Furry Bedfellows: The Powerful Benefits of Sleeping with Your Pet

If you’re a pet parent, there’s probably nothing as nice as waking up in the morning with your human companion cuddling you while your animal companions keep you cozy on the other side.


It’s a natural instinct, both human and animal, to gather together in groups at night to stay warm and protected. With everyone facing a different direction, it also turns the sleeping group into a very effective alarm!


A 2021-2022 American survey of pet parents found that 43% of dogs and 49% of cats share a bed with a human comrade. Sure, our furry friends might take up the whole bed, kick us in our sleep, or wake us up with their shenanigans (have you ever had a cat curl up right next to your head?). But we still wouldn’t have it any other way!


Here are the top three reasons why letting dogs and cats sleep in your bed is a good idea.   


two dogs laying on the edge of a bed

1. Sharing a bed with an animal doesn’t have to be dirty or smelly.


We know what you’re thinking - aren’t our pets a little bit stinky, made of hair that gets everywhere, and not exactly the cleanest of creatures? Many believe that sleeping with pets opens them up to allergies or invites dirt and grime into their beds, and that may be true. But it’s possible to actually experience a fresh and clean sleeping environment with the right pet-friendly bedding that keeps fur, dander, and dust at bay.


Plus, did you know that hitting the hay with your fur bud can boost your immune system? Since cats and dogs bring different kinds of bacteria into your home in tiny amounts, your immunity could be better off!


2. You’ll be less stressed and anxious.


Sleeping with a pet may help reduce stress and anxiety levels, making an impact on your mental health. Even just the presence of your silly kitty or your sweet pup can create a calming effect, leading to more restful sleep. Think of a time you were anxious, and a family member or close friend was right there for you. Animals supply that same feeling, as they're simply a friend with fur!


Studies have found that the bond between humans and their pets releases oxytocin (in the pituitary gland) that helps to reduce stress and increase feelings of happiness and relaxation. Sleeping with a dog or cat can also provide a sense of security and companionship, alleviating loneliness and anxiety. 


3. Emotional support is always there.


Especially for those who live alone, sleeping with a pet can give comfort, making it easier to fall asleep and stay asleep throughout the night. And petting your feline or snuggling your doggo produces more of that "love hormone" - oxytocin. 


No matter what you're going through in life, you know you have the full emotional support of your fur bud every single night. If your mind is racing, you had a terrible day, and it's hard to leave that behind when you get in bed, all you have to do is reach out for your fur baby. Who hasn't been consoled by a pet in the middle of the night when dealing with losing a loved one or a relationship ending? They're right there with those big eyes shining in the dark at you as if they understand!


The choice is up to you!


Still, the never-ending debate always remains - should we have pets sleep in our beds or not? Some experts say it’ll cause allergic reactions or disturb our sleep cycle so we probably should not get used to it. However, we recommend whatever makes you feel good!


We know. Our often nocturnal cats sometimes tiptoe out of bed in the middle of the night and wake us up when they're running in circles. And our large canine friends may leave piles of fur and puddles of slobber on the bedding. But would you tell your significant other to sleep on the couch just because they shed their hair or drool on their pillow? Of course, you wouldn't!  


We think the benefits outweigh those occasional minor inconveniences since we love those furry creatures unconditionally.

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written by

Paw Team

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