from Callie’s Corner: Is Your Pet Hazardous to Your Health?
First, let me start out this blog entry by saying that I am a pretty spoiled pooch. As the lone pet in the household, I get free run of the place and can pretty much do as I please . . . with one huge exception - I am not allowed on the bed! My human told me that my banishment has something to do with him being the Alpha Animal and needing to be elevated (literally) above me. But now I come to learn, via a superb article written by msnbc.com’s Joan Raymond, that sleeping with pets may actually be hazardous to your health.
While extremely rare, there are documented cases of humans picking up disease from animals. Remember Bird Flu and Mad Cow Disease? Did you know that you might catch the bubonic plague if your pet is harboring infected fleas? Or, that you can get meningitis from kissing your pet on their lips or mouth? There are even cases of people getting live-threatening staph infections from their beloved animals.
The people most susceptible to contracting a disease from close contact with animals include the young, the elderly, and those with chronic illnesses.
The Veterinary Medical Association, while aware of the potential risks, hasn’t said that pets shouldn’t sleep with their owners. They believe that using ”common sense” around your animals is the must prudent way to stay safe. Establishing good hygiene practices will ensure that the entire household stays healthy and happy.
Just because I don’t get to sleep on the bed, even though it would really cool if I could try it just once, I certainly do get why humans invite their pets to join them at bedtime. We’re part of the family, right? Who doesn’t like having a Great Dane hog half the bed or a kitty purring loudly next to your ear? Honestly, sounds like pet nirvana to me!
Thanks again for reading this blog entry. I’d love to see your Comments on whether you allow your pets to sleep with you or not. I look forward to hearing from you soon.
This blog entry inspired by Joan Raymond’s msnbc.com article entitled,”Out of the Sack, Cat! Sleeping with pets carries disease risk”.