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Health Danger from Sleeping with Pets Overblown

Photo by Rachel Nuwer.

Recent articles that say sleeping with pets exposes owners to life-threatening illnesses such as plague are overblown, according to this article in New York University’s scienceline.

The threat of contracting disease from your pets is extremely low, especially if the animal is in good health and kept in sanitary conditions. And some of the pet-linked diseases the articles have cited, such as Chagas disease, are not common in most parts of the United States.

In fact, New York City clinical social worker Carole Fudin said pets provide owners with a variety of mental and health benefits. For instance, owning an animal can help owners alleviate depression and high blood pressure, encourage them to exercise, and help stave off loneliness, Fudin said.

Fudin specializes in veterinary medicine and the human-animal bond.

To learn more about how social workers use pets in therapy, click here to read a National Association of Social Workers’ “Help Starts Here” article  “Four-legged Therapy.”

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