Friday, May 18, 2012

Pets and Your Bed

It seems like I have known pet owners on every end of the spectrum, when it comes to this topic. Ironically, the canine lovers tend to be more open to the concept of sharing a bed with one's pet. However, I have known many felines to snuggle on their owner's pillow, or even under the covers at nighttime.

My mother, who has had a compromised immune system since I was 5, has always maintained a strict 'No Pets In The Bedroom' rule. This is, likely the most logical and supported amongst health experts- however, far from the emotional rationalization most loving pet owners experience. For many, their furry friends are just like children, and they are treated no different; so long as the pet doesn't seem to cause any visible harm to the furniture or human during the night. But what you can't see is still there. Both cats and dogs trapse in and out of areas exposed to their own and other's feces and bacteria, in addition to the constant grooming. Consider what may be, unknowingly, on your pet before letting them in, or on your pillow, to snuggle. As humans, we spend about 1/3 of our lives in bed, where we are often weakest to defend bacteria and viruses (when our body is recharging).

Now, it is not my policy to lock animals out of the bedroom, and I'll admit I let Truffles onto the bed from time to time. For what it's worth, however, I do maintain some basic ground rules. No pets on pillows. No pets under covers. No pets sleeping on the bed, unless they are at the foot of the bed; and even this is rare. And, no pets on the bed, ever, without a human's invitation. My solution? Truffles has a designated space (her own pillow) that stacks neatly on the chest at the foot of our bed. Not only is it safer for her (no chance of being rolled onto or kicked), but she can still feel a part of the family, without spreading dander and germs. Do you allow your pets on the bed?


  1. I have 3 cats and 4 dogs. One of the dogs is a minpin who is always with me (when I am home) under a blanket so yes she sleeps with me along with two of my cats.

  2. I have 8 cats and they can sleep anywhere they want. They even have their own room, filled with perches, toys and litter boxes, you name it.
    I also have 3 dogs and the chiweenie gets to sleep in the bed on weekends and during thunderstorms. It's been like this for years and I haven't gotten anything funky from them. :)

  3. I let my cat on the bed, but she has a little cat bed on top of my bed, in the corner, and she chooses to sleep there, so that keeps the fur and dander mostly contained to one area. I don't mind her on the bed, because unlike my other furniture, bedding is easily washable and she can't do much harm to it. But if I had allergies, I would definitely not let her on the bed at night.

  4. This is honestly something I have not thought of a lot. In my home, it's the dogs we don't like on the beds because they are bigger, shed more (it seems like), and are sometimes stinky.