Is it safe to sleep with your dog in the bed?

Pet pooches purvey pestilence, according to new study

Give a dog an inch, and he’ll take a mile; one minute, he’s poaching your favourite spot on the sofa for watching Coronation Street, and the next he’s forgoing his dog bed to curl up next to you in yours, and hogging the duvet while he’s at it.

However, health experts have warned of the hazards posed by sharing a bed with your pet, such as bubonic plague – a tad extreme perhaps, but accurate nonetheless.

Sheltie sleeping with her ownerThe University of California recently published the results of a survey of pet owners and found that amongst dog owners, 53 percent thought of their pet as a member of the family. Of these, nearly 60 percent allowed their pet to sleep next to them in bed. Three quarters of women admitted allowing their dog on their bed, compared to just 16 percent of men. The survey also showed that most of the dogs were small, with over 40 percent described as ‘medium’ and nearly 30 percent as ‘large’.

However, of the 250 diseases proven to be transferable to humans from animals, 100 come from household pets. Professor Bruno Chomel, of the University’s school of veterinary medicine, revealed some alarming individual cases:

In Arizona, a nine year old boy contracted the plague from his flea-infested pet cat, and a 48 year old couple repeatedly caught the superbug MRSA from their dog, which often licked their faces when in bed.

Professor Chomel said:

“There are private places in the household, and pets should not go beyond next to the bed.

“Having a stuffed animal in your bed is fine, not a real one.”

Will you be cuddling up with your dog tonight?