As you know, your dog is susceptible to various diseases and infections. Have you ever wondered whether or not you could potentially catch any of those illnesses from your pooch? It’s a scary thought. And it’s true—it is possible for dogs to transmit certain illnesses to humans. The diseases in question are known as zoonotic diseases.
Read on as your local veterinarian tells you more about zoonotic diseases and how to make sure both your dog and your family members stay safe.
What Diseases Can I Catch From My Dog?
You’ve almost certainly heard of the most infamous of all zoonotic diseases: rabies. It can prove deadly in both dogs and humans! Diseases like Ehrlichiosis, salmonella, leptospirosis, giardiasis, Lyme disease, campylobacteriosis, brucellosis, and ringworm can also be transmitted from a dog to a human. And while rare, it’s entirely possible for parasites like hookworms, roundworms, tapeworms, mites, and more to be contracted by a human from a dog.
Are Certain People at a Higher Risk?
Yes, certain people are at a higher risk than others of contracting a zoonotic disease from a dog. The group includes elderly individuals, young children, pregnant women, individuals undergoing chemotherapy or other radiation-related treatments, and anyone with a compromised immune system. But even these people can usually have pets without worrying, assuming they follow a few basic protocols (more on that below).
It’s important to understand that an average healthy adult is not at a high risk of contracting an illness from their dog—it’s very unlikely assuming that the individual practices basic hygiene. And thanks to modern veterinary methods like vaccination and pest-control products, the risk is even lower.
How Do I Prevent the Problem?
Make sure that you and all members of your family practice basic hygiene when it comes to pets: wash your hands on a regular basis and avoid direct physical contact with your dog’s feces. Try to wash your dog’s food and water dishes, bed, and toys regularly so that any germs are destroyed. And last but not least, keep your canine companion on year-round preventative medications to ward off fleas, ticks, and worms, and make sure Fido is up to date on essential vaccinations to prevent disease. These basic steps all but ensure that any zoonotic diseases won’t be transmitted to human family members.
Does your dog need vaccinations or pest-control medicine? Call today to make an appointment.