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Should Your Pet Be Sleeping in Bed With You?

Should your pets be sleeping with you?

Your dog truly is your best friend. You do everything together, from running 5Ks and attending your kids’ soccer games to going to neighborhood picnics. But should your four-legged companion be sharing a bed with you?

Sleeping with pets is certainly tempting. They’re warm and cuddly, and they react with such gratefulness when you allow them to curl up at your feet or even, in the case of a cat, on your pillow. But experts have long debated whether it’s a good idea to allow pets such as a dog or cat in bed with you.

If you love your pets sleeping with you, then good news! The debate may have finally been settled, and it appears that pet lovers have the answer they’ve been hoping for. Not only does having a pet in bed not interfere with the quality of your sleep, but it may even benefit you.

Sleeping With Pets: The Good and the Bad

Anyone who’s ever had a pet in bed knows there can be both good and bad things about the experience.

The Good:

  1. They love to cuddle
  2. They are warm and cozy
  3. They are soft
  4. They provide unconditional love

The Bad:

  1. They often thrash around
  2. Their arm and leg movements can be distracting and interrupt your sleep
  3. They jump in and out of bed
  4. They snore
  5. They hog the bed

Despite all this, many pet owners still prefer to have their pets in bed with them, even when the dog smells or the cat jabs its claws into your back. There’s something comforting about having your pet beside you through the night. In fact, researchers now say there are health advantages to be had by sleeping with a cat or dog.

Why You Should Allow Pets Sleeping in Bed With You

A study from the Mayo Clinic examined 150 pet owners. It found 40 percent of those who sleep with their pets say they feel they benefit from having a pet in bed with them. The reasons may vary. Some pet owners feel safer with a pooch by their sides if something were to happen during the night.

Others who live alone draw comfort from having a companion close by during the night. They may also note the pet sleeps better, too, which can actually help the human. Pets who do not sleep with their owners may awaken frequently throughout the night, whimpering or shifting positions or simply exploring the house after dark. But pets who sleep with their owners tend to stay still and sleep instead of making noise.

Can Pets Share Your Bed?

Ultimately, the findings of a study are pointless if they don’t match up with your personal experience. You may have tried to have your pets in bed and you didn’t enjoy it. But if you like it when your pets sleep with you, then you should keep on doing it. Judge whether this is a smart practice by basing your decision entirely on your experience. And don’t feel one bit guilty for cuddling with your cat at bedtime.


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