Oh Please!: Sleeping With Your Pets = Black Plague?

You hear that odd noise?  That’s a bunch of nitwits doing their Chicken Little impressions by running in circles screeching that the sky is falling.  A new study authored by Bruno Chomel points out it’s possible to catch certain serious diseases from our pets if we let them sleep with us. Chomel goes so far as saying we should not let pets sleep with us.  And the media is reporting that letting your dog or cat sleep with you—COULD. KILL. YOU.  (Cue spooky music.)

It’s not that I’m disputing the facts.

  • you can catch the plague from your pets, if you sleep with a flea infested animal.
  • you can catch meningitis from your dog.  If you let him lick the wound from your hip replacement surgery or open wounds.  Or if you regularly feed it food from your own mouth.
  • you can catch Chagas.  If you sleep with a bug infested animal.
  • you can catch MRSA.  If you dog carries it and licks you a lot & you don’t wash.

But, instead of saying “Ban all pets from your beds or you’re gonna die!”, I think we should be saying, “Keep your pet healthy and you’ll be healthier too!”  I have a feeling we’re at far greater risk of getting hurt by tripping over our pets than catching the Black Plague from them.  You know?

So be sure to:

  • take your pets to the vet
  • get them vaccinated
  • treat them for fleas & ticks
  • keep your cats indoors
  • bathe your dogs
  • make sure your pets don’t have worms
  • don’t allow them access to carrion
  • keep vermin like rats & mice away from your home
  • keep raccoons away from your property (they carry round worm in their feces)
  • feed your pets quality food and make sure they get exercise so their immune systems stay strong

And use some common sense, for pete’s sake.

  • if your immune system is compromised, be very careful to avoid risks
  • keep your open wounds covered and don’t let anyone lick them—cat, dog, human
  • limit contact between pets and babies
  • wash your hands
  • don’t feed you pets food from your mouth
  • don’t snuggle with a bunch of blood sucking bugs

And don’t trip over them!

3 thoughts on “Oh Please!: Sleeping With Your Pets = Black Plague?

  1. Typical overblown media feedi’ frenzy. Really loved reading in the CDC report about the lady who feeds her dog by transferring food from her own mouth to her dogs, a la emperor penguins. Yowzers…. Hardly typical human-dog contact! We did a post on this over at PetsAdviser.com called “How the Media Exaggerated ‘Sleeping with Pets’ Disease.”

  2. I saw that article. It is quite simply irresponsible journalism.

    You have more chance of catching a disease from another person than from your pet. Guess we shouldn’t sleep with our spouses either then.

    Idiots.

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