When You Sleep With Your Dog, This Is What Happens To Your Body

Many pet parents let their dogs sleep in bed with them, but there has been a long-standing debate about the health benefits and risks of this practice. Here's what happens when you let your pup snuggle with you at night.

Let's start with the potential cons. The most common negative consequence of sleeping with your dog is interrupted sleep. Dogs are light sleepers and often move around at night (via Healthline). This can disturb your sleep and keep you from feeling rested in the morning. And, just like humans, some dogs can snore and get hot in bed. These factors can also negatively impact your sleep.

According to Healthline, dogs can transmit bacteria, parasites, and fungi to humans. When you let your dog sleep with you in bed, there is a small risk that your pet will spread diseases like ringworm, fleas, and ticks. However, this risk is present for all pet owners, whether they let their dogs sleep in bed with them or not. Your pup may also bring allergens into bed which can aggravate allergies.

Overall, there are more positive benefits than negative ones

Fortunately, dog owners who enjoy sleeping with their pets don't need to worry too much. According to PetMD, recent research suggests that allowing your pup to snuggle with you in bed can actually improve your sleep.

"Today, many pet owners are away from their pets for much of the day, so they want to maximize their time with them when they are home," said Lois Krahn, M.D., a sleep medicine specialist at the Center for Sleep Medicine on Mayo Clinic's Arizona campus. "Having them in the bedroom at night is an easy way to do that."

According to Casper, sleeping with your dog can help you relax and may reduce depressive symptoms. It can also make you feel safer at night, reduce insomnia, and even reduce nightmares. Many of these benefits come from the science that suggests spending time with a dog increases the flow of oxytocin, the love chemical, to the brain. Finally, sleeping with your pup is a great way to improve your bond with each other. As long as your dog is healthy, go ahead and make room for them next to you.