Sleeping with Pets
Last week we marveled at how differently horses and people sleep, and that got us thinking about animals in our bedrooms - our pets! Letting pets sleep in the bedroom is a personal decision and there is a mix of benefits and factors that we should consider:
- Security. Pets like dogs have great sight and hearing and may be able to provide additional safety and assistance at night.
- Companionship. Some children and adults sleep better and enjoy emotional comfort when they sleep with their pets.
- Immunity. Some university studies show that some exposure to pets when we are young children may help our immune systems develop.
- Room size. If our bedroom is small, we may need to have our pet sleep in a different room.
- Location. Some animal trainers suggest teaching our pets to sleep in a separate pet bed, crate or on a mat in our bedroom.
- Cleaning. To keep odours, stains and shedding under control we will need to plan to vacuum more often and wash bedding and linens in hot water. We might even need to steam clean bedroom decor like carpets and curtains that cannot be vacuumed or are too big to launder.
- Allergies. We may need to keep pets out of the bedroom if we have allergies, because pet's fur (or feathers) can carry additional dust, pollen, spores, microbes and dander that can aggravate our allergies.
- Behavior. Our pet's sleep patterns should not disturb our sleep more than a human partner. Pets with problems like incontinence or spraying should be kept of the bedroom.
- Pests. We’ll need to know how to treat and prevent the parasites that bite humans. Parasites can live where our pets sleep; for example the same bed bugs that bite humans can live in bottom of bird cages and bird nests.
- Health. Both pets and humans need to be in good health because, some diseases can transfer from between pets and humans.
Talk to a veterinarian or your medical professional if you are unsure or have further questions.