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Why You Shouldn’t Sleep With Your Pet
If you’re a pet owner, there’s a good chance you sleep with Fido or Whiskers. They’re cuddly, cute, loveable, and they love your bed way more than theirs. It’s pretty common: According to a recent survey of pet owners by the American Pet Products Association, nearly half of dogs and 62% of cats sleep in their owner’s beds.
But is it a good idea?
Pet lovers will say yes, but there are factors to consider. Animals, especially those who frequent the outdoors, can be dirty. They are a host for staph infections, and parasites like ticks, mites, or fleas. And while they might not have any bugs, it’s worth noting that their saliva (contrary to that myth about a dog’s mouth being cleaner than a human’s) does carry a ton of bacteria—so if they’re drooling on your pillow, it could make you sick.
Another thing: Poop. Dogs run through it, and even sometimes eat it. You can’t follow them around all day, so you could not know if that happens. And if you didn’t bathe your dog that day… well, there’s a chance it’s tracking that into your bed, which can cause illnesses like pink eye, or transfer bacteria like salmonella or E. coli.
Allergy reactions, too, can spike, even in those who don’t have severe pet allergies. Pet dander is potent, and it can cause anything from minor trouble breathing to full-on asthma attacks.
But let’s say your pet is super clean, and you’re not allergic. They can still disrupt your sleep. Movement and noise is a huge factor is sleep disruptions, which we know can ruin your sleep cycles and cause a less restful sleep. If your pet is waking you up when they crawl in and crawl out, then you’re probably not getting the best sleep you could be. And the habit is hard to break—once a pet gets the okay for sleeping with you, they’re much more likely to do it again, and again, and again.
The best bet is to get your pet his or her own comfy bed, and save yours for your own restful nights.