79% of pet owners allow pets to share beds with either themselves and/or family members. It has been said that humans who share the covers with their pets can be more likely to become ill since pets can carry bacteria that can cause a human to become sick. Although, physicians and veterinarians agree there is little evidence that healthy pets are that detrimental to human health. Human family members are more likely to transmit diseases to eachother than bed sharing with their pet.
It is okay to sleep beside your pet? Yes and no. Although it is not common with healthy pets, there is a risk of transmitting zootonic diseases (transmitted from animal to animal) by close contact between pets and their owners through bed sharing.
Some veterinarians believe that allowing dogs to sleep on human beds is not a good thing in dealing with a pet's behavior. House breaking may be affected if beds take the place of crates, dog beds, etc. Bed sharing should be delayed until training is complete and social maturity has been achieved.
To reduce health risks associated with bed sharing, the CDC recommends that pets have regular veterinary care. This should include keeping up with vaccinations, treating illnesses with medications and using flea and tick preventatives. Fleas and ticks often carry bacteria and diseases that can be transmitted to people.
ALIVE Rescue volunteers will be on hand to wash, condition and blow dry dogs (ear cleaning is optional) at Suds for Strays, 11 a.m.-4 p.m. at Doggy Style Pet Shop. Call 773-235-9663 to reserve a time slot. Walk-ins welcome, but advanced sign-up is recommended. Cost is $20, with all proceeds benefitting the homeless dogs of ALIVE Rescue.