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The Benefits of Sleeping with Your Pet

Nearly 60 percent of all households in the United States have pets and just over half of those sleep with their pet. An American Kennel Club survey found that 45 percent of dog owners and 62 percent of cat owners slept with their pet on the bed. Whether you’ve already been cuddling with your favorite furry friend or are still on the fence, you’ll be happy to know that sleeping with your pet comes with benefits.

Safe, Happy, and Healthy

For a co-sleeping arrangement to work, the safety and health of everyone will need to be taken into consideration. A restless sleeper, either person or pet, can interfere with everyone’s sleep. However, if everyone agrees, the pros can far outweigh the cons.

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1. Sense of Security

Having a pet in the bedroom can offer some protection or at least a sense of security. After all, animals can be more aware of potential dangers, fire, and intruders, than the humans they love. A pet can also be a good substitute for another human in the bed, especially for those who live alone or when a partner might be away. Keep in mind that your pet may also try to protect you from things that are harmless like the wind or a passing car, which could interrupt your sleep.

2. Reduce Stress and Anxiety

Stress and anxiety are major sleep disruptors. Once you start losing sleep, it can create an ongoing cycle because lack of sleep causes changes in the brain that magnify stress. However, pets can help lower your heart rate and blood pressure. Simply touching your pet can release hormones that make you feel happy, and there’s no time that you need to relax more than when you’re ready to fall asleep. 

3. Comfort and Warmth

If you’re always cold, a pet in the bed can keep you warm all night long. Dogs and cats have a warmer body temperature than humans, making them a natural alternative to an electric blanket. However, that might also put you at risk for overheating so adjust your thermostat accordingly. (Most people comfortably sleep between 60 to 68 degrees.)

4. Emotional Bonding and Companionship

To your pet, you’re part of the pack or at the very least a trusted ally. Sleeping together builds trust between you and your pet. A pet can also serve to keep loneliness, a common contributor to depression, from taking over.

Making It Work

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While sleeping with your pet can have amazing benefits, you might have some to do some adjusting to make it work. You’ll need to consider both the size and sleep style of everyone who’ll be sharing your bed. A large dog who’s a restless sleeper may not make the best bed companion. In that case, a dog bed or crate in the corner might be a better option.  

There are a few instances when sleeping with your pet is not a good idea. If you have any pet allergies or asthma, sharing your bed can aggravate your condition. Pet dander can attach itself to clothing and furniture, irritating allergies long after your pet has left the room. In these cases, not only should your pet be kept out of bed but also out of the bedroom.

After weighing the pros and cons, you may be ready to share your bedroom or bed with your pet. Not only will your relationship with your pet improve but your sleep quality might as well.

Lonely? Get A Four-Legged Companion

One of the worst feelings in the world is loneliness. It’s an empty, alone feeling that can lead to severe depression. No one wants to be lonely. In fact, they say that the worst thing that can be done to a person psychologically is to put them in solitary confinement. Interaction with other humans is essential to our sanity and our health.

There aren’t always other humans around, however, and while you probably don’t live in solitary confinement, you might spend a lot of your time at home by yourself. If you don’t live with anyone else, it can get pretty lonely. There are several ways you can try to combat your loneliness, such as by making plans with friends. A more long-term solution is to get your very own four-legged companion. A dog or cat can make a wonderful pet and cure your loneliness.

Adopting a Companion

If you want to get a pet, the best place to go is to an animal shelter. Adopting an animal, rather than buying one from a breeder or pet store, is the most compassionate thing you can do. The best part is that most of the animals in a shelter feel very lonely, too, and they may have been feeling that way for a very long time. When you adopt a shelter animal, you’re curing not only your own loneliness, but theirs as well, which is something to be proud of.

Living with a Friend

After you’ve adopted a four-legged companion, you’ll have to get used to living together. The best part is that you’ll never have to be alone at home, but a pet isn’t as big of a hassle as a roommate. With a pet, you don’t need to share the bathroom or deal with unwanted chatter. You can have the best of both worlds - peace and agreeableness along with companionship. It will be an adjustment, but it will make a big difference in the long run.

Doing Activities Together

With a pet, you’ll also have the opportunity to do lots of things with them, including physical activities like going for walks or playing fetch. Your pet can even accompany you in the car while you run errands or go other places, meaning you don’t even have to be alone while you’re driving. Loneliness often comes with another awful feeling - boredom - and a pet will certainly cure a boredom problem with ease. Pets love to play, and you’ll keep each other entertained.


