Should You Let Your Pets Sleep With You At Night?

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When you first adopted your pet, you probably tried to enforce a ‘no-jumping-on-bed’ rule. And failed miserably. Most pets love cuddling with their owners at night and we’re powerless to resist. But while snuggling with your pet can be your favorite bedtime ritual, is it actually safe? This depends on a number of factors including your immunity levels, how healthy your pet is and how mature he is.

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Generally, doctors strongly advise against sleeping with your pets if your immunity is already compromised. For those who are HIV positive or undergoing chemotherapy, their body’s ability to fight harmful pathogens is extremely low. This could put them at risk for catching infections from their pets. Even among healthy humans, the risk for contracting a disease is far greater when they sleep with their pets. During epidemics like the spread of the H1N1 virus and MRSA, those people who slept with their pets had a higher chance of catching the disease than those who slept separately.

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For pet owners, even the position in which your pet sleeps with you can matter a great deal. Animal noses often contain the staphylococcus bacteria, a bacterium which humans are vulnerable to. If your pet sleeps with their nose near your eyes, mouth or nose, the bacterium can easily enter your system and harm you. If you have an open wound or any cut on your body and your pet’s nose comes in close contact with it, you could be at an even greater risk for developing an infection.

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It’s not all diseases and infections though. Most doctors tend to agree that if both you and your pet are healthy, there’s no reason why you shouldn’t share beds with them. To make sure cuddling with your pet won’t make you sick, take them for health checkups often. Once your vet examines him fully and gives him his stamp of approval, the two of you can go back to being bedfellows. A pet with ticks or fleas can also pose a problem, since they could jump onto your bed and cause an infestation. Unless you also want to share your bed with a bunch of creepy crawlies too, get your pet checked for fleas regularly.

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Apart from health concerns, letting a new puppy sleep with you might not be the best idea for behavioral reasons. Puppies have still not been housebroken and so you can’t fully trust them on your bed. Keeping them in a crate is an important way to teach them good bathroom manners. Once you take them out of it, it might take them longer to learn to control their bodily functions. Vets also advise against sleeping with dogs because this could make them too attached. Sleeping with your dog every night, could give them separation anxiety when you leave the house. An anxious dog is a destructive dog. So unless you want to come back home to a ripped couch and torn books, it’s best that you leave them out of your bed.

Disclaimer: The content is purely informative and educational in nature and should not be construed as medical advice. Please use the content only in consultation with an appropriate certified medical or healthcare professional.

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