We all love our pets; but is it responsible or even safe to have a pet share your bed? The jury is out. Research has shown that slightly less than one-half of all pet owners share their bed or bedroom with their pet. Even so, you have likely been told by at least one well-meaning person that your dog should sleep on the floor, in his crate, or in his own bed. You’ll be happy to know that some studies say sleeping with your dog is safe, as long as you are both healthy (note: there are some animal diseases that can be transferred to humans; so ensure your canine companion gets his annual checkup). In fact, sharing your bedroom with your canine companion may help improve your sleep, as long as he isn’t under the covers. Furthermore, this sleeping arrangement may actually improve your sleep, according to recent research published by Mayo Clinic Proceedings.

However, according to 2017 Newsweek article, a dog’s sleep position (whether on bed or on the floor), can affect an owner’s sleep quality and health. The researchers, a team of pulmonologists, statisticians and psychologists from the Mayo Clinic, practiced some nighttime surveillance on 40 healthy dog-owning adults. Although sleeping with dogs led to waking up throughout the night, sleeping with a human partner did not. In fact, sleeping with a human partner led to better sleep efficiency than sleeping alone.

Here’s the facts:

  • People with dogs in their rooms, but not in their beds, had an 83-percent sleep efficiency level
  • People with dogs in their beds had an average sleep efficiency rate of 80 percent.
  • 80 percent is considered satisfactory sleep efficiency; 85 – 89 percent is normal; and above 90 percent is very efficient sleeping.

The human-dog co-sleeping arrangement led owners to wake up more throughout the night compared to their counterparts. This kind of choppy snooze is like sleeping for four house a night; it leaves you grumpy and unable to pay attention. Bottom line, if you feel it is worth getting kicked awake a few times or woken up by Rover’s dream of chasing rabbits to have him near you at night, keep him outside the covers and ensure he is healthy.