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Why would you, as a parent, let your child share their bed with their pet? Because those of us who are pet owners have seen the tremendous bonds which form between children and their pets. Perhaps it is the most natural thing in the world. After all, animals are pack creatures and will naturally want to protect their master. They also love human contact just as much as we do.
As with most discussions around pets, there are so many views on this subject. We would be very interested to hear yours, and maybe see some of your photos.
There are certainly lots of people who strongly believe sharing a bed with a pet is both natural and beneficial from both perspectives. Most of these points are focussed on dogs as they are recognised as social creatures who like to feel secure and comforted. We aren’t for one moment suggesting sharing a bed with a hamster or a gerbil could be the same scenario!
Snuggle Sac have been looking into causes of sleep disturbance in children and we’ve previously look at what happens when you use a smart phone an hour before bed, so we can’t ignore the impact of having a wriggly animal in your bed.
There may be nothing wrong with a lovely cuddle with your dog before going to bed, or even as your child is nodding off, but removing the animal once your child is asleep may improve their sleep quality during the night.
As we already know, children form sleep associations so getting used to sleeping with a pet could potentially cause both of them to feel anxious if, and when they have to sleep apart.
Another area Snuggle Sac have been involved with for many years is how allergens can affect a child’s sleep. While your child may not be allergic to their dog there will be more allergens within the bedroom area. We’ll leave this for another blog, as how your child’s breathing is affected is rather a big topic.
Dogs are naturally territorial, so perhaps it is a better idea for them to have their own bed, in their own corner. They know it is their quiet place; their sanctuary. That is no different to your child. For your child to sleep well they need to know what their bedtime routine is, and where they will be sleeping for the night. Similarly, your dog could become anxious and confused by not having their own bed or being allowed to sleep with your child. They can become very protective and if your child gets upset or starts to wake up in the night, it can affect the dog too.
There are lots of people who don’t like the idea of animals in their homes, so for them, the concept of having a pet in your bed will seem awful. For those of us who can look past a few dog hairs it is an interesting subject matter.
So, just to be on the safe side we have made a gorgeous Dalmation Snuggle Sac as the healthy alternative to sleeping with a real dog. It comes in two sizes. The first one is suitable for toddlers (aged 1-3) and then up to 4ft 9 tall for the second size. They are designed to be used every night of the year instead of conventional bedding and can be regularly machine washed (think allergens!). Each Sac comes with its own special tote bag, so they can be transported from place to place for sleepovers, glamping, long car journeys or maybe just staying with relatives or going on holiday.
Don’t forget to share your stories and photos of children sleeping with their pets #snugglesac