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Human-Animal Co-sleeping Practices among Australian Dog Owners

journal contribution
posted on 23.03.2021, 23:00 by Cristy Hoffman, Peta Hazelton, Bradley SmithBradley Smith
Human-animal co-sleeping is relatively common among dog owners; however, the nature of this practice is not well understood. Recent investigations have focused on the impact of human-dog co-sleeping on human sleep but have largely ignored the contextual nature of the practice, including with whom, why, and how people share their beds and bedrooms with their dogs. We explored the nature of human-dog co-sleeping among a large population of Australian dog owners (n = 1136). Nearly half (49%) of participants reported sleeping with their dog in their bed, 20% indicated their dog slept in their bedroom but not in their bed, and 31% reported their dog slept outside their bedroom. The likelihood of bedsharing with one’s dog increased with participant age and bed size and was higher for individuals with small dogs than those with larger dogs. In addition, bedsharing with one’s dog was more common among individuals who did not have a human bed partner. For each unit increase in the MDORS Dog-Owner Interaction scale, the odds of sleeping with one’s dog increased by 1.39, and for each unit increase in the MDORS Emotional Closeness sub-scale, the odds increased by 1.08. For each unit increase in the MCPQ-R Motivation sub-scale, the odds of sleeping with one’s dog increased by 1.21.We found no association between whether the dog slept on the bed and self-reported sleep quality. However, participants whose dog slept somewhere other than their owner’s bed were 1.45 times more likely to report frequently waking up tired. Bedsharing appears unlikely to impact sleep quality negatively in any meaningful way. In fact, in many cases, dog(s) in the bed may facilitate a more restful night’s sleep than when they sleep elsewhere.






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Peer Reviewed


Open Access


External Author Affiliations

Canisius College, USA

Author Research Institute

Appleton Institute

Era Eligible



Human-Animal Interaction Bulletin