An estimated 65.1 million households in the U.S. own a dog, making the animal the nation’s most-popular pet. While many dog owners put their animals at night in a crate or a canine bed, a large percentage tend to tuck their dogs into bed with them and sleep by their side instead.
Veterinarian at online pet-product retailer Chewy, Laurie Hess, told Newsweek that a 2022 company survey revealed that 21 percent of pet parents share their bed with their dog and let them choose where they would like to sleep first. It’s a lifestyle choice that Hess wholeheartedly recommends, despite concerns that being this close to your dog could lead them them becoming too dependent on you or developing separation anxiety.
It wasn’t long ago that pet owners were reporting a spike in anxiety in their pets when they began to return to work post-pandemic. Their animals had grown used to them being at home and at their beck-and-call day and night. Hess said that letting your dog sleep in the same bed as you can better socialize the dog, boost their health, and reduce the risk of separation anxiety.
A Cleaner and Healthier Dog
“Sharing your bed with your dog may not only help socialize them, but can also help improve their health by leaps and bounds, too. This is because one wants to share their bed with a dog whose skin is covered in parasites or whose coat is laden with dirt. Having your pup in your bed on a nightly basis would likely make an owner more attentive to keeping their fur child’s skin healthy, their coat well groomed and their general presentation upkept and hygienic,” Hess told Newsweek.
“By being so physically close to their pets, owners would likely be much more apt to noticing any health problems, like lumps or bumps under the coat or significant weight loss if they were to occur, than they would be if they weren’t in such close proximity to their pets,” Hess said.
A Calmer Dog
“A pup that shares a bed with its owner may also be more behaviorally at ease with being touched than other dogs since they are used to daily physical touch and being in close proximity as humans,” the veterinarian added.
Wards Off Separation Anxiety
Hess added that permitting your dog to sleep in your bed not only affects their physical health and behavior, but can also benefit their mental health by helping to reduce their stress levels and risk of separation anxiety, too.
The veterinarian said that keeping your pet close at night does far more to help them feel relaxed and safe than it does to making them susceptible to separation anxiety and other attachment issues.
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