapy dogs will often follow their owners into bed for treatment purposes. It makes sense, then, that your beloved pet can provide similar benefits.
4. They give us warmth
There really isn’t a whole lot of science behind this one. Dogs are just comfy creatures; their warm-bloodedness, rhythmic breathing and propensity for close physical contact are enough to manifest a feeling of comfort in just about everyone with a pulse.
Many of us like a sense of warmth when we sleep, which explains the two or more blankets/comforters/etc. found on so many of our beds. Accompaniment of your dog, then, makes perfect sense!
5. They can help with depression
Dogs often both give and receive a sense of unconditional love and loyalty. Someone with depressive symptoms is often void of this feeling, or doesn’t experience the feeling nearly enough.
It is also common for someone experiencing depression to have difficulty sleeping. Put two and two together, and a dog’s presence may just help alleviate some of those symptoms.
6. They provide a sense of security
Speaking of innate dog traits, many of them have a keen sense for protection. This fact, in conjunction with most dog’s excellent sense of sound, can evoke strong feelings of security and well-being.
While most of us love sleep, it is definitely when we are at our most vulnerable. Most break-ins and other crimes occur during late night and early morning hours. This is where having a dog to provide an added layer of security can help!
7. And…the dog benefits, of course!
Come on… SURELY you didn’t think we’d leave out a man’s best friend?
Your pup absolutely loves spending time with you. They also deeply miss your presence when absent. Why not give them the special feeling of sleeping with the person they love most in the world?
It will also assuredly deepen the already special relationship that you two have. This benefits both you and your pet!
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). (2014, April 30). Health benefits of pets. Retrieved November 3, 2016, from http://www.cdc.gov/healthypets/health-benefits/index.html
Eckstein, S. (2005). Pets in your bed. Retrieved November 3, 2016, from http://pets.webmd.com/features/pets-in-your-bed
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