One in four dog owners in North America takes their four-legged friends to bed. Are animal lovers doing themselves a favour? There are some pros and few but crucial cons. And in the last instance, only their owners decide whether the dog is allowed to go to bed or the mattress remains taboo for the fur nose.
In search of a valid answer, the hygienic aspect is always in focus. The fact is: the four-legged friends romp around outside every day – they run over meadows, sneak through the bushes and roll in the mud. Furthermore, they often interact with other dogs and different people. Of course, there is an ongoing risk of towing disease-causing germs, ticks or fleas, which can also be harmful to human health.
Dog owners have the opportunity to “equip” their four-legged darling with the hygiene required for the bedroom. Dogs that are well cared for and treated against worms, fleas and ticks two to three times a year meet all hygienic requirements for a safe stay in bed. As for care, the dog owner should brush his furry buddy daily and rid him of coarse dirt.
From a hygienic point of view, it is safe to take the dog under the duvet as long as you take the described measures regularly and consistently. Good news for all those who love the warming fur of the four-legged friend on their own feet or feel joy to cuddle with the animal roommate even in the bedroom.
It has been scientifically proven that cuddling promotes the release of endorphins in dog owners, as well as in dogs. The “happiness hormones” have a positive effect on well-being.
Be aware from the beginning: dogs fall into deep sleep when they close their eyes. Immediately, more or less loud snoring sounds – regular and audible. Studies have shown that the dog’s uniform breathing can help a person with sleep problems overcome them. But there are also people who feel disturbed by the sounds of the four-legged friend. Furthermore, some four-legged friends sleep very restless. They often turn around in their dreams, fiddle wildly with their limbs and simply never seem to find the right sleeping position.
Don’t be surprised if you get a little kick every now and then. This is always to be expected with a dog when sleeping. The behavior can be easily compared to that of a toddler.
Caution should be exercised in the case of quadrupeds of unknown origin, who are adopted and may carry diseases such as babesiosis and Lyme disease have a relatively long incubation period.
A small side note: The widespread assumption that a dog allergy is due to the intolerance of the hair is a misconception. It is not the hair that causes symptoms such as coughing and sneezing, tearing eyes or headaches, but certain proteins. These are found in particular in saliva, skin scales and sebum, which the dog skin secretes. The proteins often attach themselves to the fur hairs – from here they spread on clothing, furniture and in the surrounding area. This explains why most people believe in a dog hair allergy.
In any case, dog allergy sufferers should refrain from letting the four-legged dog sleep on their own mattress or duvet.
The question of whether the dog can relax in bed also takes up a lot of space for couples. It is important that both people agree on this. If a partner feels uncomfortable with the four-legged friend in the bedroom, the fur nose must take preference with its basket.
Assuming that the couple agrees to accept this behavior from your dog, it may well be that the four-legged friend himself disturbs the peace because he wants to protect his mistress or master. Then jealous, aggressive reactions loom. Dogs are particularly prone to aggressive behavior when they are in the middle of the bed between two partners – an absolute no-go.
If your dog has permission to stay with you at night, you must stay with it – for a whole dog’s life.
For the four-legged friend, it would be catastrophic if, after days, weeks, months or even years, you suddenly said: “You haven’t lost anything in bed from now on.” The consequences could be devastating – from behavioural disorders to the complete breakdown of the human-animal relationship. In short, once yes means always yes.
Take the necessary hygienic precautions. In addition to the regular care of the dog as well as the health checks and measures, this also includes setting up the bed in such a way that it offers you and your pet good long-term conditions. Be sure to pick a high quality, durable mattress with a double jersey cover that can be removed and washed at up to 60 degrees Celsius.
Bed linen should be changed and washed more frequently.
If you decide against your dog in bed, you have decided for him, but also lovingly to teach him that he is not wanted on your mattress, your pillow and also your duvet.
Make the bed unattractive for your furry friend – at times, for example, with a cover tarpaulin that you use as a day blanket. The smooth structure and crackling noises displease dogs.
Gradually get your furry friend used to his basket, which, if it doesn’t bother you, can stand quietly next to your sleeping place. Whenever he wants to jump on your duvet, assign him to his actual place. Just stay consistent.
If you share your home (also) with a cat, you have to answer the same question as well. As with dogs, it is crucial for the cat to ensure the hygienic conditions. Everything else is up to your wishes and your taste. Whether dog or cat in bed – sharing your own mattress with your animal friend can be a cuddly pleasure.
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