For many peo­ple, the pres­ence of pets, usu­al­ly cats or dogs, on the bed dur­ing a night’s sleep is noth­ing spe­cial. Almost 50% of dogs liv­ing in apart­ments or hous­es peri­od­i­cal­ly sleep with their own­ers, and among cats this per­cent­age is 63% or more. But far from always such a neigh­bor­hood is ben­e­fi­cial to the health of the own­ers, in some cas­es, fluffy ani­mals, although they help in reliev­ing stress and elim­i­nat­ing anx­i­ety and wor­ries, can also become provo­ca­teurs of dan­ger­ous con­di­tions. The appear­ance of a cat in the house can lead after a while to an increase in tem­per­a­ture, signs of infec­tion. Par­a­sites that can infect a dog or cat are also dan­ger­ous. But if this can be dealt with by hav­ing pre­vi­ous­ly exam­ined by a vet­eri­nar­i­an, then aller­gies to fur­ry ani­mals are more dif­fi­cult to deal with, although the pres­ence of a cough, itchy eyes or nasal con­ges­tion does not always stop own­ers from sleep­ing with ani­mals.

Co-sleeping with animals: for or against?

Experts say that small chil­dren should nev­er sleep with ani­mals, it is dan­ger­ous to life and health. Some patholo­gies and dis­eases of adults can also become an obsta­cle to allow­ing ani­mals into the bed­room and sleep­ing togeth­er with cats or dogs. Of course, stroking a cat or talk­ing with your beloved dog sets you up for a more rest­ful sleep, relieves stress, relax­es and charges with pos­i­tive. How­ev­er, com­mon sense and health con­cerns should take prece­dence over love for four-legged pets and allow­ing them to sleep on your bed.

Parasites, dangerous diseases

Parasites, dangerous diseases

If the ani­mal is infect­ed with par­a­sites — fleas, ring­worm or helminths, there is a chance that the pet will reward its own­er with prob­lems. A flea is an insect, a par­a­site that feeds on the blood of warm-blood­ed ani­mals and is capa­ble of spread­ing cer­tain infec­tions. Dis­eases that ani­mals can trans­mit to humans through par­a­sites are called zoonoses. The plague is one exam­ple, although this vari­ant is extreme­ly rare today. But ring­worm, trans­mit­ted from a cat or dog, or such an unpleas­ant par­a­site as tox­o­cara (tox­o­cari­a­sis provo­ca­teur) is a very real dan­ger.

Before you allow any pet to climb into bed, you need to make sure that he is com­plete­ly healthy. It is nec­es­sary to mon­i­tor com­pli­ance with the pre­ven­tion of par­a­sites and pests, after walk­ing reg­u­lar­ly inspect ani­mals for ticks.

Felinoz: temperature from cat’s claws

No less dan­ger­ous are the var­i­ous infec­tions that can be award­ed to pets. Feli­nosis is a bac­te­r­i­al infec­tion with a high fever that is trans­mit­ted by play­ing with cats if they scratch the skin. Kit­tens are more like­ly to spread germs, usu­al­ly by bit­ing or scratch­ing. Sev­er­al doc­u­ment­ed cas­es have been iden­ti­fied in patients who have slept with or kissed infect­ed pets.

When the skin is dam­aged by claws, pathogens enter the wound, which mul­ti­ply and pro­voke immune reac­tions. These are tem­per­a­ture and local symp­toms. Then there is swelling of the wound, an increase in lymph nodes, against which the tem­per­a­ture grad­u­al­ly ris­es to pro­nounced num­bers, malaise joins.

If the tem­per­a­ture ris­es, and the bite or scratch­es caused by the cat become inflamed, you should imme­di­ate­ly con­sult a doc­tor.

Licking the face and body: the risk of infection

By lick­ing the own­er’s hands or face, ani­mals demon­strate their love. But their oral cav­i­ty is not ster­ile, so they spread germs through their actions. If the patient has post­op­er­a­tive wounds, even if they are well ban­daged, do not keep pets in bed and allow them to lick the skin around the wounds. When an own­er suf­fers from pneu­mo­nia, flu, or an ear infec­tion, pets may try to lick their faces, nose, and mouth while they sleep, there­by spread­ing virus­es and bac­te­ria over their skin, reward­ing them with their own microbes. And if the patien­t’s immune sys­tem is weak­ened due to a state of health, com­pli­ca­tions are pos­si­ble.

Allergy: what about pets?

Allergy: what about pets?

If a per­son is not aller­gic to pets, they have noth­ing to wor­ry about even if a cat or dog breaks into the bed­room. Night sleep in the com­pa­ny of fluffies will not lead to the devel­op­ment of aller­gies. But if there is an aller­gy to ani­mals, sleep­ing in the com­pa­ny of ani­mals is strict­ly pro­hib­it­ed, even if anti­his­t­a­mines and even hor­mones are tak­en.

Con­stant con­tact with the aller­gen irri­tates the immune sys­tem, the aller­gy pro­gress­es, and if love for ani­mals out­weighs self-care, there is a risk of devel­op­ing severe reac­tions — bronchial asth­ma, Quinck­e’s ede­ma, bron­chi­tis, rash­es.

Many peo­ple get hair­less dogs or cats, which are famous for being hypoal­ler­genic. But it is impor­tant to under­stand that wool itself is not an aller­gen, pro­teins that are part of sali­va, urine, and dan­druff are dan­ger­ous in terms of sen­si­ti­za­tion and the devel­op­ment of aller­gies. There­fore, a com­plete­ly hair­less cat or dog can also be dan­ger­ous.

Against stress and depression: fluffy doctor

It is worth say­ing a word in defense of ani­mals. For many peo­ple who are sin­gle, stressed out, social­iz­ing and even sleep­ing with a cat or dog is a big plus. A 2015 study from the Mayo Clin­ic sheds light on why peo­ple let cats or dogs into their beds. Stroking the coat relieves stress, and the pres­ence of an ani­mal gives many peo­ple a sense of secu­ri­ty. Dear­ly loved pets can com­fort, relax, dis­tract from sad thoughts. They are espe­cial­ly good at reliev­ing stress in elder­ly patients, which helps pre­vent hyper­ten­sive attacks, headaches and malaise.

For many peo­ple, con­tact with ani­mals helps to cope with insom­nia or sleep dis­or­ders. Mea­sured stroking move­ments have a relax­ing and hyp­not­ic effect.

No less use­ful is tak­ing care of a pet, espe­cial­ly dai­ly walks before going to bed with dogs. They help to sat­u­rate the blood with oxy­gen, it also improves sleep. Add to this phys­i­cal activ­i­ty, albeit in the form of walk­ing, which also helps to sleep bet­ter lat­er. Often, ani­mals also teach their own­ers to get up in the morn­ing accord­ing to the sched­ule to feed the pet, which is also use­ful for pre­vent­ing insom­nia.


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