A recent survey by the American Pet Products Association revealed that nearly half of all pet owners allow pets to sleep with them at night. It’s clearly a common practice, but is it healthy for you and your dog? Here are five great reasons to let your dog share your bed .

6 good reasons to let your dog sleep in bed

These are six ways why sleeping with your dogs can improve your well-being.

1. Your pet can be an ally in the treatment of mental health problems

For those suffering from anxiety – or any other mental illness – animal-assisted therapy can be a powerful force in navigating that darkness. Animals have been shown to be a strong source of social support, protecting their owners against fighting loneliness, bothersome thoughts, and excessive thinking. Letting the dog sleep with you in your bed while anxiety or depression haunts you is truly healing. Try tonight if it’s your case.

2. They help fight insomnia

Many people find it easier to fall asleep when their partner is next to them doing the same. For those who do not have a partner, or whose partner leaves often or does not have a similar sleep schedule, a dog can provide a similar effect. A happy sleeping body – human or not – can help you get your own body on the same wavelength.

3. Your dog misses you during the day

For those who suffer from guilt about the dog every time they leave the house, allowing our furry friend to snuggle up to us at bedtime does a lot for him to feel our presence again, and of course, does a lot to alleviate our conscience. For our dogs, bedtime is absolutely the highlight of their day, every day.

4. They add an element of comfort

As Charles M. Schulz wrote: “Happiness is a cuddly puppy.” Dogs bring a physical and emotional sense of comfort to your bedroom that even the cleverest of interior designers could never improve upon. Without a dog, a bed is just a bed. With one, it becomes a base for running at the end of a long day.

5. Dogs are natural protectors

Sometimes if we sleep alone, we can become a little paranoid. What if someone enters? What was that noise? Did I close all the windows? Knowing that our dogs will act as the first line of defense against any intruder – and probably scare them by their simple barking – gives a much needed sense of security and peace of mind.

6. They provide comfort

Did you sleep with a stuffed animal when you were a kid? Well, sleeping with your pet is pretty much the same – except they’re warm, their little hearts beat in sync with yours, and they breathe in and out in a more calming rhythm than any lullaby. Oh, and they love you.

“Dogs are our link to paradise. They do not know evil, jealousy or discontent. Sitting with a dog on a hill on a glorious afternoon is to be back in Eden, where doing nothing is not boring – it is peace ”- Milan Kundera.
Why not turn your own bed into an Eden? Let your dog sleep in bed tonight. See how you feel. You know if the roles were reversed he would do it for you!

By Dr. Eric Jackson

Dr. Eric Jackson provides primary Internal Medicine care for men and women and treats patients with bone and mineral diseases, diabetes, heart conditions, and other chronic illnesses.He is a Washington University Bone Health Program physician and is a certified Bone Densitometrist. Dr. Avery is consistently recognized in "The Best Doctors in America" list.

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