Pets in their owners bed: sleep disturbances, breathing problems, allergies

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Many have cats or dogs in their homes, which often sleep on the own­er’s bed and have free access to the bed­rooms. Most peo­ple see noth­ing wrong with hav­ing a cat or dog on a blan­ket dur­ing a night’s sleep. But doc­tors are not inclined to share such opti­mism. It is believed that ani­mals relieve stress, calm the own­ers before going to bed, but this is a very con­tro­ver­sial opin­ion. If we talk about the risks of co-sleep­ing with pets, it is worth men­tion­ing, first of all, aller­gies, includ­ing those with severe res­pi­ra­to­ry dis­or­ders, the like­li­hood of bites, skin injuries from claws and teeth, or infec­tions.

Sleeping with pets: for or against?

Sleeping with pets: for or against?

More than 60% of pets (main­ly cats or dogs) dur­ing the night of the own­er’s sleep are on his bed or near it, in close prox­im­i­ty. But not all peo­ple sleep in such close con­tact with pets is safe.

Doc­tors are cat­e­gor­i­cal­ly against such a neigh­bor­hood for babies under three years old, and for adults, such a dream is not always ben­e­fi­cial, and some­times it can inter­fere with nor­mal sleep at night. You should be espe­cial­ly wary of the sleep of an ani­mal in the own­er’s bed, if a cat or dog has recent­ly appeared in the fam­i­ly, they go out­side and come into con­tact with street ani­mals. The pres­ence of fleas in an ani­mal can threat­en with var­i­ous infec­tions. The most dan­ger­ous, although extreme­ly rare in our coun­try, is the plague. If the ani­mal is allowed in the mas­ter bed­room, it must be reg­u­lar­ly shown to the vet­eri­nar­i­an, car­ried out all vac­ci­na­tions, includ­ing against rabies, fol­low the treat­ment sched­ules for worms and fleas.

Kitten in the house: claw infection

Cats, espe­cial­ly young and new­ly intro­duced cats, can become a source of infec­tion with cat scratch dis­ease (the sci­en­tif­ic name is feli­nosis). This is a bac­te­r­i­al infec­tion that a cat trans­mits when it bites or scratch­es a per­son. The bac­te­ria that cause this infec­tion are found in the urine and sali­va of ani­mals, kit­tens are more like­ly to car­ry pathogens, then infect­ing chil­dren or young peo­ple who play with them. Infec­tion is also pos­si­ble when lick­ing a per­son­’s face, kiss­ing a pet. The infec­tion begins with slight swelling and red­ness at the site of the wound, fol­lowed by swollen lymph nodes, fever, and oth­er signs.

In addi­tion to feli­nosis, pets, show­ing their love and lick­ing the hands and face of the own­er, spread many oth­er micro­bial and viral pathogens. If the immune sys­tem is weak­ened due to an ill­ness, a per­son has a cold or suf­fers from indi­ges­tion, it is bet­ter not to cud­dle with a pet at night.

Allergy to a cat or dog

There is a lot of con­tro­ver­sy about aller­gies to pets. If a per­son has not pre­vi­ous­ly had an aller­gy to pets, and the cat or dog has been liv­ing in the house for more than a day, there is no cause for con­cern. But if an adult devel­ops an aller­gy in the form of rhini­tis, con­junc­tivi­tis, the most cor­rect solu­tion is to elim­i­nate the ani­mal not only from the bed­room, but also from the life of an aller­gic per­son in gen­er­al. How­ev­er, many peo­ple who love ani­mals very much are will­ing to suf­fer from aller­gies, sleep with their pet, con­stant­ly tak­ing anti­his­t­a­mines. Due to long-term use of drugs, side effects may occur, which patients are also will­ing to endure for the sake of their beloved dog or cat. Love for pets out­weighs the pos­si­ble risks and seri­ous com­pli­ca­tions.

A lot of con­tro­ver­sy among experts is caused by the so-called “hypoal­ler­genic” breeds of cats and dogs. Alleged­ly, this is a great solu­tion for peo­ple with aller­gies. Stud­ies show that there are no dogs that do not pro­voke aller­gies, it is not the coat that caus­es the reac­tion, but the pro­teins of sali­va and skin, dan­druff, which even absolute­ly bald pets have.

From the bedroom to the hospital with respiratory problems

Many peo­ple who believe that they are not aller­gic to ani­mals have pets and after a short time end up in the hos­pi­tal with severe res­pi­ra­to­ry dis­tress, severe cough­ing, short­ness of breath or chok­ing. Quite a few patients have seri­ous res­pi­ra­to­ry prob­lems such as bronchial asth­ma, and they refuse to kick the ani­mal out of the bed­room, even if the aller­gy to the pet is con­firmed. To improve their breath­ing, they are forced to use var­i­ous inhala­tion drugs, drink pills and inject injec­tions. For such stub­born and risky peo­ple, doc­tors advise: do not let the pet into the bed­room, since breath­ing is most dis­turbed dur­ing sleep. In addi­tion, the bed­room should have a high-effi­cien­cy fil­ter to puri­fy the air of aller­genic par­ti­cles in order to fil­ter out hair or dan­der.

Eliminate stress or provoke?

Eliminate stress or provoke?

A 2015 study sheds light on why peo­ple con­tin­ue to keep their pets close to them not only dur­ing the day, but also at night. Peo­ple note that sleep­ing with pets gives many a sense of secu­ri­ty. Favorite pets warm peo­ple’s beds, make them more com­fort­able, relieve stress and relax, bright­en up the feel­ing of lone­li­ness. Experts believe that peo­ple who live alone, or whose fam­i­ly mem­bers work the night shift, ben­e­fit from hav­ing a cat or dog around.

But hav­ing a pet in the bed­room and on the bed can also be stress­ful. So, large dogs can occu­py a large space of the bed, pre­vent­ing the own­er from lying com­fort­ably. In addi­tion, they wake up ear­ly in the morn­ing, can inter­fere with the own­er’s sleep by play­ing on the bed or “dig­ging out” the blan­ket.

Cats are noc­tur­nal, they can arrange games in the bed­room, bring prey to the owner’s bed, rub against the person’s face and hands, wak­ing him up, demand to feed them. Con­stant lack of sleep due to pets pro­vokes phys­i­cal stress.

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Old­er dogs with blad­der prob­lems may inter­rupt their own­er’s sleep sev­er­al times a night by requir­ing a walk. Noise is anoth­er prob­lem. Not only peo­ple can snore, but dogs too. Pets snore and suf­fo­cate, and all this can neg­a­tive­ly affect the own­er’s rest, form­ing chron­ic stress. How­ev­er, many peo­ple find it more dif­fi­cult to be sep­a­rat­ed from their pet in the bed­room than from their spouse.

By Yraa

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