How many of dog parents cuddle up next to their best friend after a long days work? It is common knowledge that pets reduce stress physically and emotionally, but not many people know that sleeping with your dog next to you has enormous risk factors.
Many people sleep with their pets for years with out contracting a disease and receive these benefits, however; you do not want to be the person who actually does contract one. Why? Well, it could be fatal. Dr. Bruno Chomel from The University of California, School Of Veterinary Medicine, states “We wanted to raise the attention of people, as sleeping with a pet is becoming quite common, and there are risks associated with it, even if it is not very frequent.” Whether you believe it or not, dogs can transfer an illness to humans by simply licking, scratching, or biting. Although you may think that sleeping with your dog is a relaxing, beneficial activity, the consequences of this are much grater than the benefits. By sleeping with your dog, you increase your risk of contracting a zoonotic infection. A zoonotic infection is the transfer of harmful pathogens from pets to humans.
Rabies: There are many rabid animals in the wild, so if your dog catches this sickness from one of them, it is imperative that you do not catch it. If a human catches rabies, the consequences are grave.
The Plague: Even though The Black Death is over, it is still possible to catch the plague. The bacteria that fleas produce on your pets is a way for this disease to spread.
MRSA (methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus): This sickness is easily spread if you have an open scratch or wound.
Parasite Poisoning: Dogs are often victims to worms. It is important that you give your dog worm pills so that he or she does not contract them. If your dog does not take these pills, it is best not to sleep with your dog incase you contract them.
Staph Infection: Believe it or not, this disease can be spread in more ways than in the locker room.
Bathe your dog. Give your pup flea protection or frequent flea baths (especially after your dog comes home from a kennel surrounded by other pups).
Frequently wash your hands thoroughly, especially after petting your animal.
Buy your animal a bed of its own, a comfy bean bag, crate, or dog house with blankets. I assure you that your dog will still be comfortable. Just remember to wash the blankets frequently.
Regularly see your Veterinarian – Keep up with your pets vaccinations and health care. (Check your pets feces for signs of intestinal parasites.)
Give your dog heart worm medication (prevents worms from growing in your pet)
Groom your pet regularly.
Discourage your children from sleeping with their dog so they do not develop a habit.
Although science is proving that you can’t sleep next to your furry companion, I am as healthy as ever sleeping with Baby Hope the last two months! We all make our own decisions in life and just delivering the facts:)