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!

Oh Please: Tattooed Cats

“Oh please!” doesn’t really cover what I’m thinking about this.  Apparently, some people in Russia are getting their cats tattooed which requires general anesthetic.  At least it’s not common.  The woman who had this cat tattooed says she did it because “we live in interesting times and it’s an interesting tattoo for these times.”  Hunh?  Not surprisingly, animal welfare groups are very concerned.

Reminds me of the woman in the U.S. who pierced black kittens multiple times and tried to sell them as “gothic” kittens on eBay.

There are more pics of the cat above and video.

Oh, Please!: SNIF Tag

I’m starting a new category called Oh, Please! for what, I think, are ridiculous pet things.  The SNIF Tag has the honor of being the first ill-conceived product to be discussed.

This tag costs $299, plus $10 per month.  You put it on your dog’s collar and it will sense when other dogs also have the SNIF tag, then you can go home, look for the owner’s profile, and, I suppose, send them an email.  It’s being marketed as a social networking aid to help you get to know other dogs’ owners.  But, I’ve heard of another great way to meet the owners of dogs you and your dog encounter that is pretty much free.  It’s called, saying Hello.  Un-hunh.

The SNIF tag also says it will let you know your dog’s “activity level” when you’re gone during the day.  It does this using an accelerometer, which is kind of a step up from a pedometer.  I suggest setting up a webcam to see what your pup is up to.  That way, you can actually see how your dog is accelerating through your house.

There is no GPS with this tag, which seems like an obvious thing to have, especially if they’re charging that much and expect you to keep paying a monthly fee.

So, $299 plus $10/month for the SNIF Tag?  Oh, please!