Should Dogs and Cats Sleep on Your Bed?

In many homes, the “pets on the bed” debate is long over – and the pets have won!

Proof can be found at pet stores where accessories abound to help dogs and cats get onto the bed — and keep the bedding cleaner.

This trend isn’t for everyone, however. Letting cats and dogs sleep in the bed has been suggested as one of many reasons why people have problems getting a good night’s sleep. If you have insomnia, you might consider getting your pet his own comfy bed and keeping yours for yourself. If you have allergies, or your pet has behaviour problems, a no-pet bedroom is also recommended.
Otherwise, why not share? According to the Californian Health Department, 56% of dogs and 62% of cats sleep in the bedroom and 85% feel that their pet is a member of the family. The Tibetian Spaniel was bred as a furry hot water bottle, although sharing a bed with an Irish Woolfhound may be an issue!

The Journal of Clinical and Experimental Allergy showed that if you grow up with one pet you have a 34% reduction in allergies and up to 43% if you have two pets.

Pets are known to lower our blood pressure, reduce the incidence of heart disease (by up to seven times), decrease loneliness and increase socialisation and exercise.

Keep an eye out for sales on relatively inexpensive, washable cotton doonas to throw over the top of the bedding. You can also use rubber-backed fuzzy bath mats on top of the doona if your older pets get leaky.

For high beds and older pets, there’s even an easier way up: A number of manufacturers make pet-sized sets of steps to help aging or small animals get onto the bed or lounge.

The most important thing to remember is that your pet is not allowed on the bed unless you invite it up, and must leave happily (if not reluctantly) when asked.

This post was originally written in 2012