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Sleeping with pets on the bed – What’s the consensus?

Posted on October 24th, 2023

The debate about whether to let pets sleep on the bed is a subject of contention among pet owners. 

Some people wouldn’t dream of going to bed without their furry friends by their side, while others people prefer keeping their sleeping quarters pet-free. 

So, what’s the consensus on sleeping with pets on the bed? Let’s explore the pros and cons, as well as some considerations for making the best decision for you and your four-legged companions.

The benefits of sleeping with pets on the bed 

Comfort and companionship: Many pet owners find comfort in their pets’ presence as they fall asleep. The warmth and comfort provided by a cuddly pet can be incredibly soothing. Sleeping with a pet on the bed can reduce stress and promote relaxation.

Safety and bonding

Sleep is a vulnerable experience, but sleeping with a pet can foster a sense of safety and bonding. Pets often act as protectors. They provide comfort in the dark and act as loyal companions.

Improved sleep quality

Some studies have shown that people, including those with chronic pain, may experience better sleep when co-sleeping with their pets, especially their dogs. This could be due to the calming effect of a pet’s rhythmic breathing and heartbeat, which can help you fall asleep faster and sleep more soundly.

Enhanced emotional health

For people struggling with anxiety or depression, having a pet nearby can provide emotional support and reduce symptoms that may hinder sleep onset and quality. A pet’s presence can also reduce feelings of loneliness and promote a sense of well-being by increasing oxytocin levels. 

The downsides of sleeping with pets on the bed

Allergies: Many people with pet allergies still have pets. However, if you have pet allergies and you allow your pet on the bed, doing so can exacerbate your symptoms. Allergens can accumulate in bedding and upholstery, leading to discomfort and health issues.

Disrupted sleep

While some studies show that some people may sleep better with their pets, the research is limited. And some pet owners’ sleep could be disrupted by their pets moving around, snoring, or wanting attention during the night.

Hygiene concerns

Pets can track dirt, debris, and even parasites into beds. Regular grooming and cleaning routines can help mitigate this issue, but it’s still something to consider.

Personal space

Sharing a bed with a pet means less personal space. For couples, this can sometimes lead to conflicts and discomfort.

Considerations for sleeping with pets on the bed 

Pet size and behavior

Smaller pets are generally easier to accommodate on the bed. Additionally, a well-behaved, potty-trained pet is less likely to disrupt your sleep or cause hygiene issues.


If you or your partner have allergies, you should discuss the potential health implications of allowing your pet on the bed and take measures to minimize allergen exposure by…

  • Regularly grooming and bathing your set 
  • Washing your bedding in hot water once a week 
  • Frequently dusting and vacuuming your bedroom 
  • Using a HEPA air purifier 

Sleep preferences

Consider your sleep preferences and how your pet’s presence affects your rest. If you find that sleeping with your pet leads to frequent disruptions or discomfort, you should explore alternative sleeping arrangements.

Training and boundaries

Establish clear boundaries with your pet, such as designated sleeping spots or times. Consistent training can help ensure that your pet’s presence on the bed is enjoyable for everyone. 

The consensus on sleeping with pets on the bed ultimately depends on your personal circumstances and preferences. There are undeniable benefits to co-sleeping with your pet, including…

  • Increased comfort
  • Security
  • And companionship

However, you should also consider potential downsides, like…

  • Allergies
  • Hygiene concerns
  • And less space 

In the end, the decision is a personal one. If you choose to share your bed with your pet, be mindful of the associated challenges and take steps to ensure that you and your furry friend can rest peacefully. If not, providing a separate sleeping area for your pet can still foster a strong bond while preserving your own sleep quality and comfort. 

Ultimately, the consensus is that there is no one-size-fits-all answer. The best arrangement is the one that works best for you and your pet.

Dr. Meghna Dassani has practiced dentistry for over two decades and is passionate about the role dentists play in whole-body health. You can learn more at her website:

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