As a dog breeder and long-time pet owner, I’m often asked about sleeping arrangements for a newly adopted puppy. Of course children are so excited with their new pet they never want to let it out of their sights, not even long enough for sleeping. Adults can be the same way, and that always raises the issue of whether pets should be allowed to sleep in their owner’s bed. The answer to that question must be decided upon by each individual pet owner, but a few boundaries should be implemented before ever allowing a dog or cat in your bed.
No matter how frequently you bathe your pet or how fastidious your pet grooming skills are, your pet will shed dander and fur (assuming it’s a dog or cat bedmate). Dander, fur, and protein found in pet’s saliva can trigger allergy flares in some people. Pollen and other allergens that attach to pet fur when they go outdoors also inflame sinuses and trigger allergic reactions. To minimize the allergen issue, make your bedroom a clean zone by wiping your pet down with a baby wipe (including paw pads) before he enters your bedroom and use a HEPA filter in air conditioning and heating units to remove the allergens from the air.
Your Side, His Side
If you toss and turn during sleep you might roll over on a small pet and do it harm. If you are a light sleeper and your pet moves around a lot, then your sleep will inevitably be disturbed. Train your pet to sleep at the foot of your bed, preferably on top of the covers, so he can sleep safely and you can sleep soundly.
Not a pleasant subject, but one that needs to be mentioned and guarded against. Fleas, fleas eggs, ticks and roundworms can find their into your bed if your pet is carrying them around. De-worm your dog or cat regularly, keep vaccines up-to-date and use your favorite type of flea killer to protect your pet, bed and yourself. Wall-to-wall carpeting or area rugs in the bedroom should be dusted with borax powder to help kill fleas and flea eggs and vacuum frequently to help keep parasites at bay.