Nearly half of the dog owners in the U.S. sleep with their pets according to a survey done by the American Pet Products Association. However, just because this trend is very popular it doesn’t mean it’s a good idea. Having a pet, be it a cat or a dog is the best thing you can do for your health. It keeps you in a good mood, motivates you to take random walks and sometimes you find yourself not staying out late in a bar with friends since you have a ‘Fido’ to go to. This totally makes sense why people want their pets around them all the time including on their beds.
Pets, especially dogs can transfer over 70 diseases to humans. But, the risk is probably lower if you do simple things like cleaning it, taking it to veterinary and feeding it healthy food. So, is it healthy to sleep with your pet?
The major concern here is that pets can transfer disease to humans. As mentioned earlier, keeping your pet in good health to ensure no fleas or ticks, up-to-date vaccinations, regular vet checkup and there are no other parasites can help keep both of you safe. In case you have any immunosuppressed condition such as cancer, transplant recipient or H.I.V, then it’s recommended that you don’t sleep with your pet.
Additionally, individuals suffering from allergies or asthma shouldn’t sleep with their dog or cat or even allow them in their bedroom. Whenever your pet spends time in the bedroom, you should use a HEPA filter when they are gone. Keeping them out of your room during the night gives your nose time to recover. Nevertheless, some pet lovers find it hard to keep their pets out of their room even if they are causing allergy problems. For such people, you’re advised to use allergy shots to build up a tolerance to the pet dander that causes allergic issues. However, if you don’t have an allergic problem or any other type of medical issue then it’s no big deal having your dog in your bed.
Movement from small cats and dogs at night can disrupt your sleep even if you don’t consider yourself as a light sleeper. The disruption escalates when the pets decide to walk or play on the mattress. Even worse, when your dog is dreaming, it tends to move its body, this movement can wake you up in the middle of the night. Additionally, your naughty cat might decide to sit on your face in the middle of your sleep. To them is a way of playing and they aren’t aware that you’re deep asleep. But if your cat or dog doesn’t cause any behavioral problem, then it’s fine having them by your bedside.
Can Pet Help Sleep?
There are medical benefits of sleeping with your pet such as comfort, security, relieving stress, and providing warmth. A survey conducted showed that these were the main reasons why most people sleep with their pets. If you don’t have a problem falling or staying asleep then it’s fine to let your pet in the bed. For people with insomnia, listening to the rhythmic breathing of a cat can put them to sleep easily. They are able to sleep peacefully.
Getting The Pet Out of Your Bed
This happens to be the hardest part and it isn’t easy for most people. A veterinary technician and consultant recommend that never let your pet in your bedroom only to kick them out while you sleep. For cats, if you allow them in your bedroom then you should always keep the door open to them each and every day. If you decide one day to shut your cat out of the bedroom, they might get frustrated and start displaying destructive behavior. Cats don’t react well if you take away territory.
For dogs, if your dog is well behaved and doesn’t display any destructive behavior then it should be allowed in the bedroom. But aggressive or dominant dogs should be kept out of the bedroom. Deciding to chase out a pet from the bedroom after you had allowed it to stay there can give you some sleepless nights. Whatever you decide on doing don’t go back since it can cost your night’s sleep.
Whenever your furry friend starts showing signs of illness like hair loss, skin rashes, vomiting or diarrhea, you should avoid snuggling. As much as you’re told it’s fine to have your pet in the bedroom, being aware of the risks that come with it will help you avoid health hazards. Outdoor pets can also pose health threat especially if they sleep on your bed. Outdoor pets are exposed to more disease carrier which includes other outdoor pets, prey, worms, ticks, mosquitos among others. If your cats happen to be an outdoor cat, then you shouldn’t allow it in your bedroom since it can pass these illnesses on to you.
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