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Report: Pets in bed could cause illness

Recent research published in the journal Emerging Infectious Diseases suggests that those who allow dogs or cats to sleep in bed with them may be putting themselves at risk of contracting an infectious disease, reports the Los Angeles Times.

The paper showed that out of the approximate 60 million dog companions in the U.S., anywhere from 21 percent to 33 percent sleep in their guardian's bed. Cats are even more likely to sleep with their pet parents - 60 percent of the 75 million feline friends in the U.S. get to curl up on the sheets at night.

Researchers found several several incidents of pet owners contracting illnesses after sleeping in the same bed with their pets or exchanging a smooch with their cat or dog, according to the news source. Some of the diseases were rather serious, such as meningitis, chagas disease, parasites, staphylococcus infections and bubonic plague.

"Our review suggests that persons, especially young children or immunocompromised persons, should be discouraged from sharing their beds with their pets or regularly kissing their pets," wrote the study authors.

According to, dogs sleep more than humans, but wake up more frequently during their resting periods. Animal rights advocates who want to ensure that their pets stay comfortable at night can purchase a dog or cat bed to keep the animals cozy.
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