If you’re reading this article it’s probably because you have a pet. If you have a pet you probably love that pet, right? You want to be close to him, to have him sleep with you (or at least in the same general area), you occasionally give him a little smooch, and you don’t really mind when he licks your face. However, there are some health issues you may want to consider as you show your dog or cat how much you love him or her.
According to the February issue of Emerging Infectious Diseases,* “…Pets are part of our lives, sharing our houses, our bedrooms, and even our beds. However, along with the benefits of this closeness (stress relief and exercise) comes risk for illness. Seemingly healthy pets can carry parasites, bacteria, or viruses that cause mild to life-threatening illness in their owners. For example, a man whose dog slept under the covers with him and licked his hip replacement wound came down with meningitis, and a 9-year-old boy whose flea-infested cat slept with him got plague. The risk of getting sick from sleeping with, kissing, or being licked by pets is real, but the risk can be reduced by keeping pets healthy. Regular veterinary care is (the) key to having a healthy pet and enjoying the benefits of pet ownership.”
Loving your pets means taking care of them by visiting your veterinarian regularly, inspecting them for parasites, making sure they have fresh food, clean water, and lots of exercise. You may still opt to have your pet share your bed after reading this article. However, make absolutely sure Fido and Fluffy are in the best of health so you don’t end up ‘sharing’ more than your covers with them!
If you need information on this topic or on any other dog-related issue please feel free to call me at 856.349.2508. There is never a fee for phone or email consultations.
Next week’s topic will be entitled, The Truth About Puppy Mills. As always Cleary’s notebook encourages dialogue so your comments are welcome!
Wado, udohiyu, (thank you very much, in the Cherokee language)
Brother of the Wolf, LLC
700 Market St, Gloucester City NJ 08030
* Zoonoses in the Bedroom, Bruno B. Chomel and Ben Sun
Pictured: A little boy somehow ends up in a shelter. Lost and alone, he awaits his fate.