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Should you sleep with your pet?

Author imageThe Mattress Warehouse

Who are you sharing a bed with?

Many South Africans unwittingly share their beds with more than just their pets, from cats and dogs to snuggles with a pet mouse. While there is something so reassuring about a pet’s warm body lying solidly on the bed and breathing rhythmically as they fall into contented sleep, we may even ban them from the bedroom at first, but slowly and surely they creep their way in, especially common with puppies! However, if you’re buying a new bed (or pet), before you have your pet sharing your bed, perhaps you should consider the little critters they bring with them and the effects they could have on your health, the life of your mattress, and on the quality of your sleep.

Dogs especially can carry several types of bacteria in their fur and mouths. From extreme cases like the Bubonic plague (yes, like the black plague from the middle ages!) to no less dangerous Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus, dogs can be quite the breeding house for diseases. Dogs don’t groom themselves like cats and rodents, and they are quite prone to get as dirty as possible. While  Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) is most common in the northern hemisphere, it is a waterborne disease, and gets picked up on the dogs fur if he or she gets damp in the rain, and transferred to your bedsheets where you pick it up. MRSA causes small red bumps that resemble pimples, spider bites, or boils as the initial symptoms, which may be accompanied by fever and, occasionally, rashes. Within a few days, the bumps become larger and more painful; they eventually open into deep, pus-filled boils. Eventually, it can affect vital organs and lead to widespread infection and even lead to death. However, the danger of diseases is far less likely if you have an inside dog that doesn’t really roam outside in the veld or get wet in the rain, but many people are still adversely affected by their dogs’ dander (dead skin cells).

Even for someone who isn’t susceptible to allergies, our respiratory system is bombarded by particles it has to filter out every day. Pets shed hair and skin all the time, in bigger amounts that we do, and these dead skin cells can be irritating to our systems, causing restless sleep that leaves one waking groggy. Many experts say it’s better to ban your pet from your bedroom altogether, whether you have a normal foam Genessi mattress (which is anti-bacterial). At the very least your pets’ skin cell shedding will attract dust mites (which feed on dead skin) which might lodge in your mattress and bother you, even if your pet doesn’t, as you breathe in their faeces, causing an allergic reaction. One of the ways you can guard against this is to wash your sheets and bedding regularly, and change your mattress protector at the same time. The mattress protector will prevent the dust mites from being able to get into your mattress, yet be breathable at the same time (if you use The Mattress Warehouse’s noise-free, waterproof, 100% cotton mattress protectors). Washing your dog once a week will help to remove old skin and hair, and keep him or her cleaner too, although it won’t remove a more common worry: ticks and flees! For those you’ll need tick and flee remover to keep your animals clean. Luckily ticks and flees are easily vanquished.

Look how happy this guy is!

Because let’s face it, we don’t really want to kick our furry children out of our rooms, or even of our beds. We love having them there, and they love being there so much that it probably won’t be successful to try anyway, since there will be whining and meowing and scratching at the door all night long, ruining your sleep anyway. Taking a few preventative measures, like using a mattress protector, washing your bedding fairly often, making sure your dog is brushed and bathed regularly, by wiping your pets’ hair from your headboard and keeping your room well ventilated, will lessen any adverse effects of having a pet in bed with you. The naturally hypoallergenic properties of natural latex in Cloud Nine and Rest Assured beds will help fight against disease and dust mites. Silentnight also employs the power of colloidal silver in their mattresses fabric, a natural disinfectant, so consider buying a mattress that will allow you to keep your pet safely in your bedroom at The Mattress Warehouse! We have everything you could need, and would like to help you find the mattress that works best for your needs! Call today on 0861 007 000 or 011 312 8613, or order online here!

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