How Sleeping With Your Dog Can Improve Your Health
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Everyone could use a better night’s sleep. Whether you got home late, have work scheduled early the next morning or just want to feel more energized in general, optimizing your sleep is the way to go. Luckily for pet parents, sleeping with dogs is a great way to improve your quality of sleep and overall health.
There are numerous benefits that come from sleeping with your pup. Not only do you have an excuse to cuddle with your favorite furry friend, but you will also feel better for it. To help you out, we’ve outlined the basics of why and how you should sleep with your dog below.
The Benefits of Sleeping With Your Dog
While some are skeptical about the safety and hygiene of resting next to your furry friend, doing so is safe so long as you’re both in good health. In fact, doing so can yield surprising benefits. Here are some of our favorite advantages that come from sleeping with your pup.
Sometimes, after a tough day at work, all you want to do is go home and rub your pup’s belly. When you smother your dog with pets, rubs, and love, you end up feeling better. This is, in part, because when you interact with cats or dogs, it can reduce the level of stress hormones in your system.
Since stress can lead to insomnia and other sleep issues, this means that bonding with your beloved pet might also lead to better sleep.
Feeling of Safety
There’s a reason that people keep “beware of dog” signs in their front yard. Dogs are territorial animals that are always on the alert for danger. If an intruder comes barging in, the dog is usually the first to notice and the first to act. What’s more, they are protective of their human companions and will defend them at any cost.
That said, it makes sense that sleeping with a dog would make you feel safer. There have even been studies that found that women felt more secure sleeping with dogs than when they slept with human partners or cats.
Improved Mental Health
Sometimes there’s nothing more comforting than spending quality time with your dog. No matter what stressful situation you’re experiencing, your four-legged friend is sure to come to your rescue, jump on your lap, lick your face and lift your spirits. There’s even scientific evidence suggesting that your pet can improve your mental health.
The conclusions of one study linked animal-assisted activities to experiencing fewer depressive symptoms. This means that the more you incorporate your favorite pet into your life, the happier you could be. That said, there’s no better way to bond with your dog than to sleep beside them.
Tips For Sleeping With Your Dog
While there are numerous benefits that come from sleeping with your dog, there are right and wrong ways to do so. You want to prioritize the health and comfort of both you and your dog above all else. That said, here are some best practices to help you and your pup get a good night’s rest.
Establish a Routine
If your dog isn’t accustomed to sleeping in the same room as you, the new arrangement might take some getting used to. Remember to be patient and establish a consistent routine. In time, both you and your pup should adapt to the new sleeping conditions.
Since dogs can carry in pet odors, dirt, and germs from outside, you want to be sure to prioritize cleanliness. To that end, washing your sheets regularly is a must. The last thing you want is for your bed to be perpetually covered in dirt and dog hair.
Additionally, make sure to bathe your dog regularly while you’re at it. A pup that smells good makes for a better sleeping companion.
Take Your Dog on Regular Walks
Normally, an energetic pup bouncing off the walls and hopping on and off the bed is not conducive to quality sleep. Keeping that in mind, you want to make sure that you give your dog proper exercise throughout the day. When you give them an outlet to use their energy, it makes for a healthy hound and a better sleeping partner.
Visit The Vet
One of the prerequisites for sleeping with your dog is that both of you are healthy. That said, you want to bring your dog to the vet on a regular basis. Since you’re going to be spending a lot of time together, you’ll want to make sure that your furry friend is free from ticks and fleas. Nighttime bug bites can be a real pain in the rear. So long as you keep your pup healthy, they will be the perfect bedtime buddy.
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Sleeping with your dog can do wonders for your quality of sleep and your overall mental health. Using the above tips, you can create a sleep routine perfect for you and your pup. For more information on sleeping with dogs, the folks at Tommy John created the infographic below.
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