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Thursday, February 17, 2011

"Warm Nights, Cold Noses": The Pros And Cons Of Sleeping With Your Pet

Pigs in a blanket, anyone? Do you remember those incredibly bad-for-you appetizers that consisted of a mini sausage wrapped in store-bought dough and heated till puffed in the oven, that were eerily called "Pigs in a Blanket"? (I don't remember, but Parental Unit says that she made them as part of  earning a Girl Scout badge about a hundred years ago). Perhaps I digress, but maybe not. In today's New York Times, Home Section, there's a front page article about our increasing tendency to sleep with our pets, titled "Warm Nights, Cold Noses".
And the 3/4 page cover photo is of a single gal (wonder why) all cuddled up under the blankets with her  potbellied pig, Trixie.

You know, I've been allowed to sleep on the bed since practically my first night here, which was something new for 'clean freak" Parental Unit, but now she says she can't imagine it any other way. But it's really only Bella (the cat) and I that are sharing her covers, unlike the gal in the article who shares her bed with not only the pig, but two kittens, three dogs and an occasional rabbit. Here's what she says about her largest bed partner: "She's a great cuddler if you lie still...but if you're restless, she gets annoyed and her hooves are very sharp...and [the gal] has the black-and-blue marks to show for it."

The benefits of being close to a living, breathing, and loving creature, at night and otherwise, are well documented: loving touches and cuddles raise levels of the hormone that makes us feel content and serve as an "...emotional balm, especially for the depressed, lonely or anxious."

So we're all warm, cuddly and happy at night and guess who has to go ruin it all? Yep, our friends at the The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention who published a recent study detailing all of the diseases we can get from sleeping with our furry friends. The list seems endless and a little bit scary, ranging from flea and tick bites that spread bubonic plague, to cat scratch fever and various forms of meningitis. Check out this very interesting and sometimes funny article, (with lots of pictures of cute, snoozing animals) right here: www.nytimes.com/2011/02/17/garden/17pets.html?_r=1&hpw.

So what's the scoop in your house-do let your furry best friends share your bed? Like, ahem, someone we all know and love?


Lucy-Fur, as typed by Dr. Liz said...

Oh, we let Mom and Dad share the bed with us! We don't call it The Big Dog Bed for nothing! :-)

*kissey face*
-Fiona and Abby the Hippobottomus

Barbara said...

The dogs allow me to sleep in my bed with them.

I bought a king mattress so I could have more room. It didn't work.

Donna said...

I think if a person gets the dog regular check-ups and makes sure that the dog (or other pet) has no bugs, things should be fine. I jump on Mom and Dad's bed all the time! :)

Pippen said...


We read about this study awhile ago and for awhile implemented a new rule that had mom sleeping on the sofa! We found that we missed her so we let her back in the bed... if she's not worried about the zoonoses then we aren't either!

Sam and Pippen

Peggy Frezon said...

Kelly sleeps atop the covers at the foot of our bed. I love feeling her warm presence there. I draw the line at her sleeping on the pillow and under the covers, but that's my own personal preference. She's not too interested in doing so anyway, since it's kind of crowded for three.

Diana Chiew said...

There are too many of us to sleep in bed with our human so only Christmas does. However, our human is thinking of getting a bigger bed so we can all sleep with her!

Jingle Bell, Happy and Pinky

Wyatt said...

We get up on the bed and snuggle, but it gets too crowded with 2 adults and 2 Airedales in a queen size bed, so we get down and sleep on the floor. I'm always licking my people. I try to get them on the lips, when they least expect it...BOL. So, too late on the germ thing!


Duke said...

Thanks for posting this, Bocci. Once my dad reads it, I'll never have a chance in the world of sleeping with him and mom now!
Maggie prefers her own bed so it won't faze her one bit!

Yer friend,

Unknown said...

Eva prefers her own little bed!

Helen said...

Spike and Dru sleep in their crate just because during crate training they made it their home and when we say go to bed it's where they go. We tried to let them sleep out of the crate and then go in of their own accord. Spike and Dru can't sleep on the beds because the four felines who were here first have reign of the beds!

Agatha and Archie said...

ARE YOU KIDDING ME???? BUBONIC PLAGUE?? WE CAN GET BUBONIC PLAGUE FROM THEM?????? Oh dear Arch is all afret now........ tee hee how about that pig in the bed.... Love A+A

Much About The Mutt said...

Animals need to sleep in a pack. They need to sleep with their leader. I sleep with 1 Doberman and 3 cats. There is not any room left for my husband (LOL) so he sleeps in another bed with HIS dog.

I assume that most of the people who are sleeping with their pets in the bed, take care of their animals, keeping them clean, feeding them well, with regular vet visits. What was the CDC thinking?

Much About The Mutt said...

I love your blog. I added you to my blog roll : )
- Much About The Mutt

Unknown said...

Our cats have always slept with us, but if we were to allow the dogs, there would be no room for us. That being said, a Mr. Pauley James always slept with us until recently & the bed was much warmer. I miss him, but Middy Sue is much happier.

Kirby, CGC said...

Hi Bocci,
Mom couldn't imagine her bed without a dog in it. Angel Max slept there for 14 years and now it's my turn. So, let's see, she has had a dog in her bed for 15 years now...and she's still alive!


Unknown said...

I can't even fall asleep without my little Sasha beside me. Her soft growls as she makes her way to slumber land is very soothing to me even. Makes me doze off in a heartbeat! Hahah. Sharing some loving your way at http://www.naturalk9supplies.com/

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