Letting pets sleep in bed? It’s better not

The love for our pets goes a long way. We have a special bond with our dogs and cats. That bond sometimes goes so far that we also let the pet sleep in our bed. Sounds sweet and innocent, but it really isn’t. Because pets carry infectious diseases, which they easily transfer from animal to human in this way. The RIVM therefore warns not to put our pets in bed.

The basket gives a good picture

In 2009 the University of Utrecht conducted research into the berth of dogs and cats. The research shows that the four-legged friends sometimes carry something with them. What they find in the basket gives a good idea of ​​what is also found in bed. Of the dogs and cats studied, no less than 20 percent sleep in their owner’s bed, 30 percent of the cats.

Also read: What is the best place to sleep for your dog in the house?


Why is it so unsanitary and even dangerous to put your pets to bed? Your pet carries bacteria. These can cause infectious diseases that can be transmitted from animals to humans. These are so-called zoonoses. Important carriers of such a zoonosis are the mosquito and the tick. They ingest the infected blood and when they sting us they transfer it. But our pets also carry infectious diseases. Through their legs, their mouth and through the fur. And it is precisely during the night that bacteria have ample time to transfer from the fur to our skin.

Poep bacterium

A large majority of the cats and dogs examined have the feces bacteria on the soles of their feet and in the mouth. Not strange, after all, they don’t wear shoes when they go outside. And dogs and cats wash with their tongues, including their anus. And when they clean their fur afterwards, those bacteria end up in it. This poop bacteria can make us quite sick. In the feces of the cat the toxoplasmabacterie in front of. It is very dangerous for pregnant women.

Skin fungi such as ringworm

Another common infection is the skin fungus ringworm. It is also often transmitted from animals to humans by dogs and cats. The animals, and also people, need not be bothered by it, but they can be carriers. They can then infect others. You can recognize the fungus by the red, round rings that are getting bigger. They can occur anywhere on the body. In principle, it will go away on its own. But people with reduced resistance can get a painful skin inflammation from it.

Not only dogs and cats are guilty of transmitting infectious diseases. They can also carry pets such as rabbits and guinea pigs. Ringworm is also transmitted from rabbits and guinea pigs. It is therefore recommended to wash your hands after petting.

pet pet

Also read: Is it necessary to wash your hands after petting your pet?

Take good care of your pets

The warning not to sleep with your pet comes from the RIVM. from a recent report shows that the so-called emerging zoonoses pose a risk in the Netherlands. This includes the West Nile virus and the coronavirus. The warning is not intended to frighten pet owners, but it is an alert. Take good care of your pet. Wash hands more often after petting, treat the animal against fleas, worms, check for ticks and make sure it gets the usual vaccines. Give your pet a nice bed, hutch or place to sleep, but not in your bed.

And don’t let your dog (or cat) lick you in the face. Because the same bacteria that the dog has just licked off its fur then end up on your face and can cause inflammation.

(Source: RIVM, Quest, Margriet, EditieNL)


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