“It brings me peace”: why they like to sleep with their animals

It’s not necessarily something to brag about, there can be a bit of shame behind the practice because we’re afraid of being judged, and yet… many people sleep with their dog or cat. Therefore, it is difficult to have an accurate idea about the frequency of sleeping with your pet. In the United States, according to a February 2022 survey, (A survey of 2,000 Americans commissioned by Sealy and conducted by OnePoll)this would be the case for 66% of respondents.

When we ask fans what they get, it’s unanimous: a natural hot water bottle, a calming, peaceful, reassuring side… Like Silvia: “I sleep with a shih tzu, it brings me calmness and companionship, and I think its it is the same on the side. He often sighs with relief and sometimes daydreams while pushing the little silent pods, which I find very cute. »

And everyone has their own little anecdote about the preferences of their animal: there are those who slide under the covers, who appreciate the softness of the pillows, who are in bed but not necessarily looking for contact or who come to invade their home. place when the spouse stands up.

Heartbeats are synchronized

The benefits of sleeping with your dog or cat are real: from a very practical point of view, they are a source of heat, their body temperature is slightly higher than ours. That’s why Eskimos sleep with their dogs, and veterinarian and behavior consultant Jasmine Chevalier tells us, “There’s a saying. three dog nightsrepresenting a frosty night that requires not one, not two, but three dogs to resist the cold.

Having an animal by your side is also extremely calming. Studies have shown that when a human and dog sleep together, their heartbeats synchronize and slow down, promoting sleepiness and relaxation.

A dog will also bring a sense of security when you have certain nighttime worries. For singles, the animal is a support against loneliness. As for people who are in a relationship, according to the aforementioned survey, 60% admit that they would rather sleep with their pet than with their partner! Benjamin testifies: “Murring is better than snoring.”

“No dog bed”

For a long time, training rules encouraged him not to sleep with his dog, the bed was a privilege to be reserved for the dominant, that is, the owner. So what does our behavioral vet think? “You can put your dog on the bed, but you have to make sure that when you ask him to get off, he does so immediately. It should be a human bed, not a dog bed. A good sign is when the dog asks for permission before jumping. The ideal is not to install a puppy there immediately at the risk of never being able to return.

Jasmine Chevallier continues by warning about two dog profiles where sleeping together can be problematic. First, it concerns dogs with social relations disorders: being in bed will no longer be a source of pleasure, but a problem of power. “These dogs will be engaged in resource protection. For example, they can tolerate a person in bed, but not their spouse. Some go so far as to growl when their owner moves or turns under the covers. The bed is theirs and they are on constant super alert, so no one sleeps well.” In such cases, it is important to prohibit access to the bed and the room (in addition to other adjustments in the environment and treatment of the animal).

Hygiene measures should be taken

The second risk profile is the risk of dogs that are with their owner all day and therefore at night. “They have difficulty gaining emotional autonomy, they don’t know how to be alone. “Constant contact should not be essential to their well-being.”

Aside from these caveats, sleeping with your dog is not contraindicated and will not cause behavioral problems.

Co-sleeping enthusiasts don’t seem to be concerned about hygiene. Treatment against external parasites and worms is recommended. “Every time I come back from a walk, I clean his paws and belly. I change my bedding more often,” Ann-Marie explains about her Jack Russel Oscar.

As for cats, some of whom are very active at night, they cannot necessarily adapt to the rhythm of human sleep, which can lead to misunderstandings and nighttime tension. In this case, we isolate the cat outside the room, until he understands that, of course, all cats are gray, but above all, it’s time to rest.

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