Many new dog owners ask themselves whether they should let their pet sleep in their bed with them. There is no concrete answer to this question as every dog is different and experts have yet to reach a definite conclusion. Many people argue that letting your pet sleep in your bed will cause the animals to have behavioral problems related to domination. For example if the dog is lying above their owner's head, then he pet may believe that he is the "alpha." While this can be true with some dogs, it is not true with every dog; but it is important to know the risks before you let your pet sleep with you. The main risks are not to the pet, but to their owner; owners who suffer from pet dander allergies may find themselves sniffling all night long from the microscopic dust and mites from their pet’s fur. In addition, there is always the risk that comes from the potential of your pet scratching you while he or she is dreaming, or the possibility of your being awoken at odd hours. And of course, like any additional sleeping companion, you may end up being uncomfortable due to your pet hogging the bed, covers, blankets, and pillows, or even snoring. While there are risks to sharing your bed with your furry friend, there are benefits for some pet owners. It's a fact that pets have the ability to reduce human stress levels; sleeping with your pet will reduce the production of stress hormones while increasing levels of stress-reducing hormones. Sharing your bed with your pet can amplify the bond between you and your pet. It could also allow you and your pet to fall into a synchronized sleep cycle which could lend to both you and your pet being able to fall asleep quickly and sleep throughout the night. Your pet’s senses are much better than yours, which allows him or her to be able to alert you if there is an intruder. This may provide pet owners with a sense of security that can help them to sleep better, safe in the knowledge that their pet will alert them of any danger. The most common reason that people give as to why they let their pets sleep with them is simply comfort—it's nice to know that your pet is tucked into bed with you and not causing trouble, while also keeping you warm and safe at night. In the end, every pet owner must decide on their own whether sharing their bed with their pet is right for them, after weighing the risks and benefits with consideration for their own sleeping habits, their pet, and of course any other bedmates, such a spouse. For more on this topic, check out this article by Bob Morris on The New York Times' website, Warm Nights, Cold Noses, which describes the drawbacks of sleeping with a pet pot-bellied pig!