Should You Let Your Pet Sleep in Your Bed?

Dog in your bed

For most of us, our pets are part of the family and this may mean that they are allowed to sleep on or in your bed. Some experts suggest that this is not a good idea as it can compromise your health.

Should you let your pet sleep in your bed?

Here, we look at some of the disadvantages of letting your pet sleep with you.

The Potential Downsides

Allergens: Even if you’re not allergic to pets, having them in the bedroom may expose you to allergens from outside such as pollen.

Other health concerns: Germs from outside of the home can be minimised by wiping your pet’s paws when they come in and regular bathing.

Sleep interruptions: Your pet will not always be on the same page as you when it comes to getting a good night’s sleep. It’s common for pets to have sleeping patterns that are not conducive for waking up refreshed. If you’re frequently suffering from disturbed sleep, you may want to rethink your pet’s sleeping arrangements.

How to Discourage Your Pet from Sleeping on the Bed

If your pet has already been allowed to sleep with you, it can be difficult to let them know that this is no longer acceptable.

Dogs can be trained to get off the bed when prompted. When they try to get up onto the bed, encourage them to go to a designated place instead. Your dog can be allowed back onto the bed at your discretion and on your terms but many people prefer to keep their pet off the bed once they have been successfully trained. Keeping this consistency means that your dog is less likely to be confused as to whether they have access to the bed or not.

Cats can be more challenging to discourage but intervention techniques can help to form a negative association with sleeping on the bed. For this to be effective, experts advise that it needs to happen more or less straight after your cat has jumped onto the bed; if it happens while they are sleeping, a negative association may be attached to sleeping (rather than the specific activity of sleeping on the bed). Tin foil on the bed can also act as a deterrent.

Training Pets to Sleep Elsewhere

For new pets that aren’t going to be encouraged to sleep on the bed, you’ll need to train them to sleep in a particular place. This can be your choice but it’s important for your pet to feel comfortable there. Using treats as part of the training process can help them to build a positive association with the space that will encourage them to want to sleep there.

[Photo Credit: adwriter]