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Should you allow your dog to sleep in your Bed?
A growing number of people spend their nights snuggled up with their pets. Research has shown that slightly less than one-half of all pet owners share their bed or bedroom with their pet. A study pointed out that sleeping in the same bed or bedroom as our pets is not just a modern phenomenon. In fact, some traditional cultures considered co-sleeping with animals as beneficial. Unfortunately, modern culture tends to focus on the negatives aspects of co-sleeping rather than the benefits.
It’s true that there are some health concerns related to co-sleeping with your dog. Human allergies can be aggravated, for example. There is also risk of transmission of disease from both the dog to human and the human to the dog. However, such transmission is rare.
Quality of sleep can also be affected. Previous studies have shown that owners sharing a bed with their pet report greater sleep disturbances than people whose pets did not sleep in their bed. One factor that may explain this differences in that dogs are polyphasic sleepers and average three sleep/wake cycles per night, whereas human are monophasic sleepers. Dogs also stay alert for sounds even when sleeping than their humans.
Before you snuggle with your pet dog under the covers, be aware of a few factors:
• If you are prone to allergies, co-sleeping with your pet may trigger health problems as most dogs carry allergens. In such cases, you are better off not allowing your dog into your bedroom because pet hair can stick to other objects in the room and cause an allergic reaction even when your furry friend isn’t in the room.
• Dogs also dream, snore and more in their sleep, so you may experience light to moderate disturbances in the night that could interrupt your sleep cycle and affect sleep quality.
• Co-sleeping with a pet can be disruptive to your sex life, so be sure that your partner is okay with having your pet in the room.
• Smaller or older dogs may actually have a hard time getting in and out of the bed at night, so take your animal’s safety into consideration as you bring it up to sleep with you.
• The final benefit of sleeping with your dog is far less selfish than the other reasons. Your dog will probably enjoy sleeping in bed with you. Dogs rely on their sense of smell and interpret ‘their human’ as comforting.
Dr Sharad Singh Yadav is the Chairman of Advanced Pet Hospital & Research Centre which is open 24 hours throughout the year and located in Bishal Nagar, Kathmandu. He may be contacted on tel: 4422855 or email: email@example.com