The habit of sleeping with pets has become popular in recent years, as many owners consider their pets as another member of the family.
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While there are numerous emotional benefits to sharing a bed with cats or dogs, there are certain risks that you need to be aware of. Below, we explore the possible dangers of sleeping with these pets and share some expert recommendations on the matter.
Zoonotic diseases: These are diseases that are transmitted from animals to humans. Some examples are:
Toxoplasmosis: Although it is most common to contract it from handling cat feces, there is a small risk if the cat sleeps in bed and has been in contact with infected rodents or birds.
Ringworm: It is a fungal infection that can be transmitted from cats and dogs to humans, especially if the pet is not properly cared for.
Parasites: Both cats and dogs can carry fleas, ticks and mites that can transmit diseases or cause allergies.
Allergies: Particles shed by pets, such as hair and dander, can trigger allergic reactions in some people.
Sleep Disturbance: Some animals are more restless at night, which could disrupt their owner’s sleep.
Regular veterinary checkups: Make sure your pet has regular checkups to detect and treat possible diseases or parasites.
Hygiene: Bathe and brush your pet regularly to minimize the risk of allergies and parasite transmission.
Washing bedding: If you decide to share a bed with your pet, it is advisable to wash sheets and blankets more frequently.
Vaccination: Keep your pet’s vaccinations up to date to avoid communicable diseases.
Designated spaces: If you decide not to bed share, you can provide a special bed or space for your pet near you.
Consider allergies: If you know you are allergic to your pet’s hair or dander, it is best to avoid bed sharing.
In conclusion, although there are certain risks associated with sleeping with pets, with adequate health and hygiene care and attention, it is possible to minimize them. It is vital to weigh the emotional benefits against the possible dangers and make informed decisions about whether or not to share a bed with your faithful companion.
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