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sandidf's avatar

What are the health issues related to having a dog sleep in a childs bedroom?

Asked by sandidf (15points) May 13th, 2010

We have a two year old puggle. Our six year old granddaughter spends four nights a week with us and wants our puggle to sleep in her room. The dog is bathed regularly, had all her vaccinations, is parasite free and is well taken care of. Our granddaughter has no allergies. The puggle would sleep on a dog bed on the floor. Is there any health risk to the granddaughter by having a dog sleep in her room?

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17 Answers

bongo's avatar

personally I wouldnt have thought so, as long as the dog isnt in the bed with her and as long as she doesnt have asthma. when i was younger the family cat would regularly sleep on the floor in my room where we had warm pipes running.
I wouldn’t let the dog sleep in there if your grandaughter got ill or had a cough or something mind as this may make her chest tighter than necessary even if she has no allergies.

Seek's avatar

I read an article a couple of years ago about a study that claimed exposing a child to multiple animals in the home actually reduces the risk of allergies and asthma.

Also here
and here

nyc_air's avatar

@Seek_Kolinahr really cuz my old pediatrician told me the opposite.

Well for the asthma part it might increase it because along with our own dust mites increases the chances of getting asthma as an adult. A dog just increases the chances, so just keep the dog off the bed it should be safe.

Seek's avatar

@nyc_air – Do you have documentation? Documentation that supercedes the 2002 study that was accepted by the American Medical Association?

chyna's avatar

@nyc_air Your pediatrician told you that having a dog in your room as a child increases your chances of getting asthma as an adult? I have never heard such a thing.

Seek's avatar

My son’s pediatrician told me I should force my infant son’s foreskin to retract. This can cause extreme pain and permanent damage. I don’t give much credence to the word of pediatricians.

casheroo's avatar

@Seek_Kolinahr ditto on the foreskin info! stupid doctors.

We let the cats sleep in our sons bed. If we had a dog, they’d be allowed to as well. I think it’s sweet when animals protect children.

nyc_air's avatar

@Seek_Kolinahr, documentations you provided were for allergies I meant of ASTHMA.

Dust mites are a major contributer for children getting Asthma as adults, these mites are on all living creatures, when people sleep on beds these mites get into the pillows, sheets, and blankets (including carpets and other upholstery) and start to grow populations by feeding off dead skin cells. When sleeping kids are exposed to dust mites at higher percentages that is why it is recommended to have all sheets, blankets, pillows to be sanitized at least once a year or replaced. Having pets at home or even more people who dont shower ever day does not increase risk of getting asthma however if they sleep in the same bed the number of dust mites, including foreign animal dust mites, goes up.
You can read more about them on the EPA website.

And you know what is more annoying.

“Research published in the August 28, 2002 Journal of the American Medical Association found that children who were exposed to two or more cats or dogs in the first year of life had a reduced risk of developing sensitivities to multiple allergens, and possibly asthma.”

That came from your article, and I don’t know if the girl in question had always had animals around her since infancy, however she is a 6 yr old child, yes her immune system is still developing but not to the extent that there is a sure fire way that she will form immunity from animal allergens.

BTW, i never said that keeping the dog in the room is a bad thing i said keep it off the bed

Seek's avatar

Still waiting for your documentation, @nyc_air

sandidf's avatar

I was diagnosed with astham when I was 9. Our pediatrician told my parents to get rid of the dogs, birds and other pets. He actually came to our house to visit. My mom hid our pets in the attic. Thank goodness my parents realized it would have been harder on me to lose my pets than to learn to deal with it. Stress had been the biggest contributor to my asthma attacks. I was in very bad shape ten years ago and a pulminary specialist had me loaded with drugs. I am 58 years old now and have always had pets (currently….6 dogs, 7 cats, 1 guinea pig, 2 bearded dragons, 1 garter snake, 2 turtles, 5 parrots and a monkey). You can see all of their photos on our foudations website My family doctor as worked with me to reduce the medications I have been on most of my life. I have been medication free for three years. No, my house doesn’t smell. My animals are a huge part of my life and I take very good care of them. My friends tell people that they would never know we had pets. We are responsible pet owners. I think it’s a shame that children are being denied the love that a pet can bring because people are under the misconception that animals cause allergies. I don’t buy it for a second.

nore345's avatar

who would sleep with a dog on their bed, a house cat ok

but a dog eww thats gross

sandidf's avatar

I have five dogs sleeping with me in my bed. My pug sleeps under the covers as close to me as she can get. I wouldn’t be able to sleep without them. My biggest fear is being in a nursing home without a dog to sleep with. I don’t know life without them. You should try it, you may just find that you like it.

nyc_air's avatar

@Seek_Kolinahr the documentation you provided was sufficient to prove my point, and you don’t have access to the documents unless you pay for the subscription or be a health professional. But ur welcome to read the abstract

the information that you provided are not peer reviewed btw, and once again from your article from the Medical Journal there were limitations to the study. Once again keep them off the bed.

Seek's avatar


From your link:
Nonsmoking adult patients with asthma (n = 53) were randomly recruited from the asthma registry of two large family practitioner surgeries. Each participant underwent skin testing with common inhalant allergens, a methacholine bronchoprovocation test, and pulmonary function testing on up to 3 separate occasions over a 4-week period. BHR was expressed both as PD 20 and dose-response ratio (DRR), and the patients with PD 20 of less than 12.25 μmol methacholine were classified as methacholine reactors.

The study you referenced has nothing to do with the exposure of healthy children to animals. It pertains to exposing asthmatic adults to household allergens. Try again.

nyc_air's avatar

In an unselected birth cohort, more than one in four children had wheezing that persisted from childhood to adulthood or that relapsed after remission. The factors predicting persistence or relapse were sensitization to house dust mites, airway hyperresponsiveness, female sex, smoking, and early age at onset. These findings, together with persistently low lung function, suggest that outcomes in adult asthma may be determined primarily in early childhood. Clinical activity and severity of asthma (measured by the level of BHR, PEFR variability, and percent predicted FEV1 in mite-sensitive patients is related to exposure to mite allergens in the dust reservoir, with levels in bed being an important indicator that correlated with disease activity.

nyc_air's avatar

ok Im just going to end off with this.
@Seek_Kolinahr your right
Please go and sleep with your dogs. Because apparently sleeping with an animal that doesn’t bathe everyday, rolls around outdoors, traps bacteria and fungal spores in its coat, and has a risk of getting fleas poses no health risks what so ever.

I never said that there were health risks for it begin in the room, i just suggested to keep it off the bed for the Dust mite reason.

sandidf's avatar

I believe my original question included the fact that we bathe our dogs on a regular basis. IF they roll in something outside they are bathed! They are on flea medication and don’t have fleas or any other parasite. If more children were exposed to bacteria and fungal spores they would build up an immunity to them and not be sick all the time. I believe there is too much anti-bacterial going around. When I was a kid we played outside all day in dirt, mud, sandboxes with cat poop, in trees, water that flowed through a creek and the “pollywog pond”. We touched frogs, toads, snakes, tadpoles, ants, bugs, worms and God knows what else. There was no such thing as anti-bacterial. As an adult I am very seldom sick. My asthma was not caused by animals, mold, fungal spores, dust, anything outside or something the dogs rolled in, but probably by the fact both of my parents smoked cigarettes. My oldest daughter is an anti-bacterial freak. Her kids have never been allowed to get dirty and now her kids are sick all the time. She smokes, smoked while she was pregnant and nursing. Her baby has asthma and is on a breathing machine. Now that’s stupid!!! I will continue to sleep with my dogs until I’m no longer able to. I can’t imagine any other way.

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