Pets Sleeping in Bed With You – Good or Bad?

According to the American Pet Products Association National Pet Owners Survey, 43% of dogs and 49% of cats sleep on their owner’s beds. Let us explore the pros and cons of pets sleeping in bed.
pets sleeping in bed
Pets Sleeping in Bed With You – Good or Bad?
Nearly 56% of pet owners are estimated to have their pets sleeping in bed next to them. But is this safe or healthy? Let’s find out.

In this article

A survey conducted in July 2022 said 76% of Americans let their dogs sleep in their bed. According to Psychology Today, 33% of pet owners feel they get their best sleep quality with their pets sleeping in bed with them. 

pets sleeping in bed

The Benefits of Pets Sleeping in Bed With You

Should you let your pets sleep in your bed? Let us find out more.

Theta Brainwaves

Theta brainwaves appear during the REM stage of sleep. Your pets sleeping in bed with you can induce the production of theta brainwaves. These are responsible for reduced stress, more creativity, contentedness, and reduced anxiety. 

Improved quality of sleep

A dog sleeping on the bed with you can help with insomnia. You are less likely to wake up feeling tired in the morning. Some pet owners who have PTSD say that sleeping next to their pets leaves no room for nightmares.

Lowered stress levels

Pets sleeping in bed with you contribute to lowered stress levels. It betters your emotional health and reduces cortisol levels in the body. Cortisol levels are high when you are stressed. Cuddling your pet releases oxytocin in your body. This hormone is responsible for reducing stress and uplifting your mood. 

Other benefits include

  • Enhanced immune system
  • A sense of comfort
  • A feeling of security
  • Reduces loneliness
  • Lowers blood pressure
  • Promotes heart health
  • Less likely to develop pet allergies later in life
pets sleeping in bed

The Risks of Pets Sleeping in Bed With You

Pets become a part of your everyday life. While there are benefits to pets sleeping in bed with you, there are also risks pets carry. Let us take a look at some of them. 

Increased exposure to various types of parasites and vector-borne diseases

Dogs carry intestinal parasites, fleas, bacteria, fungi, and ticks. These microorganisms cause diseases in humans. Children, the elderly, and immuno-compromised people are at risk of acquiring infections if they have pets sleeping in bed next to them. Germs spread through feces, scratches, bites, and licking your face or an open wound. 

Aggravation of pet allergies

Some humans are allergic to dust mites and pollen. Pets can carry these in their fur into beds they share with their owners, causing aggravation of dust and pollen allergies. Some humans are allergic to pet hair and dander. 

Territorial demeanor of dogs sleeping in bed

Dogs can bite or injure you while you sleep if they are abruptly awakened. They snarl, growl, bark, lunge, chase, snap, and bite. Children are especially vulnerable to bites. Animal bites can also transmit infections. 

pets sleeping in bed

How to Train Your Pet to Sleep in Their Bed

Now that you know the risks, you know you are in for a fight for comfort and territory. Let us think of some good alternatives. 

If you face constraints in making your pet sleep, here are some tactics that can help:

Find the right bed

Your bed is your pet’s favorite spot to sleep. Why don’t you create a space right next to your bed? Like a comfy bed on the floor next to you. Some dogs prefer to keep an eye out for you. 

Add personalized items to the bed

A coat of yours may be their favorite clothing. It smells of you when you are gone. Keep it on their bed with their favorite blanket, toys, and other accessories they love.

Command your pet to sleep in their bed

It is the most tedious task of all. Get your pet into its bed. Use commands like ‘Down’, ‘Sit’, ‘Go to Bed’, ‘Bed’, or ‘Sleep’ to encourage them to get comfortable in their own bed. Do this for a few days or weeks. Once your pet knows you want them to sleep on their bed, they will learn to follow commands. 

Reward them for good behavior

Every pet loves these, be it tasty dog treats, praise, petting, toys, dental chews, or dog bones. If they obey your commands and sleep through the night in their bed, reward them! 

Tips for Safe Pet Sleep

Your dog needs 12 to 14 hours of sleep a night. So, how do you prepare them for a deep slumber? 

  • Ensure they are mentally and physically tired before you put them to bed. You can do that by playing or walking with them. 
  • Just like your baby needs teethers to fall asleep, pets need their chew toys. 
  • Get your pet checked regularly for fleas, ticks, or any infection that might keep them awake at night. 
  • The bed has to be to your pet’s liking. If the pet does not approve of it, the pet might keep you awake all night!
  • The room should be dark and noise-free unless your pet likes it otherwise. 
pets sleeping in bed

What to Do if Your Pet Is a Bed Hog

If your pet covers a lot of your space on the bed, there is only one thing you can do — give your pet their bed to sleep on. Your pet cannot do without your presence. 

Get them a bed they can hog all night, and keep it close to your bed. This way, they get enough space to spread out, sleep peacefully, and stay close to you. 

Common problems with pet sleep

At times, pets sleeping in bed with you is fine. The problem is with the pet’s sleep itself. Here are some factors affecting pet sleep:

  • Lack of physical activity all day long or before sleep.
  • The sleep environment is unfavorable – too much light, noise, or discomfort.
  • Anxiety in pets – social, separation, or noise.
  • Ticks, fleas, or some other infection disrupts pet sleep.
  • Health issues like arthritis, stomach problems, frequent urination, pregnancy, or itchy skin.
  • Lack of mental stimulation throughout the day or before sleep.
pets sleeping in bed

How to Deal With Pet Allergies

Pet allergies are common conditions, and the best way to avoid them is to stay away from the allergen – the pet causing allergy to you. If this is not possible, here is what you can do:

  • Bathe your pet twice a week
  • Keep your bedroom pet-free
  • Brush your pet’s hair regularly
  • Go for HEPA air cleaners 
  • Keep your pet’s bed clean
  • Vacuum your house often
  • Avoid hugging or kissing your pet
  • Lastly, get tested for allergies


So, pets sleeping in bed with you – yes or no? The only suitable answer to this question is not always. While there are risks and benefits, each situation is different, and you are the best judge of the best option for you and your furry friend. 

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Arati Kulkarni

Arati Kulkarni

A freelance content writer by profession for the last seven years, Dr Arati Kulkarni Srivastava has an extensive medical and management background of 8 years. She enjoys writing on healthcare, mental health, and wellness.

This page is purely informational. Beem does not provide financial, legal or accounting advice. This article has been prepared for informational purposes only. It is not intended to provide financial, legal or accounting advice and should not be relied on for the same. Please consult your own financial, legal and accounting advisors before engaging in any transactions.

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