CDC: Sick people sleep with dogs

Against medical advice, Sandra Bullock attempts to kiss a dog.

Against medical advice, Sandra Bullock attempts to kiss a dog.

A majority of canine owners who can’t trick a human into sharing a bed with them literally lie down with dogs, according to a new study.

This behavior not only violates Scripture, but is unhealthy, according to smart people at the the Centers for Disease Control in Atlanta, who’ve got time for this kinda thing when not overreacting to other perceived threats.

Women are more likely than men to sleep with dogs, which I could have told them for free.

The study busts out several maladies that can affect those foolish enough to share a bed with an animal, including the fantastically titled “zoonoses,” which is any infectious disease transmitted from animal to man. (e.g. lycanthropy)

Specific afflictions include:

  • The Plague. Students of history may recall it wiped out half of Europe before we had the CDC around to figure it out.
  • Chagas Disease. Never heard of it. I also could not think of anything funny to say about it.
  • Cat-Scratch Disease, which Ted Nugent warned us of way back in the 1970s.
  • The much-feared Capnocytophaga canimorsus, which is impossible to pronounce but easy to prevent. Quit kissing your dog ladies!
  • Rabies. Remember the sad tale of Old Yeller? It taught me to not let the precious family pet play with slobbering and angry wolves. It should teach you to get Rover his own bed.

“The risk for transmission of zoonotic agents by close contact between pets and their owners through bed sharing, kissing or licking is real and has even been documented for life-threatening infections such as plague,” some researcher said.

Or, as a cranky husband might phrase it — “Beds are for people!”


46 comments Add your comment

Old Geezer

March 11th, 2011
2:30 pm

Prepare for the onslaught of insults from fat, ugly, husband-less intown trolls who will defend why they prefer to share their bed with a pet over someone of their own species until they get distracted by a dog wearing a tu-tu.

Lycanthrope

March 11th, 2011
4:24 pm

No dogs, but my two cats share my bed. After reading this though I’m gonna start wearing a flea collar. And if I start feeling sick I’ll go in for a … catscan.

v

March 12th, 2011
8:52 am

Prepare for the onslaught of insults from fat, ugly, wife-less intown trolls who will defend why they prefer to share their bed with a pet over someone of their own species until they get distracted by a dog wearing a tu-tu.

tim

March 12th, 2011
8:55 am

This is the same CDC who lost millions of $$ of computers and equipment last year and has no idea where they are………..

Maybe a dog ate them………

CDC……you can sniff my butt!

Sally

March 12th, 2011
9:01 am

This is a stupid article intended to stir irrational fears. Every one of these maladies can be passed simply by having an infected animal in the house and interacting with it. Are we to believe that a dog with rabies is only dangerous if you sleep with it? Go back to journalism school George or maybe just get a job working for one of the rags like the National Inquirer which specializes in this type of reporting.

Sanyo

March 12th, 2011
9:08 am

Sick CDC doctors punch children @ Vail ski resort!

JLM

March 12th, 2011
9:11 am

Why was this opinion piece filed with the actual headlines on the front page?

doggy love

March 12th, 2011
9:12 am

I am a first time dog owner and I love my two dogs. I keep them and myself very healthy. I agree with this article from the CDC. I will let me dogs lick my face occasionally but I think it is a minimal risk. I don’t let me my dogs sleep in the bed because I don’t know if they stepped in their own feces or other animals. As long as the human/dog environment is sanitary, use common sense when interacting with dogs and other animals. Please support your local animal pounds. I hope that the $35 dog license plate tag I pay for annually actually goes to help the spay/neuter.

Rover

March 12th, 2011
9:13 am

CDC = Can’t Diagnose C***

Ted

March 12th, 2011
9:14 am

Has there been a big outbreak lately of plague? How many people really get rabies from a dog in their bed? I’ve never heard of the other diseases, so I’m thinking they’re probably not that big a threat either.

dave

March 12th, 2011
9:23 am

I’m a teacher so being exposed to all sorts of maladies is just part of the day. Getting coodies from my canine is an added threat I can live, or die, with.

