Carmen Iben, Global Animal
According to research, 53 percent of dog guardians consider their dog to be a member of the family, and 56 percent admitted to sleeping with their dog.
And while some research has proven pets to be beneficial to their guardian’s health, studies over the past year have shown that bringing dogs or cats into the bedroom can actually be dangerous to one’s health.
Though it might be a very rare instance, experts suggest that this close contact between a pet and guardian opens up the door to contracting life-threatening infections.
“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,” Dr. Bruno Chomel, a professor at the University of California, Davis, School of Veterinary Medicine, said. “But when it occurs, especially in children or immunocompromised people, it can be very severe.”
Other studies suggest that a pet-free bedroom improves the quality of sleep for the guardian. In addition, a pet-free sleeping area helps relieve allergy symptoms.
Some might be hesitant to force their dogs and cats to sleep in their own beds, but veterinarians indicate that your pet will be healthy and happy no matter where they sleep.
Deciding whether or not to let your pet sleep next to you in bed is certainly a personal choice. There is always a risk that you are inviting a treatable disease into your bedroom, but experts have underlined the fact that any close contact at all with your pet can be a risk. Even simply letting your pet lick you could be a threat.
A happy medium could be allowing your pet to sleep in the same room as you, but in separate beds. This way, there is a lesser chance that germs will be exchanged.