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Is Sleeping With Pets Dangerous? Here's the Surprising Truth

Is Sleeping with Pets Dangerous?
This topic has peeked its head in very recent times and kicked up quite a storm in its short life. Let's find out whether sleeping with pets can be dangerous for you or not.
Gauri Huddar
Last Updated: Feb 10, 2018
Recently, there was a report released by The Centers for Disease Control that highlighted the risks of allowing your pets to sleep in your bed. It kicked up quite a storm, and irked many pet owners who followed the practice of letting their cats or dogs sleep with them. Is it really so dangerous to let pets sleep in the same bed as you do? Find out in the following paragraphs.
Sleeping with Pets - Is it Dangerous?
The answer is YES and NO! People who own pets usually treat the pets as a family member and do not distinguish them in any way. They are allowed on the sofas, are given hugs and kisses and cuddles just like everyone else in the family is, and are even allowed to sleep in the owner's bed if they find it comfortable. Is sleeping with pets dangerous? Ask a pet owner this, and 6 out of 10 times, you may get a look that tells you the owner hasn't even thought about it.

The whole "sleeping with pets may kill you" issue is a very recent one. Pets can carry harmful pathogens which, if they are transmitted to our body, can actually lead to many scary and really dangerous conditions or diseases. But it all depends and varies from individual to individual. A family friend of mine had a pet who WAS NOT allowed in his daughter's bed, but she still caught a horrible skin condition, and the doctors advised the family to leave the pet if they wanted their daughter to be healthy, because she was apparently, allergic to dog hair! But, to defeat that one case, I know many, many friends who own pets, allow them to sleep in their beds and are still as healthy as horses! The chances of people dying due to pets sleeping in the same bed are slim, not grim. I myself, have a German Shepherd who sleeps in my bed, and I'm fit and fine, hale and hearty, and all that, so I guess, it's a matter of personal choice and preferences, and the hygiene of your pet.
Sleeping with pet
Points to Keep in Mind Before Letting Your Pet in Your Bed
It is better to keep in mind that although we love our pets and they are like our kids to us, they are still built differently from us, and need special care and grooming to keep them clean and hygienic. There are certain pathogens - viruses and bacteria - that love your pet almost as much as or probably more than you do, since their survival depends on them which is why they breed on your pet's body. So, that is one major risk factor when you are letting your pet sleep with you. If you are keeping your pet clean and healthy and you yourself are healthy and fit, then it's OK to let your pet sleep in your bed. But to do that, here are a few things that you should keep in mind before you let your sweetheart leap into bed with you.
  • Make sure that your pet is regularly vaccinated, so that he is safe from diseases. Once that is taken care of, you are safe too, since you won't contract any diseases from him.
Giving dog vaccine
  • De-worm your pet regularly, so that chances of infections due to any sort of worms - hookworm, tapeworm, ringworm, etc., - are greatly reduced or eliminated.
  • If your pet has been infested with ticks, fleas, or anything else, then it is better to have him treated for it immediately, and it's advisable to not allow him in your bed for the duration of the treatment.
Veterinary clinic
  • If your pet has had some injury recently and the wound is still open, then treat it with antiseptic on priority, and disallow your pet to get into bed with you till the wound heals. The bacteria from our body can be transferred to him and vice-versa. Once the wound is healed, he can be the king of your bed again.
Dog getting bandage
  • Remember to not let your pet sleep in the same bed as an infant. Infants do not have a fully developed and strong immune system, so they cannot fight off the mildest pathogens that can get transferred to them through pets. This makes them extra susceptible to diseases.
Baby and dog
  • Also, if you have been ill recently, then it is best to refrain from letting your pet in your bed. Your germs can infect him, and since your immune system is weakened, you can get a host of other illnesses from the germs that may be on your pet.
  • If your pet has the habit of licking his private areas, either find a solution for it, or do not let him lick you. No matter how much you love your pet, it cannot possibly seem reasonable to you, to let him lick his butt, and then prance to you and lick your face! I'm crazy about my pet too, but I wouldn't stand for this.
  • Pets' mouths are hot breeding places for bacteria and germs. So if you let your pet lick and kiss you often, make it a point to wash that part off immediately so that the bacteria are killed and you are safe. This way, you get the best of both worlds! Ensure that you are using a good antiseptic and disinfecting soap.
  • If your pet has just come from outside, there is a good chance that he has stepped in lots of rubbish on the street. It is best to clean his paws thoroughly before letting him into the house, so that once he is in, his movements are not restricted. He can jump on your bed all he wants.
Grooming time
  • Maintain proper hygiene of your pet. Give him regular baths, get him treated for fleas and ticks regularly, brush his teeth, and keep him clean. This will ensure that his presence in your bed will not be a cause for alarm.
Brushing dogs teeth
Keeping pets out of bed simply because they carry pathogens from outside into your house is a pretty lame argument, because if you are so scared of contracting pathogens from outside, you shouldn't be getting out of your house at all! Many people are outraged by the idea of kicking their pets out of their beds. If you take care of the points mentioned above, you won't have to do that. But your love for your pet shouldn't be blind. I've heard of pet owners who feed their pets from their own plates, with their bare hands and then continue eating food themselves! This is totally unnecessary and definitely taking things too far. What this proves more than the fact that you love your pet, is that you absolutely lack common sense! You have to draw the line somewhere, and somewhere reasonable I mean. Why sleeping with pets is bad, is because you are in closer contact with germs than otherwise. But that should be taken care of, if you follow all the points I've mentioned above. As long as you are able to do that, you can hug your pet all night, if you so wish.