It’s long been said that to have your dog in bed with you is great way to get your dog to sleep. Now a survey from America suggests that it may also benefit the human.
It is a discussion that has been ongoing since we first invited dogs into our homes. Is it wrong to share your bed with your dog, or should we embrace the special relationship we have with them and just enjoy the company? Some observers think the latter: that having a dog nearby leads to a better night’s sleep, and it would seem that a new survey confirms this.
What was the study about?
Christy L Hoffman from Canisius College in the United States recently published the findings of a survey called, ‘An Examination of Adult Women’s Sleep Quality and Sleep Routines in Relation to Pet Ownership and Bedsharing’. The study centred on 962 adult female respondents. Fifty-five percent of participants shared their bed with at least one dog, 31% with at least one cat and 57% of participants shared their bed with a human partner.
While Hoffman could not categorically find a positive link between sleep quality and bed-sharing she was able to conclude that, ‘Compared with human bed partners, dogs who slept in the owner’s bed were perceived to disturb sleep less and were associated with stronger feelings of comfort and security’.
Although inviting the dog into your bed at night can be a special treat for the two of you it shouldn’t constitute a regular bedtime routine. It is also not the right course of action in the case of a dog that cries at night: dog trainer Vicky Kelly stresses the importance of avoiding this when trying to train your dog to sleep on its own: ‘Do Not start allowing them to sleep with you instead,’ she writes in her blog.