Pet Expert Reveals Tips for Sharing a Bed with Your Dog

Pet Expert Reveals Tips for Sharing a Bed with Your Dog

With over 36 million pets in the UK, more than half (56%) of owners allow their furry friends to sleep in their bedrooms. But is this safe? Intrigued to find out, Mattress Online partnered with sleep expert James Wilson and Pet Behaviour Specialist Mustafa Tshash to offer their top tips on letting pets share your bed. They also investigated which popular UK breeds take up the most space at bedtime.

James Wilson, sleep expert, commented, "For a good night's sleep, we need to feel physically and emotionally secure. However, there are several reasons why sleeping with a pet can be problematic. Pets snore, dream, move, and make noises, not to mention their fur, which can make the bed hotter. Considering 65% of us sleep in double beds, if you share that with a partner, you only have 68.5cm each. Add a golden retriever, and everyone is squashed."

Five Tips for Bedtime Preparation for Your Pet:

  1. Hygiene Matters Maintaining a healthy sleeping space is crucial when sharing a bed with a pet. Regular grooming, bathing, and brushing are essential. Use washable covers and blankets to avoid fur and dirt buildup. Clean your bedding at least once a week and vacuum the mattress and surrounding area. Consider using a designated blanket for your pet to keep your bed cleaner and provide them with familiarity and security.

  2. Ensure the Bedroom is Safe Before allowing pets to share your bed, remove any hazardous or sharp objects from the sleeping area. Keep cords and small objects out of reach to prevent accidents. Make the bed accessible, especially for smaller pets like chihuahuas, by using pet steps or ramps. Ensure your bed frame is stable and sturdy to handle the extra movement and weight.

  3. Training is Key Pets need to understand boundaries to ensure personal space and prevent entitled behaviors like barking, scratching, or aggression. Use commands like "stay" or "down" to create consistency. Establish a bedtime routine to help your pet understand where and how to sleep. Positive reinforcement can encourage good bedtime behavior and strengthen your bond.

  4. Choose the Right Bedding Material Invest in high-quality, pet-friendly bedding for both you and your pet. Durable fabrics that are easy to clean are ideal. If upgrading your mattress, ensure it can withstand your pet's nails, movement, and activity. Having your pet by your side can improve sleep due to their serene presence and rhythmic breathing.

  5. Prioritize Pet Health Monitor your pet for signs of discomfort or allergic reactions, such as itching or sneezing. Use hypoallergenic materials if needed. Regular vet visits and consistent prevention treatments are crucial to avoid ticks, parasites, and fleas transferring to your bed.

Pet Behaviour Specialist Mustafa Tshash commented: "Having your pet snoozing beside you can be a source of comfort and bonding. Pets provide warmth and a sense of security, making bedtime cozier. However, if your sleep is disturbed or your pet shows signs of stress or territorial behavior, it might be best to set boundaries. Untrained pets might claim the bed and disrupt your sleep with unwanted behaviors. Ultimately, find what works best for both of you to ensure a healthy balance."

Alessandra Pacelli

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