Sleeping With Pets

Sleeping with animals has been an age old debate. These furry friends provide comfort and warmth, while on the other hand they sometimes carry bacteria and can keep you awake at night. So rather than put this debate to rest, why don’t we look at both sides.

First, to counterbalance the idea that sleeping with pets is bad, in one study, 41% of participants reported sleeping better when their pet was in bed with them. This alone debunks the myth that pets can ruin a good night’s sleep. Then again, this is all dependent on the animal. Some are small and don’t take up much room and are just happy to be in your presence, while others toss and turn and are considered bed hogs.

One quick fix to the concern of pets carrying diseases is to include regular wellness exams, parasite control, vaccinations, and dental care. If you treat your pet like a child, then include the proper hygiene and care.

Unless you have bad allergies or asthma, there is no reason that your pet can’t sleep in bed with you. Even in this case, invest in a dehumidifier or inhaler, and consider keeping your furry friend out of the bedroom.

Overall, pets are very good bed companions for a number of reasons.

They’re comfortable

  • Animals are comforting and a member of the family.

They fight insomnia

  • Animals promote calm, stress relief, and a feeling of safety

Snuggling relieves stress and anxiety

  • Therapy dogs are proof that snuggles are great stress relievers, and can even lower heart rate.

They provide warmth

  • In the winter, who doesn’t love a personal heater?

They make you feel safe

  • Pets are like little guard animals that watch over the home. Sometimes having that extra set of eyes is just comforting.

It’s good for your pet, too

  • They receive comfort from you the same way you receive comfort from them!

Do Dogs Dream?

Do dogs dream? Researchers say they do, and similar to humans. In 2001, researchers at MIT studied the activity of rats brains when they ran a race and while they were in rapid-eye movement sleep (REM). They found that the brain activities were similar in both instances and concluded that the rats must be dreaming about the maze they ran earlier in the day.

Since rats can dream, researchers posited that other animals, like dogs, would also dream in similar ways.

How can you tell when your dog is dreaming?

Usually they bark, whimper or twitch their legs in REM sleep. Another indicator that your dog is dreaming is if their eyes are moving behind their eyelids 10-20 minutes after they have fallen asleep.

A dog’s frequency of dreams is also dependent on their size. Researchers have found that small dogs, like toy poodles, dream about every 10 minutes whereas large dogs, like golden retrievers, only dream about every 90 minutes. There is further indication that puppies and senior dogs dream more than middle-age dogs.

So what are they dreaming about?

Very similar to people, dogs dream about waking things or doggy things…chasing a bird, digging a hole or even just running around.

But what to do if your dog is dreaming?

Ever heard of “let sleeping dogs lie?” It’s a pretty good old adage and one you should stick to. Waking your dog up during their REM sleep can be startling, similar to a person being awoken from a dream, and can result in your dog lashing out or being very drowsy in the morning.

Source: American Kennel Club & Live Science