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Everyone wants someone to cuddle at night, especially in these long winter months, and regardless of whether you have a partner or not, you’re probably tempted to let Fido or Felix snuggle on or under the covers with you. You aren’t alone; statistics show that nearly half of dog owners let their pooch sleep in their bed. But is this habit really that healthy?

As with any controversial issue, expert opinions vary. Some of common themes we encountered include:

It’s Quite Common

51% of Canadian canine owners allow their pooch in their beds at night, and apparently size does matter. The larger the dog, the less likely he’s getting under your covers; 62% small dog’s sleep with their owners, while 41% of medium sized dogs, and 32% of large dogs do.

Allergies? Avoid it

If you are already suffering from pet allergies, but have a fur baby anyways, you probably shouldn’t let them sleep in your bed with you. It will only intensify your symptoms. A better option is to get a pet bed for your pooch and put it on the floor, preferably in a separate room, or as close as your allergies will allow.

It Could Be Worse

Dog whisperer extraordinaire Cesar Milan says “there is far more risk with pet licks and kisses (then having them sleep in your bed)”. As we all know, you’re not only at risk for some puppy loving when you’re in bed, it can happen just about anywhere. If your pet is mostly an indoor one, they are less likely to carry anything that could harm you. If they do go outdoors, just be sure to wipe down their paws when they come in and keep an eye on what they get into. Fleas and ticks are the main cause for concern, so if you are going to be sleeping with your pet it is crucial that you make actively check/treat for fleas and ticks.

Show Them Who’s the Boss

Although Milan doesn’t think there is any harm in letting your dog into your bed, he does believe that you need to establish authority and invite them up each night; to the point of even choosing where on the bed they sleep. This establishes that you are still indeed the leader of the pack.

A Goodnight’s Rest is Priority (Yours)

Experts agree that as long as you don’t have problems falling asleep or your pet isn’t negatively affecting your rest, there is nothing wrong with having them in your bed. Some would even say that having their pets close to them helps them feel safer, or that their rhythmic breathing actually helps them fall asleep.

The Good News

If your pet wants to sleep with you, consider yourself the honoured chosen one. Pets (especially dogs) only sleep with people or other animals that they have complete trust in.

As with any issue concerning your health, it’s better to play safe than sorry. As long as your pet is (relatively) clean, you regularly check them for fleas, ticks or any other issues, and they don’t disturb your slumber; feel free to snooze away with Fido for as long as you both please.

We want to hear from you! Do you sleep with your pet? Why or why not?