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The Danger of Sharing a Mattress With Your Pet

We love our pets. They offer comfort, increase our desire to exercise and decrease feelings of loneliness when human partners are sparse. All of these things help us sleep at night.

Pets can also be our best friends. We share our living space, our time and even sometimes our bed with our animals. But there are dangers involved with snuggling up to your four-legged companion, especially if that snuggle time is done on your mattress.

A study, set to be published in Emerging Infectious Diseases, a publication put forward by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, indicates that sleeping with your pet can greatly increase your risk of infection due to parasites. The study mentions everything from salmonella to the plague, as diseases that can be transmitted through direct and indirect contact with your pet.

When animals share your bed, they leave behind parasites and fecal matter that spread disease. When we spend eight hours a night on our mattress, the chance of infection greatly increases when a pet shares that same space.

According to the study, over half of pet owners admit to sharing their bed with their animals. The research also showed that women are more likely to share their bed with their pets than men are.

Another surprising statistic is that cats carry more dangerous diseases than dogs, despite the age-old belief that cats are a much cleaner species. One of the most common diseases contracted from pets is cat scratch disease, a bacterial infection transmitted by fleas.

The individuals who are at the greatest risk of infection are young children, especially ones who have not received their immunization shots.

To protect yourself and your family from pet-related diseases, take your animal to the Vet for regular check-ups. Discourage your children from kissing your pets and never let your child lie with your animals. They make look ridiculously cute taking a nap on Rex, but the unseen threat should be more than enough to avoid the photo-op.

In general, you should never let your animal sleep with you. We know you might want to share the incredible comfort of your Beautyrest with your BFF, but it’s just not worth the risk. Make a trip to your local pet store and pick out a luxurious animal bed if you’re feeling guilty. They’ll understand.

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