There are so many benefits to living with a pet. Not only will you be less lonely, you’ll also be happier and healthier, literally. Studies have shown that pet owners live happier, longer lives, which is why pets are especially good for elderly people who live alone or people who are sick. You don’t have to be lonely anymore - go adopt your four-legged companion today. You’ll be very glad that you did, and so will your new companion.

Katherine Walters is an animal assisted therapist who often discusses the ways in which animals can help people with loneliness.

From The Basket To The Boardroom: Taking Your Pets To Work

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Meet Griffin, a dog with a job. As Head of Canine Communications at Proctor and Gamble, Griffin’s days are spent attending boardroom meetings, visiting schools and representing his brand (which conveniently includes Iams dog food) the best he can. Griffin also has a number of canine co-workers in his office in Boston, as Proctor and Gamble’s pet care division is one of a growing number of pet friendly workplaces.

Griffin’s busy schedule includes encouraging other companies to allow dogs in the office, and it is now estimated that one in five workplaces in America now allow pets. The benefits are clear, as some of the biggest brands on the planet allow pets, proving that their presence can breed success. Google, Ben & Jerry’s, Amazon and Build-a-Bear Workshop all allow pets in their head office, and all have reputations for being some of the best companies in the world to work for.

There are numerous benefits to taking your dogs (or in some cases cats) to work, confirmed by a recent study published in the International Journal of Workplace Health Management. Looking at a small sample of 75 employees, whose stress levels of workers were monitored throughout the day, the study compared those who worked with a company that allowed dogs in the office, and those who didn’t. Workers who shared their desk with a dog had low levels of stress throughout the day, whereas those with no interaction with animals had their levels rise steadily throughout the day.

Help With Stress?

Stress leads to low morale and lost hours due to overwhelmed and sick workers. The presence of dogs can relax workers and increase productivity. Having a dog around also encourages employees to take a break from their work to have a quick play or pet, which helps recharge the batteries and make sure work levels are consistent throughout the day.

Pets also help co-workers get along, as dogs relax people and make them more approachable and easier to talk to. They act as a true ‘ice breaker’ in the workplace, and if someone is having a bad day, it’s always great to see the happy face and wagging tail of an affectionate canine.

Pet owners are usually nervous and stressed about leaving their sweethearts at home, so taking your pet to work can reduce that anxiety, and spread happiness throughout the office. Workers who don’t own any pets are able to share in the joy of a canine’s company.

Taking pets to work is also a great thing for the pet itself. Being inside an empty house all day is a less than ideal environment for dogs, who need plenty of exercise and attention. Being around people all day in a work place means dogs will quickly feel at ease and (hopefully) will even improve their behaviour!

Turning a workplace into a pet friendly zone requires a bit of effort, and there are some stumbling blocks. The decision needs plenty of thought and consideration, particularly if you have any co-workers with allergies or a fear of dogs, who may struggle in a workplace packed with pooches. 

Convincing The Boss

Purina, the dog food company, has started a scheme to encourage more workplaces to take their pets to work, and their website includes tips on how to encourage the boss and co-workers to make the leap. Preparation is relatively fuss free and easy, dogs will need to be kept in certain areas, and there should be plenty of sanitation equipment and plastic bags on had just in case there are any accidents! Dogs should also be fully vaccinated and introduced to other pets in the office gently (such as meeting outside the office for a little play) to get rid of any territorial issues.

Cats are a more difficult pet to approach, as they usually enjoy staying at home and sitting on top of warm laptops and unknowingly deleting all your work while having a nap. But feline interaction is also proven to reduce stress levels, as shown by the cat cafe craze that started in Tokyo and is spreading across Europe. These cafes are filled with office workers on their lunch break taking a break by having a coffee and playing with cats. There are plans to open one in London, much to the joy of workers in the capital.

Having pets in the workplace is a growing trend, and is here to stay. If you work with lots of pet lovers, introduce the idea at your next meeting and see if the presence of dogs can lead to productivity and success in your workplace!

Vicky works alongside http://www.hrprotected.co.uk/, a supplier of HR documents for employers. She has experience managing a HR department and is also an animal lover to boot!