There are two different types of people in the world – those that share their bed with their pet, and those that don’t. It can often be a pretty polarizing topic, with strong opinions on either end. If you’ve grown up with pets your whole life and are just now thinking about the idea of letting them sleep in the bed with you, or your partner is moving in with their pet who sleeps in the bed, then you’ll need to quickly school yourself on everything there is to know about this. Let’s check out how and why to share your bed with your pet for a better night’s sleep.
1. Are You a Light Sleeper?
This is one of the first questions that you need to ask yourself because if you are, you could run into a bit of trouble. If you’re a light sleeper, then getting to sleep and staying asleep doesn’t come easy. This means that if you let your pet sleep with you in the bed, you could be in for a long, sleepless night. There comes a time, though, where you have to decide if sharing your bed with your pet is worth the lack of sleep. If it is, then go for it. Just know, though, that you may not get as much sleep as you’d like.
2. Is Your Dog Toilet Trained?
You’ve just brought home a super cute puppy, and you can’t bear to let it out of your sight. However, how far along the toilet training process are you right now? Do they know not to go to the toilet inside yet, especially where you sleep? If not, then you may want to consider toilet training them before inviting them to share the bed with you. If your dog doesn’t have much or any control over their bowels, then they’re going to struggle to hold it in.
3. How Well Trained is Your Pet?
We all have such optimistic ideals about dog training when we first get a dog – but turning those dreams into reality is a whole different ballgame. If you’ve struggled to get your pet to listen to you outside of the bedroom, then there may be some issues when it’s time to go to sleep at night. If you want a good night’s sleep with your pet, you need to make sure that they’re well trained and can listen to instructions. Layout the ground rules and make sure your pet knows their place.
4. Dogs Can Help with Anxiety and Stress
One advantage of letting your dog share your bed with you is their calming energy. You already probably know that dogs are often used as therapy pets for many different health conditions, ranging from the mental to the physical. Because this is an innate ability they carry, they will be able to comfort and calm you when they share the bed at night. Dogs can even release calming chemicals, which is going to bring relief to your anxiety.
5. Pets Offer Warmth
This may seem a bit obvious, but the reality is that most pets come with a soft, warm fur coat, which means that they can be used as a real-life hot water bottle or teddy bear. If you’re somewhere in the world that experiences a lot of colder nights, and your regular bedding doesn’t quite cut it, your pet can fill that gap and keep you warm throughout the night.
6. Your Pet Will Thank You for It
We’ve talked a lot about how having your pet in the bed with you can have benefits on the human side, but we haven’t discussed how it can help them as well. The vast majority of pets, when they have a good relationship with their owner, just want love. They want your affection, and they want to be around you. Therefore letting them fall asleep in bed with you is a great way to take care of them as well and ensure they’re getting the TLC that they need.
7. Figure Out Where They Will Sleep
If you’re determined to make this sleeping arrangement with your pet a long-term thing, then you’ll need to establish who sleeps where. As well as making sure that you’re comfortable with things, you need to make sure that your pet is. Find a part of the bed where you’re not going to be disturbed, and where your pet feels like they can be comfortable for the night. You can even include their favorite blanket or pillow to make the entire experience more enjoyable.
8. Don’t Give Up Comfort
When thinking about where your pet is going to sleep, don’t get so caught up in their needs that you put yours completely aside. There’s every chance that at the beginning, they will want to be right next to you, and while some people won’t be concerned by this, others are going to struggle to sleep well. Now that your pet has their blanket or pillow with them try putting it between your space and theirs, so that they know where they can sleep without causing too much disturbance.
One of the best things about having a pet is that they can comfort and protect you when you sleep as well. While some people don’t like the thought of sleeping with their pet, the untold benefits are proof that this is something you should at least try, if not implement, into your nightly routine as soon as possible. Remember to establish clear boundaries, and make sure that both you and your pet are set up for the best night’s sleep you can have.
- Kate Williams