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If you’re a dog owner who snuggles up with your four-legged friend each night, you’re not alone.  A new study by Associate Professor of Animal Behavior Christy L. Hoffman, PhD, finds that nearly 70% of pet parents co-sleep with their dogs.  The finding is one of several revealed in the study, which examined the contextual nature of human-animal co-sleeping practices, including who is more likely to allow their dogs in bed at night, where their dogs sleep in the bed or bedroom and their impact on human sleep quality. 

“Studies of humans’ relationships with their companion animals have almost exclusively focused on the ways people engage with their pets during their waking hours yet people commonly spend their sleeping hours with pets in their beds or bedrooms,” says Hoffman.  “This study presents one of the few comprehensive investigations into the practice of human-dog co-sleeping and supports previous claims that dog owners commonly choose to sleep with their dogs in their beds or bedrooms.”

More than 1,000 people between the ages of 18 -78 participated in the study titled “Human-Animal Co-Sleeping Practices Among Australian Dog Owners.” Of those, nearly half (49%) reported sleeping with their dog in their bed.  Another 20% indicated their dog slept in the same bedroom but not in their bed.  The remaining 31% of those surveyed reported their dog slept outside the bedroom.

A number of factors were associated with whether participants shared their beds with their dogs.  According to Hoffman, “Older participants were more likely to bed share with their dogs, as were singles and individuals who had small dogs rather than medium- or large-sized dogs.  Bed size also impacted the likelihood of bed sharing.”

Click here to read more about the study.

Submitted by: College Communications