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
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?
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.