When you hit the hay at night, is there a cold wet canine nose snuggling under the covers with you? You’re definitely not alone. Sleeping with pets isn’t unusual in this country. According to a survey of pet owners by the American Pet Products Association, nearly half of dogs sleep in their owner’s beds. The survey found that 62% of small dogs, 41% of medium-sized dogs and 32% of large dogs sleep with their owners. The survey also found that 62% of cats sleep with their adult owners, and another 13% of cats sleep with children. That’s a lot of bed hogging and cover stealing going on.

We all agree that there are all kinds of medical benefits to having a pet. They can help reduce stress, motivate you to exercise and companionship. Some people might feel safer or calmer with a dog in their bed. And snuggling with your cat can be comforting. After all, studies show that owning a cat lowers blood pressure and reduces the risk of heart attack and stroke. However, if you’ve chosen to sleep with your best furry canine or feline friend, you know things aren’t always dreamy. You’ve probably been awaken by a growl or two, snoring and maybe even the tickling of whiskers. According to a survey by the Mayo Clinic Sleep Disorders Center, 53 percent of people who sleep with pets say that their animals disturb their sleep in some way nightly. Not getting enough sleep can slow your reaction time and cause difficulty with decision-making. It’s also been found to contribute to automobile accidents.

If you can’t sleep through all the doggie dream noises or kitty’s night-time kneading, it may be time to find a spot in the house where they are free to sleep as noisily as they like.

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