Should Pets Sleep in Bed With You? We Ask Vet Professionals What They Do (Illustration by Lesley Smith)

It's a topic so divisive that it has been known to be a significant factor in choosing a spouse: Do you let your pet sleep in your bed with you?

In some households, it's the norm. All pets are allowed everywhere, all the time. In others, it's no pets on any furniture, ever. But in many, the answer lies somewhere in between: Perhaps the cat or small dog is given a spot to snuggle, but the Great Dane has to remain on the floor.

Many factors come into play, of course. Some pet owners suffer from allergies and sleeping with a face full of fur only exacerbates them, or maybe they can't deal with the dirt a dog would track onto the duvet. But plenty of pet owners — and veterinary professionals — can't imagine drifting off to sleep without their kitty or Cocker Spaniel cuddled up nearby.

We polled Vetstreet readers and veterinary professionals[i] (such as veterinarians, veterinary technicians and office managers), and as it turns out, a lot of you do like to catch some shuteye with your furry friends.

Yes or no?
A whopping 83 percent of the readers and 75 percent of the veterinary professionals we polled said they allow a pet to share the bed. But while pet owners were more likely to let their dog sleep in their bed than were veterinary professionals, veterinary professionals were more likely to let their cat sleep in their bed than were readers.

And veterinary professionals also scored big when it came to allowing both dogs and cats in the bed — they were 52 percent more likely to allow the whole zoo up there than our readers!

A help or a hindrance?
If you don't snuggle up with your pup or kitty, you might find it hard to imagine that an animal in your bed would not disrupt your sleep, but in fact, there are some who believe their pets actually help their sleep. Thirteen percent of veterinary professionals and 33 percent of readers who allow their pets in bed said they believe their pets help them sleep, although 28 percent of veterinary professionals and 14 percent of readers indicated their pets hinder their sleep. Slightly more than 50 percent of veterinary professionals and 45 percent of readers said they saw no difference. The remainder answered "Other," with some stating that the purring or soft snoring soothes them but that the cramped quarters (not to mention the squirrel-chasing dreams) sometimes pose a problem.

[iResults based on a survey completed in March 2014. Number of pet owner respondents: 2,369; number of veterinary professional respondents: 255.