Do you have pets? And if so, do you allow them to sleep on your bed with you? I know a lot of people that do. Heck, I even allow my own pets to sleep on the bed with me (not all of them though, only my cats). It is a wonderful feeling, waking up in the morning to the sounds of a cat purring, or for that matter, falling asleep to those soothing sounds. The feel of a hot little bundle of fur tucked away behind your back – priceless! But the big question we are faced with today is this: Does it help you to sleep better at night if you allow your pets to sleep in your bedroom?

If you want to find out, keep reading this blog post!

Why am I interested in the sleeping habits of my pets all of a sudden?

It’s a funny thing, to be honest. Or maybe a sad thing, depending on how you look at it. Over the last couple of years I’ve developed a chronic nasal drip. For those of you that don’t know what a nasal drip is… It’s when your sinuses are partially clogged up and then releases slime into your throat. So I have this nasal drip, my sinuses are constantly clogged up and I have to blow my nose all the time. It is annoying, to say the least. Especially when the rest of my body is healthy! I mean, I exercise on a daily basis and compete in triathlons and cycle races. So why are my sinuses constantly clogged up!?

And more importantly, how much better will my race performance be if I don’t struggle with a nasal drip!?

So I started reading up on probable causes of nasal drip…

And I found that allergies caused by pets is fairly high up on that list. Especially by pets that sleep in your bedroom or in your bed. According to some health practitioners, healthy allergy free people can develop allergies to cat and/or dog hair by spending a lot of time with their animals. And if you sleep in the same bed as your pet… Well then you spend roughly tow thirds of every day with that pet and is more than like to develop an allergy.

pets - orange tabby kitten sleeping on black and white striped textile

To me this is quite problematic, because I love my cats and I love having them on the bed when I go to sleep or wake up. But in the end, I have to ask myself whether I am willing to live with this constant clogged up sinuses of mine. And to be honest, I do not really want to go through life as a sniveling, coughing person. So I want to put the cats out of my bedroom to see if my allergies ease up a little.

The problem is convincing my wife to kick the cats out of bed. So far it hasn’t really gone well with that. She is adamant that the cats should stay and that I should get allergy relieving medication. I guess that is one way of doing things, but I would prefer to spend as little money as possible to relieve my nasal drip. So wish me luck in my future endeavors to convince my wife to kick the cats out of bed!

Decide for yourself

Even though I came to the conclusion that I want to sleep pet free, it is only fair to let you decide for yourself. I mean, I am wise beyond my years and all that, but it would be unwise of you to just follow every piece of advice blindly. So before you decide to kick your pets out of the bedroom, take a look at the pros and cons of having a pet in your bed:

Pros:

1.Having a pet in your bedroom at night is a sure way to strengthen the bond between you and your pet.

Cats and dogs build relationships with their owners and if they sleep in the same space, it creates a sense of belonging in the animal. It feels safe with you and feels like it belongs to a pack if it sleeps on the bed with you. Just be careful not to get too cozy with the pet, especially if you sleep alone. Because they might start getting the idea that they are the boss and you are sleeping on their bed. This might become problematic if you invite someone else into your bed, because your pet might not approve.

2. Keeping your pets inside the bedroom helps with security, especially if you have dogs.

Unfortunately we have to be aware of what is going on in our neighbourhoods at night. Some neighbourhoods are more safe than others, but almost everyone in South Africa will get an uninvited nocturnal guest on their yard every once in a while. And for this reason it is better to keep your dog inside the house. It will surely wake up when someone is rummaging around the yard and give you fair warning. And if that someone is malignant, he/she won’t be able to silence your dog before entering your property. They will also be less likely to try to enter your home if they can hear the dogs barking inside.

man lying on bed beside short-coated black dog

3. Having your cat or dog in bed with you is warm and cosy.

Snuggling up to your purring cat or slavering dog is always a winner on those cold winter nights. The feeling of a hot body in bed with you just gives it that extra appeal to get in bed early and to have a proper nights’ rest. It also helps you to relax at night and makes sleep come easier, which is exactly what you want.

Cons:

1. You might wake up at regular intervals as your pets readjust or move around on the bed.

Even though it is wonderful to have your pet in bed with you, it can really be disruptive when they move around at night. Especially if they start barking or meowing for attention at 3 a.m. If they warn you of an intruder, that is great. But if they just bark at shadows and wake you up, not so great. Disrupting your sleep in the middle of the night can have lasting effects into the day that can influence your effectiveness at work.

Cats are nocturnal animals, so they will come and go throughout the night. This can also be cause to wake up every now and then. They are also quite playful at night, so they might “attack” your feet when you move around under the blankets. To them it will be a game, but for you it will just be an irritant that wakes you up in the middle of the night.

2. You can develop allergies when you are in close proximity to your pets all the time.

Pets

Apart from the hair that animals leave on your bed, that end up clogging your sinuses (like me), you can pick up a myriad of other diseases from your pets. Remember, they walk around outside all day and step in all sorts of yucky things. Then they bring those dirty paws into your bedroom and those yucky things can get into bed with you. Pets also eat all kinds of things that might carry disease, such as birds, rodents and insects. Being exposed to this sort of thing every night will eventually wear down your immune system. This will lead to bad health or chronic problems in the end.

3. Pets are territorial

If your pets sleep in bed with you and you get a baby that also has to sleep in bed with you from time to time, your animals might get upset and attack the baby. You don’t really want that, do you? They might see the baby as a threat to their position in the household and lash out against the child. So if you have pets sleeping in your bed and you are with child, you might want to consider moving the pets out of the bedroom before the baby is born. It might save you some tears and sorrow in the long run.

So have you decided?

I know I have. Now it’s just getting the idea past my wife… Maybe I’ll get her to read this blog post and spare myself the pain of trying to explain everything to her.

Have a great holiday season and keep your families and your pets safe!