Is it healthy to sleep with your cat or dog?

Purring, softness and warmth… Some pets are used to sleeping in their masters’ bedrooms. Is it a good idea to share your bed with your cat or dog? Our answers.

Felines or canines, some pets have their way into the bedroom of their masters and are sleeping sometimes with them, on the bed. This can have advantages but also disadvantages.

What are the benefits of sleeping with your cat or dog?

  • A sense of security

The presence of his cat or his dog in the bed can have a beneficial effect on the master’s sleep. For people who live alone in particular, the dog can provide a feeling of security and the cat can have a calming effect. The presence of his pet at his side brings comfort to his master, reassures him.

Guerric Radière, veterinarian in Crépy-en Valois (Oise), specifies that “adjust to your cat’s breathing or heart ratesoothes and helps sleep. Purring also has a beneficial effect, he continues. “We even talk about purr therapy“. The sound, emitted on low sound frequencies (between 20 and 50 Hz), dissipates the master’s stress and makes it easier for him to fall asleep. Hearing a cat purr also lowers blood pressure in anxious people. It is also beneficial for people prone to depression.

  • Strengthens immune defenses

In addition, children who are in contact with a cat tend to be less prone to allergens, due to their contact with the microbiota of the feline (bacteria, viruses, yeasts which live on and in the animal), specifies Guerric Radière. . This strengthens the immune defenses. It is also beneficial for the elderly, for the same reason, adds the veterinarian.

Immunocompromised people must however first ensure that they are carriers of certain antibodies, in particular for zoonoses (transmissible by animals), – such as toxoplasmosis, by carrying out serology, using a of blood. If that is the case, “you have to be careful but there is no major contraindication for sleeping with your cat“, reassures the veterinarian.

What are the disadvantages of sleeping with your cat or dog?

The main risk of sleeping with your cat or dog is to be contaminated by parasites, such as worms and fleas, caught by your pet during its outdoor escapades, beyond the state of cleanliness of its legs in particular.

For cats and dogs, you must also be attentive to diseases that can be transmitted to humans, such as:

You must ensure that your cat or dog is well treated against parasites and check that vaccinations are up to date. Guerric Radière recommends having your cat or dog monitored by a veterinarian at least once a year in order to check its state of health: its teeth, ears, joints, heart in particular and to do annual booster shots.

For cats, as for dogs, from 6-7 years old, he recommends an annual blood test or even every 6 months to check the condition of the kidneys and liver. Cats hide their diseases for a long time, it is not easy to detect them.

For people with allergies, it is strongly advised not to sleep with a cat, which is more allergenic than a dog. Hairs left on the bed, floor or in the air may amplify them.

Likewise for people with asthma, the presence of the feline in the bed can aggravate the symptoms. “What is annoying is the dust and hair that interferes with breathing“says Guerric Radière.

The cat has a different rhythm of life from that of humans, it is more active at night, which can disturb your sleep. Your charming feline may want to play, move while you want to stay in the arms of Morpheus.

Sleeping with a long-haired cat can be inconvenient if it loses its hair. Some dogs also tend to shed a lot. Also for a question of hygiene, whether you sleep with your cat or your dog, you must take care to change your sheets and pillowcases regularly: every two weeks.

Sleeping a long-haired cat can be awkward if he loses his hair. adobe-stock

The hygiene of your pet is to be closely monitored. It is important to groom your cat well. Just like his dog: he must be groomed regularly and brushed several times a week for breeds with long hairs and once a week for breeds with short hairs, in order to remove dead hair. An operation to be performed preferably before bedtime, suggests Dr. Radière.

As far as dogs are concerned, their sleep rhythm is certainly close to that of humans, but their snoring can be loud and prevent you from sleeping or waking up. Another disadvantage, depending on the breed of the dog, its size can be a problem in the bed. A large jig takes up more space, and if it moves, it causes discomfort to the master.

Especially small dogs can easily get on the bed. But Guerric Radière points out that from the age of 5-6, dogs sometimes have bad breath, which can be bothersome depending on the person’s sensitivity. This inconvenience is due to tartar and plaque that is deposited as a result of poor oral hygiene.

If this is the case for your dog, he recommends brushing your 4-legged friend’s teeth once a day or every other day. This greatly reduces bad breath by preventing tartar from depositing on the teeth. This regular brushing delays the appearance of oral disorders, including tooth loss and gingivitis.

  • The question of intimacy

Guerric Radière points out that the main obstacle to sleeping with your cat or dog is related to intimacy, when you are in a relationship. The presence of the pet in the room can disturb it, cause discomfort in one of the partners.

Is your pet educated enough to let it sleep with you?

Finally, it is essential not to neglect the education and the place of the animal in the home. It will be necessary to avoid letting dominant animals sleep with you because this would reinforce this strong character. It is important to make sure that the animal has received a good education and that it behaves appropriately before letting it enter your room and therefore your privacy, because it could impose itself there.

These are recommendations only. Each master will choose what suits him best.

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