Jeanette

March 12th, 2011
9:28 am

Gee I sleep with a Dog every weekend his name is Thomas

Nancy

March 12th, 2011
9:45 am

I worry about all the sick people walking around here, at least my dog is current on her shots and smarter than most people…..

Motocross Survivor

March 12th, 2011
9:48 am

“I am a first time dog owner and I love my two dogs. I keep them and myself very healthy. I agree with this article from the CDC. I will let me dogs lick my face occasionally but I think it is a minimal risk.”

Keep in mind that your dog has also been licking his butt and junk. Just a reminder.

A+A

March 12th, 2011
9:52 am

This isn’t a headline anymore. And you can’t write.

W2XAB

March 12th, 2011
9:55 am

Pets are for eating, not sleeping with!

zoe

March 12th, 2011
9:59 am

Common sense, people. Dogs are animals, albeit loved ones. Too many people treat their animals as if they are people. Perhaps there is an interaction problem somewhere? For those who can’t manage to take a human being to bed: take a shower and brush your teeth, put on some nice clothes and try to act like an adult. Speak in complete sentences and don’t use bad words. Smile.

Leslie R.

March 12th, 2011
10:01 am

I was very disappointed to see your story that was published today that discussed the hazards of sleeping with your pets. That story was very one sided and there was absolutely no fair balance provided! The writer used a big headline to grab attention and proceeded to talk about “all of the dangers” associated with having a pet in your home. In this economy thousands of animals are being thrown out and neglected because people have lost their homes, lost their jobs, or do not have time to care for them. The shelters and rescue groups are overwhelmed and many animals are euthanized immediately especially if the owner turns them in. Most people are not aware that if the owner turns the animal in they are put to sleep immediately without the opportunity to be adopted. Your article gave a very biased account of what can happen if you allow your pet in your bed or in your home. I am sure this has caused great concern to some people especially to those that have children. Many of the dangers you mentioned are controlled quite easily through normal veterinary checkups. The rabies exposure you discussed has a vaccination that can be administered every one to three years to prevent the virus altogether and it is required by law. Tapeworms and hookworms can be prevented through regular fecal checkups, deworming, and heartworm prevention. Heartworm medicines contain ingredients that treat the most common parasites automatically each time they are administered. Tapeworms can easily be prevented by using routine flea and tick topical solutions such as Frontline. If you had included any of this information people would realize that having regular veterinary checkups will most likely prevent the things that you mentioned. People are much more likely to get sick from a child than a dog. I have had dogs and cats all of my life and never been sick from one of them. I even worked in a veterinary clinic for six years and never caught anything. However, one of my friend’s kids got me so sick that I ended up in the hospital with the stomach flu. I just hope that your story did not send someone’s four legged friend to their local animal control shelter where they may have less than a happy ending.

Penny

March 12th, 2011
10:05 am

This is a joke lighten up

poorwriting

March 12th, 2011
10:09 am

This is a very poorly written article.

If your dog has rabies you will know it well before you sleep with him. The plague has been eradicated for hundreds of years.

tar and feathers party

March 12th, 2011
10:09 am

And we pay 10’s of billions of dollars for this junk from CDC? Abolish CDC now, and save the taxpayer’s money.

James

March 12th, 2011
10:09 am

Seems that this idiot with the CDC is getting into the drug locker. The worst is that they are using BIBLE quotes to re-enforce their findings. Any time someone uses a quote from the Bible to make their point has no other meaning than a scare tactic. So why is it that when Daniel was in the lions den now proof that he was sick as well. GROW SOMETHING LIKE A BACKBONE.

not a dog lover

March 12th, 2011
10:16 am

I totally agree with this article…sleeping with dogs is gross! Letting them lick you in the face or eat after you is even worse….so disgusting.

