Do not sleep with your dogs

I have two dogs and I care for them tons, but never allow them to step onto my bed. They go outside etc and bring back whatever it is they do from dirt etc. I’ve heard people who sleep with their dog and it’s a NO NO.

Letting sleeping dogs — and cats — lie could make you sick, a paper to be published by a U.S. Centers for Disease Control journal warns.

That pet in your bed could be passing on meningitis, toxocariasis or cat-scratch disease, among others.

“We don’t want to scare people, but especially for children and people with compromised systems, there is a risk,” co-author Dr. Bruno Chomel, a veterinary biologist, told the Star.

“Pets are pets, they are not children,” he said. “There is some confusion in our society, and pets are becoming substitutes for children.”

Sixty per cent of cats and 33 per cent of dogs in the United States sleep on their owners’ beds; the numbers are even higher in the Netherlands.

In the U.K., 14 per cent of dogs and 45 per cent of cats snuggle onto their owners’ duvets.

In France, it’s 30 per cent of dogs and 45 per cent of cats.

Chomel knows the warning will be controversial; advance word of it has already provoked hate email. He counters that the study is scientific and raises a small, but significant, public-health concern.

Being licked by or kissing a dog or cat can be even worse, the study said, particularly if a pet licks a cut or open wound or your mouth, nose or ears.

Fending off the risk means keeping a pet healthy, washing your hands or face after a pet licks you and teaching the pet not to sleep on your bed, said Chomel.

“I use an example: If you were licking your fingers and a dog licked your fingers, you wouldn’t go back to licking your fingers, would you? It’s common-sense hygiene.”

The study by Chomel, of the University of California at Davis, and Ben Sun, chief public-health veterinarian with the California Department of Health, examined health reports from around the world that involved diseases transmitted from animals to humans, known as zoonoses.

To be published online Tuesday in the CDC’s Emerging Infectious Diseases journal, the study documents cases of serious pet-transmitted illness and even death.

Although he has none currently, Chomel’s previous pets never slept on his bed, even the cat.

“She knew this was not the room for her.”

One comment

  1. Paul · February 3, 2011

    I have to say I don't buy into this at all. Sure, someone gets sick from it somewhere. But, you can get sick from riding the TTC – actually I have been doing pretty well since I stopped riding the TTC. I had a dog for 10.5 years she was on and off the bed and all over my home. I never got sick from her. I have many many friends that have dogs, same. I worked as a Groomer and dealt with hundreds of dogs, getting licked by them etc., never sick not once. You can get sick from eating in a resturant, you can get sick from hugging your best friend. I say get over it and let the dog on the bed.

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