SALT LAKE CITY, UT (Good Things Utah) – Everyone loves a good night’s sleep, but how does your sleep change when you let your pets sleep with you? Carley Faughn, a board-certified animal behaviorist, joined us to talk about the pros and cons of sharing your bed with your pets.
There are many health benefits to co-sleeping with your pets, with one of those being that it introduces more oxytocin to your system, which can help with depression, insomnia, and feelings of loneliness. It depends on you and your animal, but the best way to introduce your pet to co-sleeping is to use treats to build a positive relationship between your pet and the bed.
For smaller dogs or dogs with longer backs, Carley recommends providing stairs for your pet to get onto the bed to prevent injury. It’s important not to force your pet to do anything they are uncomfortable with, and you should be paying attention to their body language to make sure they aren’t tense.
While there are many benefits to sleeping with pets, there are times when co-sleeping should be avoided. If your pet tends to guard resources or be protective over their things, they may start guarding the bed from you or others, which could create stress for both you and your animal. Some of the signs to look out for are growling, tense body posture, low ears, dilated pupils, and other clear signs of anxiety.
If your sleep is being harmed by co-sleeping with your pet, then it is best to reevaluate to make sure that you and your pet are receiving the best rest possible. You can find more information and research a pet to foster or adopt at bestfriends.org.