DogLover

March 12th, 2011
10:16 am

What’s really going on with this article? Who is the “cranky husband”? Since opining without basis seems to be the timbre of this piece, in my opinion sniping at the CDC is pretty cynical. I think public agencies should be held to more accountability and consequences, but don’t get mad at an ingenious and effective grant writer. It’s a good practice to listen to good advice that may enable one to modify risky behavior–we shouldn’t make excuses or get defensive if we’ve been warned. Neither should we whine, infect the populace, or solicit tax dollars if that risky behavior gets us sick. Finally, it’s sad but anecdotal that the James-Bulloch marriage failed–that doesn’t negate the value of marriage. I admire Sandra Bulloch and applaud her efforts to maintain her marriage.

James

March 12th, 2011
10:17 am

George Mathis has been a local news editor with The Atlanta Journal-Constitution since 1999. Earlier attempts at journalism. An for all intents and purposes he is still attempting to be a SCARE JOURNALIST. Where did you study, the Univerisity of Terrorist News for Propaganda.

Jill

March 12th, 2011
10:27 am

This article using scripture as a sin for your pet sleeping with you is so wrong and the author can be judged on his day. The scripture is not merely speaking of your typical sleeping but rather a perverted sense of sleep as they did millions of years ago and still some sick souls today. Crazy author should be fired!

robert

March 12th, 2011
10:30 am

OH PLEASE !!!!!!!

turthbtold

March 12th, 2011
10:33 am

Why would anyone want to sleep with a beast anyway? These animals defacate and relieve themselves without any sanitary action afterwards. Plus they probe other animals waste areas, and in spite of that some humans want to kiss these animals! I just wonder how many people would let a human being sleep in their bed that doesn’t wipe or cleanse themself after using the bathroom?

DogLover

March 12th, 2011
10:40 am

I just reread the article and comments-Leviticus 20:15-16 KJV refers to bestiality. Although it wouldn’t support your article’s premise, I think a more valid application of Scripture would be the NIV of Isaiah 11:7-9. http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Isaiah%2011:7-9&version=NIV

Snatchandgrab

March 12th, 2011
10:48 am

When I was single. I had a rule to not date women who slept with or kissed their dogs. Yuck!! No man wants a woman who sleeps with her dog…Men are the only dogs you need to lie down with.

Bonnie

March 12th, 2011
10:51 am

I would bet more germs are transmitted from opening a restroom door almost any place. I do sleep with dogs and have not been sick in years. I recently began helping an elderly woman, who was in need of someone to help her. I worry for her safety among (humans) she had spent time with a lot more than I worry about her spending time at my home with my dogs. I would bet the people living in Japan would much prefer sleeping with their dogs tonight than the dangers they are facing in the years to come. I am sure there will be many diseases from the earthquake and tsunami, none of them are caused by dogs or cats. Farmers are forced to shoot their cows up with all kinds of hormones and anti-biotics is it any wonder that American children are fat and unhealthy?

Mr. Ed

March 12th, 2011
11:00 am

My initial reaction to this article is that the CDC is waaaay over funded to have time to study this particular topic and then come back with such a laughable conclusion. My dog sleeps in my bed and has for the last decade and for some foregone reason, I’ve yet to encounter rabies, the plague, or any other maladies.

Common sense dictates keeping your animal vaccinated, clean, well mannered. The CDC must get paid to produce hyberbole these days.

not a dog lover

March 12th, 2011
11:02 am

Bonnie
March 12th, 2011
10:51 am

I would bet more germs are transmitted from opening a restroom door almost any place. I do sleep with dogs and have not been sick in years. I recently began helping an elderly woman, who was in need of someone to help her. I worry for her safety among (humans) she had spent time with a lot more than I worry about her spending time at my home with my dogs. I would bet the people living in Japan would much prefer sleeping with their dogs tonight than the dangers they are facing in the years to come. I am sure there will be many diseases from the earthquake and tsunami, none of them are caused by dogs or cats. Farmers are forced to shoot their cows up with all kinds of hormones and anti-biotics is it any wonder that American children are fat and unhealthy?

