World Sleep Day: Snoozing With Your Dog or Cat

An orange cat laying in bed

We all love to get a good night’s sleep, sneak in an afternoon nap and have a lie-in on the weekends. As it turns out, Canadians also love to share their snoozing time with their furry friends! In the lead up to World Sleep Day on March 15th, Purina Canada conducted a survey* to learn more about how people and their pets spend their time sleeping.

Shut-eye trends in Canada

Many Canadians love to snooze with their dog or cat close by. Overall, dogs were more popular sleeping partners among Canadian pet owners, with the majority of dog owners (77%) sleeping with their furry pals every night. On the other hand, about half (53%) of cat owners snooze with their pet on a nightly basis. In Western and Atlantic Canada, dog owners can’t say no to a pair of puppy eyes, with 7 in 10 (73%) of respondents revealing that they allow their dogs to sleep in bed with them.

Sharing the bed

When it comes to sharing the bed, dogs and cats have preferred spots to sleep in. Cats love to cuddle their owners from head-to-toe, with 24% of cats sleeping near their owners’ pillows and 45% sleeping near their feet.

Dogs love being the center of attention, with almost 1 in 4 (23%) of dogs falling asleep between their owners at night. You may even need to make some extra room in bed for your pooch. Our survey revealed that 36% of Ontario-based dogs and 38% of Atlantic Canadian dogs require a special toy to get settled for the night.

While you may think that sleeping with your pooch is disruptive, it turns out that dogs are peaceful sleepers. Half (50%) of dog owners revealed that their partner disrupts their sleep more than their dog!

Favourite siesta spots

Cats make their own rules about where they sleep. Almost 7 in 10 (72%) of cat owners based in Ontario revealed that they have no boundaries for where their cats sleep in their homes, giving them free rein of any surface in sight.

With the freedom to sleep anywhere they please, cats can’t seem to ignore piles of laundry. 70% of respondents reported that their cats have an eye for fashion, and love sleeping on piles of clothes. In comparison, only 32% of dogs like getting some shuteye on piles of clothes, most likely preferring to steal a sock or two when nobody is looking.

Finally, pet owners are not the only ones who like to curl up on the couch after a long day. The couch was listed as a top spot for pets to doze off on by 83% of dog owners and 92% of cat owners.

Bedtime comforts

We share a lot of our lives with our pets, and often turn to them as points of comfort. You may find that sleeping with your pet can make you feel more calm and relaxed, and you’re not alone. Both women and men feel comforted (60% and 41%) and loved (64% and 43%) when sleeping with their cat. Many dog owners (44%) also reported feeling safe when having their dogs close by.

Snuggling with your pet in bed can work to improve the human to animal bond. “Spending one-on-one time in close contact with your pet can definitely improve the bond and connection that you share,” says Ragen McGowan, a Research Scientist with Nestlé Purina North America. “Pets and people alike gain emotional support from each other and can help each other relax.” So, the next time you pull your furry friend close at bedtime, you can rest easy knowing that science is on your side!

*Online survey of 1,678 Canadian Pet Owners from Purina Canada’s PetTalk Community in partnership with Vision Critical completed between January 28, 2019 – February 4, 2019.

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