How to maintain high hygiene and comfort levels for you and your four-legged friends
When it comes to lights out, hands up if the pitter-patter of four paws followed by a sudden dead-weight at the end of the bed is part of your sleep routine? You’re not alone… It’s estimated that just over half of dog-owners allow their pets to sleep in their bed with them – and a recent study found that those who sleep with a pet in the room feel more safe and secure and thus have a better night’s rest.
While never recommended for children, the experts’ consensus is that – providing your pet is well-groomed, has preventative flea and tick treatment, no behavioural issues and receives regular veterinary care – the risks around co-sleeping are low versus the rewards of warmth, comfort and a strengthened bond.
So, this National Pet Month, here’s five recommendations on how you can protect your investment in your bed, and maintain high hygiene and comfort levels for you and your four-legged friends!
Super-size your mattress: The more space you have to get comfortable, the greater the enjoyment factor of co-sleeping with your pet. Depending on the size of your dog or cat, seriously consider upgrading from a standard UK double mattress (measuring 135 cm x 190 cm (4′ 6″ x 6′ 3″)) to a standard UK king, which measures 150 cm x 200 cm (5′ 0″ x 6′ 6″). For really big dogs, a 180 cm x 200 cm (6′ 0″ x 6′ 6″) super-king is a must (unless you particularly enjoy the sensation of deadened limbs or being confined to the outer edge of your mattress).
Protect your mattress investment: Just like human toddlers, even well-trained pets can be prone to the odd episode of bed-wetting, and all those bodies can make for a pretty sweaty sleep experience. Choose a good-quality mattress protector with breathable 100 percent polyurethane, which absorbs heat for a cooling sleep surface, and effectively prevents moisture from flowing through your sheet into your mattress.
Machine-washable duvets: To keep your bedding fresh and free from unpleasant doggy or cat odours, opt for machine-washable duvets and pillows that are tested for durability. Breathable fillings allow moisture vapour to be transmitted through the material – keeping your bedding cool, fresh and hygienic for a renewing, reenergising sleep. Wash your bedding regularly, with two rinse cycles to eliminate any residual hair.
Colour coordinates: If you have a fluffy white Persian cat, please step away from black bedding. Likewise, brilliant whites are a no-no for animals with darker fur and grubby paws. Try to camouflage your bedding with your animal’s coat to keep the visibility of stray hairs to a minimum. Think about texture. Tightly woven cotton, crisp linens and silky microfibers all resist and repel hair, whereas velvets, jersey knits and flannels attract them with a vengeance. Granny’s 100-year-old hand-crocheted lace throw… you’ll want to store that in your ottoman or divan base – away from flexing claws.
Keep your pet’s options open: As cute as the idea is to share your bed with your pet, don’t leave that as the only option. Providing a safe, warm and comfortable bed in another room ensures that your pet comes to you at bedtime as a matter of choice rather than necessity.