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?
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?
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.
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.