• Half of nation’s pet owners allowing pets in bed, survey shows

    July 6, 2024


    Pet owners have long been divided over the topic of allowing pets in bed. But, if recent research is anything to go by, it seems more dogs and cats are cuddling up to their humans in bed at night than ever before.

    A recent Compare the Market pet survey shows nearly half of Australian pet owners allow their pets to sleep in bed with them.

    tabby lying on bed for parasite protection for cats

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    Which generation of pet owners is allowing pets in bed the most?

    Compared to last year’s results of 41.4%, it appears there’s been a significant recent rise in popularity of pets in the bed. But which generation of pet owners share their beds the most?

    Interestingly, the study found that Generation Z pet owners are the most likely to allow the practice, with over 60% stating that their pets sleep in their beds. That’s every three in five Gen Z owners letting their pets under the doona at night. Which should come as no surprise really, given another recent Compare the Market study found the same generation was the most likely to say that a pet is or would be equally as important as a child (read that article here)!

    And while Millennials may have coined the term ‘fur baby,’ the survey found that they were the least likely of all generations to let their pooch or kitten snuggle up in bed with them.

    Just over 42% of Millennial pet owners would still share their side of the bed, which is below the average.

    Animal Friendly Life infographic sharing results of Compare the Market pet survey about pet owners allowing pets in bedAdrian Taylor, Executive General Manager for General Insurance and pet insurance expert at Compare the Market, says the debate over whether pets should sleep in their owners’ beds is longstanding.

    “It’s a ‘tail’ as old as time and while it’s one of the most debatable topics across Aussie households, it appears that half of us really do think pets belong in bed with us,” Taylor says.

    “While some argue that letting your canine or puss sleep in bed causes health issues, disrupted sleep and arguments between partners, others say it makes them feel safe and loved.”

    “Regardless, no matter how we look at it, there are some seriously spoiled animals across Australia!”

    Can my dog sleep in bed with me? We share expert tips for sharing your bed with pets

    The bond between pets and their owners is often very strong, leading many to share their beds with their beloved cats and dogs.

    While this can be a comforting and enjoyable experience, it’s important to follow certain guidelines to ensure both you and your pet get a good night’s sleep.

    Here are some expert tips and best practices for letting your pet sleep in your bed:

    Consistency is key: Decide on the rules early and stick to them. Whether it’s a specific side of the bed or certain times they can join you, maintaining consistency helps pets understand boundaries.

    Training: Train your pet to respect these boundaries. Use positive reinforcement to encourage desired behavior and gently discourage bad habits.

    Bedding: Invest in pet-friendly bedding. Materials that are easy to clean and resistant to pet hair can make sharing the bed more comfortable for everyone.

    Cleanliness: Regular grooming of your pet reduces shedding and allergens in your bed. Frequent washing of bed linens is also essential.

    Health check: Ensure your pet is free from parasites and illnesses that could be transmitted to you. Regular vet check-ups are important.

    Safety first: Consider the size and mobility of your pet. Small pets can be at risk of injury if they fall off the bed, while larger pets might need extra space to avoid crowding.

    Routine: Keep a regular sleep schedule. Pets are creatures of habit and will adjust better to a set routine.

    Noise control: Pets can be restless or noisy. Ensure your bedroom environment is conducive to sleep, possibly using white noise machines to mask any disruptive sounds.

    Pet beds: If sharing a bed isn’t working, consider placing a pet bed nearby. This allows for close proximity without the potential downsides of bed sharing.

    One of our absolute favourite dog beds for the bedroom is this Snooza Calming Ortho Bed: it’s super comfy for pets and really fits in with the bedroom decor!

    Crate training: For dogs, crate training can provide a secure and comfortable sleeping space that isn’t your bed.

    White cat cold and sleeping under white blanket
           (image Unsplash)

    Compare the Market stresses importance of health checks and pet insurance

    Taylor adds that no matter how much Australian’s love and spoil their pets, owners should still prioritise regular health checks and strongly consider pet insurance.

    “We give them the best food that money can buy, and we buy them all the treats and toys we can to ensure that they’re entertained, but it’s important never to forget their health,” he adds.

    “Skipping a general health check-up for your pup may seem non-consequential, but it can have a detrimental effect down the line.

    “Think about these visits the same way you view your yearly GP visit.

    “Another thing that many people may forget to get for their pet, no matter how much they love them, is pet insurance.

    “We know cats and dogs of all sizes are quite curious and adventurous, so an emergency vet visit is not out of the question for a pet of any age.

    “These visits could cost hundreds to thousands of dollars, which can be hard to come by in an instant in the current cost-of-living crisis.

    “However, if costs for these sorts of emergencies are a concern, then pet insurance may be able to help by covering a part of the overall cost of these treatments, depending on the level of coverage people take out for their four-legged family member.”

    Adrian Taylor’s top tips for people searching for the best pet insurance:

    1. Be sure to read the Product Disclosure Statement (PDS) to understand the limits of the cover you are looking to buy. There may be a difference in the levels of reimbursement depending on the level of cover you’re looking at as well as between brands. A variety of products cover between 70% and 90% of vet bills. However, some products cover less and others cover more. For most claims, you will also need to contribute to the policy excess.

    2. Insure your pet when they are young. Your pet insurance premiums will be lower than if you were to insure your pet at a later stage, as the older they are, the more likely they are to have pre-existing conditions that could drive up the cost to be covered.

    3. When reviewing your pet insurance options, also consider if there are any types of extras that you would like your policy to include. Depending on your level of cover, you may be able to add on extras such as dental cover, routine care or even behavioural training, though this may increase the premiums that you will need to pay.

    The trend of allowing pets to sleep in bed is growing among Australians, particularly among younger generations.

    But while this can create a sense of closeness, it’s essential to balance affection with attention to pets’ health needs.

    Regular vet visits and adequate pet insurance are crucial for maintaining the well-being of our pets.


    *Compare the Market surveyed 1,010 Australia adults aged 18 and over in April 2024



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