Do you sleep with your dog?

Dogs have been man’s (and woman’s) best friends for centuries. Adopting a dog, for most of us, is welcoming in a new family member. The demands of a puppy can be likened to the demands of a newborn child. With night crying, toilet training and behaviour training they can be full on! If you choose a rescue dog you will more than likely have to tackle inherited behavioural problems as well. But this fluffy companion can give you such love and security that your life will change forever.

There are many books and websites that can advise on all aspects of training, diet and exercise. But what benefits, if any, does having your little fur baby sleeping in your bed provide?

All decisions made regarding your dog, must work for your whole family, everyone needs to feel loved and secure.

Below are 5 reasons why sleeping with your dog might be beneficial. . .

According to the Mail nearly half of dog owners share a bed with their dog, as it made them feel comforted. Having a snuggle with your dog does make you feel better at the end of a long day and curling up to sleep with them can just prolong this feeling. Half of the people who were asked said they felt their pet either had no effect on the quality of their sleep or actually helped them sleep better.

Although medical professionals dealing with a patient with sleep problems would ask about their pet’s sleeping arrangements as this defiantly isn’t something that will work for everyone.

The sound of your best friends gentle snores can be very relaxing and for some people, especially when they are home alone, it can provide a great deal of comfort to have your dog close. Obviously, some dogs are louder sleepers than others ?

When the heatings on full, you’re snuggled in bed and you’re still cold, instead of getting a hot water bottle or switching on the electric blanket think instead about getting Fido to join you in bed!

Dogs are brilliant at keeping warm! In the wild they don’t need a thick blanket or a cozy mattress to kept them snug, they warm up quickly and usually keep at a perfect, constant temperature.

They don’t just have one layer of fur they have many that all do different jobs to either keep heat in or reflect it back. Although do be carful especially with small breeds that they don’t become wrapped in a thick blanket and overheat. Dogs release heat from panting or sweating through their paws, so if you notice these signs ensure they can be relocated to somewhere a touch cooler. Also make sure you have plenty of drinking water available for them throughout the night

According to medical professionals having a dog can actually lower your blood pressure! This could be be very very helpful if you suffer from hypertension.

Several studies have shown that dog owners have lower blood pressure than people who don’t own a dog. Although you have to take all factors into consideration. The dogs possibly have a calming effect on their owners but also dog owners do tend to get more exercise.

In one study, 60 male and female participants had their blood pressure measured while they were either stroking a dog or speaking to another person.

The results showed that the participants blood pressure was lower whilst stroking the dog and higher when they were chatting to another person. The act of touching and stroking the dog seemed to have a positive impact.

So sleeping while touching your dog can reduce your blood pressure over time and alleviate symptoms of high blood pressure.

Stressful day? Full of tension? Many studies have shown that just being in the company of your dog can calm you. This is also true at bed time. If you have trouble falling asleep, the presence of your dog may just relax you enough to drift off into the land of nod.

Once asleep they may also help you retain a healthy, calm, sleep pattern.

One study of people suffering from PTSD found that sleeping with their pet actually helped diminish nightmares.

Being close to your dog encourages the release of oxtocin in you brain. This is the chemical released when a person falls in love or when they are around their baby. The chemical also promotes Theta brainwaves, these brain waves are directly associated with REM sleep. This means that you may sleep deeper when you are sleeping with your pet!

Sleeping with your dog can strengthen that very special bond you share. This is especially so in new puppies as they have been separated from their mothers and siblings. Rescue dogs who have been re-homed may have anxiety of being abandoned.

In the wild, dogs would live in packs, who would hunt and sleep together. They are sociable creatures and look up to a pack leader for support and guidance. This is why humans and dogs get on so well, through thousands of years of domestication dogs recognise us as social creatures and want to be part of our pack.

Dogs need clear leadership and without a pack leader, you might find behavioural problems creeping in like anxiety and aggression. A dog that doesn’t know it is protected by you can seek to protect itself, even against things that are not harmful.

Sleeping with your dog can strengthen the bond between you and enable both you and your dog to feel protected.

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