Hi my name is Emily Wilkes and i'm a veterinarian from Ringwood Animal Hospital in New Jersey. Today i'm going to talk about diseases you can catch from your dog or cat sleeping in bed with you.
It is fairly uncommon to catch a disease from your pet if he sleeps in your bed; however there are some risks especially if you are immunocompromised or your pet is unhealthy. Parasites such as fleas and ticks can be easily transmitted to people from their pets especially if they like to snuggle with you at night. These parasites are gross by themselves but they also carry harmful diseases such as lyme disease, rocky mountain, spotted fever and even plague to name a few.
Keeping your pet up to date on flea and tick prevention is very important to prevent infection of your pets and yourself with these parasites and the diseases that they carry. Dogs and cats can also carry intestinal parasites into your home that can make you sick too. Hookworms and roundworms are common parasites especially in puppies and kittens that can also infect humans.
The eggs of these parasites are shed in feces and can be brought into the house on your pet's fur or on their paws. To prevent infection of your pet and yourself make sure that your pet is checked for intestinal parasites by your veterinarian at their yearly checkup. If your pet has one of these parasites washing your hands if you are exposed to infected feces and keeping your pet's fur clean with wipes and baths with pet shampoo and conditioner is advised to prevent transmission to yourself.
When outside your dog or cat can step in fecal matter and track it into your home. Not only is this gross but fecal matter can contain harmful bacteria such as e coli salmonella and campylobacter that can cause serious gastrointestinal disease in people. Make sure to clean your pet's paws with pet cleaning wipes before letting them in the house and especially on your furniture. Regular bathing is recommended as well overall. Becoming sick from allowing your dog or cat to sleep in bed with you is uncommon. To keep your pets and yourself safe make sure that your pets are seen regularly by a veterinarian, are on flea and tick prevention and their paws and fur are kept clean.