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Healthy Pets

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Pets in Your Bed

WebMD discusses the health implications of your pets sleeping in bed with you and how you can keep the bedroom healthy.


Charles Schmitz says the biggest issue is how both people feel about the pet being there.

"If one person is fine with the dog, but the other isn’t, then you’ve got a problem," he says. "You absolutely have to talk about it and make sure both people are comfortable with the situation."

And it’s also important that pets don’t physically come between a couple at night, they say.

"The snuggling and the holding and the touching is critical," Elizabeth Schmitz says. "It’s one of the seven secrets of a successful marriage. It’s more important than sex."

Getting a Cat Out of Your Bed

And even when people finally make the hard decision to eject their pet from the bed, most find it’s not an easy task.

Ingrid Johnson, a veterinary technician and consultant on feline behavior at a clinic in Marietta, Ga., says she advises clients to never let their cat in their bedroom if they don’t want to sleep with the cat. She says for cats it’s all or nothing, so the door must always be open to them, or never open to them.

"If you suddenly shut a cat out of the bedroom, they can get very frustrated and start displaying destructive behavior," Johnson says. "Cats don’t react well if you take away territory."

But if a cat that sleeps with its owner must suddenly be banned, Johnson recommends giving the cat something else to do at night. Try giving kitty foraging toys to play with that feed her kibble, or put a cat condo by a window with a light outside.

"All the moths and bugs flying around the light right outside that window is like reality TV for cats," she says.

Getting a Dog Out of Your Bed

Internationally known dog trainer Victoria Stilwell says if your dog has no behavioral problems then it’s OK to let him sleep in your bed. In fact, from the dog’s standpoint, it’s a compliment.

"Dogs only sleep with people or dogs they trust," says Stilwell, star of the TV show "It’s Me or the Dog."

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