As a fellow dog lover, and devoted pet parent , I am completely aware of the role these beautiful creatures play in our lives. They are part of the family. Many of us may have been accused of placing said “pet” above say, a spouse, or a child (maybe the 1200 pictures of the dog, and the 3 pictures of your children gave this away).
It is incredible, this path of “humanization”…we worry if they are cold, if they are hungry, if they are lonely, if they are comfortable. We send them to daycare so that they have friends, and we follow their daily adventures on Facebook or Instagram.
I read with interest an article about a woman who was given an ultimatum…her (new) boyfriend did not think it was normal to have the dog sleep in her bed and he did not want to share…well, we can all guess how that ended. But seriously, what is the problem? And is there a problem? Where should dogs sleep at night?
Let’s clearly establish the relationship between fur baby and parent. It is unbreakable. These creatures have developed sophisticated control over the muscles around their eyes leading to “puppy eyes” which then gives positive reinforcement to our addiction. They are always excited to see us, they cuddle in our laps when we watch television, and they rest their chins on our shoulders and laps just to remind us how wonderful they are. This causes oxytocin to flow through our bloodstream, generating love and happiness. This is called science, and it demonstrates their superior intelligence.
A few years ago, the Mayo Clinic studied 40 people with a single dog over 7 nights to see the effect dogs had on sleep. They found that their study population:
- Slept better with the dog in the room
- Slept better with the dog in the room and NOT on the bed
Apparently, sleep can be disrupted with the dog on the bed because they are on, and then off, and then back on again.
BUT, the assumption is that one’s sleep is not disrupted by a human co-habitat who snores, or requires a CPAP* machine, tosses and turns, kicks, grinds their teeth or gets up to pee in the middle of the night. And no-one ever looked at someone funny for sleeping with a lover like that.
So, until one can really give us a logical answer, let sleeping dogs lie…in our beds.
*Apparatus for those who have difficulty breathing during sleep. VERY NOISY.