LOL Bonnie..this is typical…all that stuff has nothing to do with the fact that you like to sleep with and kiss your dog…..keep telling yourself its ok….amd I am a woman so don’t think this is “sexist” or something

ASH

March 12th, 2011
11:35 am

I think that the Scripture you referenced in Leviticus means that if you “lie” w/an animal whether you are a man or woman means to have a SEXUAL relationship with the “beast.” NOT actually sleeping with an animal is cause for death according to Scripture in the Old Testament.

Dana

March 12th, 2011
3:46 pm

Funny bit on sleeping with dogs… :) Seriously, I adore my dog Sam but he was behaving badly, chewing furniture and sometimes peeing…. but thankfully I was able to train him with advice and recommended dog training course from http://dogtraining.topwebreview.com. Now’s a good boy!

sitting at home

March 12th, 2011
10:29 pm

That was a stupid blog entry and 3 minutes of my life I’ll never get back.

Jenn

March 15th, 2011
4:13 pm

So this means I should stop letting my cat share my ice cream?

Or I guess I’ll just eat what I want first and let him have the rest.

PROBLEM SOLVED, CDC. BAM.

Kathleen

March 15th, 2011
9:00 pm

The other diseases? He made them up. How many times on the news have we heard that someone sleeping with their dog killed them? That’s what I thought. Gee whiz, George, how long did you actually think about this article before writing it and embarrassing yourself like this? Huh?

Kathleen

March 15th, 2011
9:08 pm

Evidently God didn’t see too much wrong with having a pet so close. Read in 2nd Samuel about the poor man with the pet lamb (only a parable) when God was showing David his terrible sin of sending Bathshebas husband on the front lines of war to be killed. Animals have been close pets for many moons, and I’ll bet will continue to be until, FOREVER. I’ll bet you even have one undercover George, no pun intended.

MadMooby

March 15th, 2011
9:18 pm

Seriously, people? Get real! My husband and I sleep with our Pug, Lazlo, and wouldn’t have it any other way! He’s clean, well cared for, and healthy. I’m more worried about the germs circulating around my office at work and what the emo teen with a nail through his tongue is doing to my food in the drive-through than what oddball BS disease my dog may or may not give me. But you sheep (see what I did there?) just go ahead and panic and run off to get your CT scans and blood tests every month. JFC, the whole world has gone insane.

mecq tate

March 16th, 2011
1:57 am

PETA will now boycott the AJC for telling this truth. I was raised by a devout animal lover. He,my Father, was not allowed to bring animals into our home and barely into our yard due to my Mother’s insistence that Dogs, Cats, Lizards, and whatever else non-human beings, and even some of those, because of the germs thaat could be passed on to us. We live in a country that values the life of animals more than human beings. Sad but true.

mecq tate

March 16th, 2011
2:04 am

Plus kissing a dog who just licked his BEHIND is just NASTY…..!!!!!

Donnie Corbett

March 16th, 2011
8:02 am

I agree with mecq tate comment that just down RIGHT NASTY.

GAseaside

March 16th, 2011
9:02 am

Poor George has misinterpreted the Leviticus passage in the worst way.
The scripture is referring to beastiality, not sleepint with a pet.
Where do they find these uneducated idiots that write this garbage on
a news story that came out days ago. Go down to your local dog pound,
George, and find a story there, you moron!

Liz

March 16th, 2011
9:46 am

*facepalm*

The number of people who didn’t understand the tongue-in-cheek aspect of this article astonishes me. For what it’s worth, George, at least some of us understood your point (and your humor.)

usually lurking

March 18th, 2011
2:11 pm

Uh, humor anyone? Some of you folks need to lighten up. :-)