Your vet will probably tell you allowing pets to sleep with you is a bad idea for multiple reasons. Top of their list? It creates a bond between you and your pet that can cause aggression toward others. My only reason not to? I used to like to stretch out when I sleep.
So you can probably guess which way I chose to swing on this decision. That being said, I never want to discount the vet’s opinion. God knows they spent enough long hours and steep student loans to know more than I do. I have my own reasons for making this decision.
1. Ignorance and tradition. My entire life family pets have had the option of sleeping on the bed with us. No vet ever told us differently. Not that we spent a lot of the time asking their opinion on things. (I can only imagine it’s sheer luck our family pets did as well as they did during my childhood.)
2. Since moving out on my own I have only had cats. None of which were the least interested in fighting anyone over me.
So all my pets large enough, and interested enough, (discounting lizards and the hedgehog) slept in my bed when they wished. Two years ago my beloved cat FizGig died. Soon after two Sphinx cats practically landed in my lap. Sealy and Hadyn have since become deep loves of my life. They have also taken over the bed. I haven’t fallen asleep in my husband’s arms since they came into our lives. Some nights I’m not even sure he’s in the same bed.
Then December 2014 came and I asked my husband for a dog. Enter Tex, our hyper paranoid, cranky, middle aged Chihuahua. Initially Tex was quiet and demure, unless he was on the bed. He would growl, the cats would hiss. We figured they just needed to work it out amongst each other.
Seven months later we still live in disputed territory. Apparent peace treaties end in loud posturing and the occasional warning shot. Thank God all out war has never broken out.
Tex has also gone from a nervous, but shy pooch to contracting a serious case of Napoleon Complex. This is further complicated by a possible low iq, or maybe poor eyesight? Not only is every passerby subject to loud and fanatic barking fits, but people entering our home, for the 7th time(!), are barked at just as enthusiastically.
Luckily Tex calms down after about five minutes and will fall asleep on the “intruder’s” lap, but why can’t we break him of this? What causes him to react so dramatically? Then I realized, could we ourselves have caused this problem by letting him sleep on the bed???
If that is the case, is there anything we can do now? It seems horribly unfair to remove Tex from the bed, but not the cats. Would the animals revolt and overthrow us if we attempted to remove them all? Could I give up my wonderful night time snuggles? (There is nothing for treating late night worry like a cat cuddling up and falling asleep with you.) In the end we decided a rabid sounding dog and local unrest is not worth removing our bed time buddies. We would miss them too much.
If you’re capable of turning down large, loving eyes and keep your pet off the bed, more power to you. I am sure you have a much calmer home than I do.