Dog owners should ban dogs from the bedroom because of the diseases they may carry, according to chief vet Fred Landeg.
Diseases are just as likely to be carried by dogs as farm animals, says Dr Landeg. ‘When you look at new and emerging diseases many are zootic and passable from animals to man. As a veterinary surgeon I would never advise people to keep dogs in their bedroom.’
Research commissioned by The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) revealed that there are many potential health risks involved in handling dogs, which can carry salmonella among other bugs. Approximately 10 per cent of dogs, according to the research, carry MRSA.
However, Brits keep 6.5 million dogs as pets, and the research, carried out by Liverpool University, found that 42 per cent of dogs slept in the kitchen and 79 per cent were fed in the kitchen.
Dr Landeg was also keen to add that the health benefits of keeping a dog – such as long walks leading to lower blood pressure – are widely recognised, and NHS advice is to follow basic hygiene when handling dogs.
‘People live close to their animals,’ said Dr Landeg, ‘but they should follow sensible hygiene procedures. It is about a balanced approach.’
Caroline Kisco, secretary of The Kennel Club, said: ‘The World Health Organisation states that “companion animals that are properly cared for bring immense benefits to their owner and are a danger to no one”.’
Chief vet Dr Fred Landeg maintains, however, that dog owners should not allow dogs into their bedrooms because of the diseases they may carry.