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If you are wondering how gross it is to let your pets sleep with you, you've come to the right place. But first, a note: We at Hunker are not taking sides. We love our pets and many of us sleep with our four-legged friends, facts or no facts. However, some might say that it's not necessarily the best idea to share a bed, because, let's face it, there is a gross factor. (Think: dirt and poop.) Ultimately you are the judge on what's works for you, but before you get under the covers tonight, here are a few things to consider.
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Pets Can Cause and Bring In Allergies
Even if you aren't necessarily allergic to pets, they still bring in allergens from outdoors. For example, when your dog goes outside to go to the bathroom or play, they bring in things like pollen and dust that easily attach to their fur. Unless you are bathing your pet every time they come indoors, they are bringing the outside in.
Pets Track in Dirt and Feces
Even if you wipe your pet's paws after they've been outside, they are still bringing in traces of dirt, debris, and sometimes even feces from the outdoors. If your pet gets their exercise in a yard that isn't cleaned daily, they can bring in traces of feces and yard debris like leaves, grass, and dirt. If you walk your pet, they can bring in traces of all kinds of things from sidewalks and walking paths. If they sleep in your bed, chances are any trace amounts of debris will loosen and end up on your bedding.
TIP: To keep pets from bringing in as much dirt, debris and feces, you can clean their paws with wipes whenever they enter your home.
Pets Can Interrupt Your Sleep Cycle
When a pet sleeps in your bed, you are most likely going to sleep in a position that makes them more comfortable than yourself. When a pet moves around to get re-adjusted or comfortable in the middle of the night, it can cause an interruption in your sleep, which leads to fatigue, muscle tension and can even lower your immune response.
Once Your Pet Starts Sleeping in Your Bed, It's Hard to Stop
When pets are young, they have to adapt to new things and surroundings. If you try to crate train them or give them their own bed, they may resist in the beginning and whine or cry, so you may decide to bring them into your bed. Just like a human baby or toddler, once they get in your bed, it's hard to get them out. After they have established a routine of sleeping in bed with you, the habit may be hard to break. It's also a good idea to establish a bed all of his/her own for your pet because it becomes their special place and safe haven after a while.
Pets Can Get Territorial
If you have a partner or plan on having a partner eventually, then pets can start becoming territorial when sleeping in your bed. A pet may begin showing signs of aggravation if your partner gets close to you or if you start bringing someone new to sleep in the bed. While it seems funny and harmless at first, it can become an increasing problem and cause tension for all parties involved.