Co-sleeping, whether with your children or with your pets, can be a divisive topic. However, a new study has revealed that two thirds of pet owners will snuggle up with their four-legged friends at night. The survey, completed for itchpet.com, spoke to 2,000 pet owners and asked them about their sleeping habits.
Many of the reasons that pet owners gave for allowing their pets to share their beds revolved around companionship and safety, with 30% saying that they felt more secure having their pet sleeping with them and 27% said that cuddling up to their furry friends helped them to feel less lonely.
Professor Peter Neville, author and professor at The Ohio State University, told The Independent:
“What’s clear is that sharing the bed with our pets is a normal part of our lives together and testament to the strength of the increasingly co-dependent bond between us and our cats and dogs.”
Of the pet owners that were polled, 37% said they enjoyed being able to feel the warmth of their pets’ bodies and a large number of respondents even said that they found it easier to share their bed with their pet than with their partners.
Neville said: “For us, the main element of that bedroom relationship is based on comfort, enjoyment, touch, shared warmth and increased feelings of security for many dog owners especially.”
The study also found that the most common sleeping position for pets was at the foot of the bed, but one in five said that their pet likes to curl up in the crook at the back of their knees.
Professor Peter Neville says, “When choosing their sleeping positions, our pets are broadly seeking to maintain and enhance their close protecting bond with us, rather than any desire to control us or monopolise territory.”
If you do decide to let your cat or dog sleep in your bed, make sure you follow preventative flea treatment measures as recommended by veterinarians to ensure that you don’t end up sharing your bed with unwanted visitors!