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PET’S CORNER Is it okay to cosy up?

Living

Is it okay to cosy up?


Ask the vet
Esther Van Luipen

More people than you think share their beds with their pet(s). Some couples even have the dog sleeping between them.
If you think I am going to talk anyone out of sleeping with their pet, you are barking up the wrong tree. When I was single, my beloved dog Jack used to sleep in my bed. Some people even told me that this was the reason why I was still single.
There is absolutely nothing wrong with sleeping with your pet. It is like a lovely, snugly hot water bottle or a heating pad that you don’t have to plug in. Also, pets are lovely company. Their soft breathing or purring might lull you to sleep.
That said, there are a few reasons why it might not be a good idea to have your pet in the bedroom. One of the reasons is aggression. Pets allowed to sleep on the bed might believe that their status is equal to, or even higher than, a human’s, which might accentuate any aggressiveness or dominance.
People who are allergic to pets obviously shouldn’t have them on their beds. Also, if the dog or cat is keeping you awake at night, it’s not a good idea. A good night’s rest is very important for everyone, for you as well as your pet.
A few things are important to keep in mind: Your pet needs to be healthy so you won’t end up getting parasites or a disease from its company. Number one is to worm your pet every month with a good wormer that worms tapeworms as well as round worms. When wormed on a monthly basis with a superior wormer the transmission of worms will be stopped 100 percent.
Weill’s disease is a zoonosis, so it is vitally important to keep your pets’ vaccinations up to date. Please note that there is a new vaccine on the market called L4 from Nobivac, that will prevent four strains of leptospira (Weill’s disease).
Preventing ticks is vitally important. Ticks carry diseases that can be transmitted to humans, like Lyme’s disease. So make sure your dog or cat is treated with a proper flea and tick treatment. Please bear in mind that all spot-ons only prevent fleas and ticks for 1 month. There are products available that prevent fleas and ticks for three months, like Bravecto. Talk to your vet about the proper treatment for your dog.
Of course it is also not a good idea to let your pet sleep in the bed if it has a bacterial infection on its skin or if it has diarrhoea. But if your pet is healthy and is treated well against parasites, enjoy each others’ company to the max and snuggle up!

Esther van Luipen is a veterinary surgeon in Claremorris Small Animal Practice. She can be contacted at 094 9373955 or at living@mayonews.ie.