Should You Sleep With Your Pets?

May 23, 2013 by  
Filed under Catch All, Pet Cats, Pet Dogs

Should you sleep with your pets?

Many things that pets do are thought to be cute behaviors. But, are they all as beneficial or innocent as they seem? One such activity is to sleep with your pets. Should you or shouldn’t you engage in a snooze?

For pets, sleep is just as important as it is for people. This is a time to recharge and refuel from the day’s activities. There are many pet beds and sleeping carriers available for use. But, sometimes, Fido or Rags may want to snuggle up with you for their afternoon or evening nap. Is this wise?

The Threat

It seems harmless to sleep with your pets, especially if they are small. But, that’s not necessarily true. And, many pets, especially dogs that sleep with their owners, are medium to large size animals. Owners with more than one pet may allow the others to follow suit after the first has been allowed to rest in the family bed.

Have you ever heard of zoonotic diseases? These are conditions that can be transmitted from animal to human and cause major problems. Your pet could be carrying one of those diseases.

Here are a few reasons why it is not healthy to allow your four-legged companion to share the sheets.

1. Dangerous to immune-compromised people and children – Pets can pick up parasites from out of doors and bring them into your home and into the respiratory tract of those living on the house. For people who are sick or children with undeveloped immune systems, the parasites can make them very ill. Death is not common but it can lead to serious health consequences for all involved.

2. Can cause blood borne illnesses
– It seems like a case of concern when your pet licks your wounds but bacteria in their saliva can enter your bloodstream. Untreated, it could lead to kidney or renal failure.

3. Scratches can cause damage
– Have you ever rolled around in your sleep wildly? Pets can do it too. They may scratch or bite innocently during the night. Those scratches can become infected if not treated. For pets that have infections from fleas and worms and such, it can lead to further illness in their human owner.

Not to alarm you, but zoonotic diseases are real and pet owners may want to take precaution. Here are some tips to help you keep yourself and your pet safe.

1. Keep pets in their beds – Train pets to sleep in their designated areas. If it gets cold or hot, move them to a better climate but not your bed.

2. Be proactive – Keep up with pet vaccinations and follow veterinarian suggestions to keep pets free from parasites. Have cuts and wounds on your pet treated right away. If your pet licks any open wounds on you, wash them right away.

3. Keep pets groomed and clean – After a day on the beach or in the field, make sure your pet is checked for any noticeable parasites and remove them.

Protect yourself by keeping sleeping quarters separate for pets and people!