Dog might be man’s best friend, but not if Fido is making you feel under the weather. Many pet parents are unaware that there are some illnesses that are zoonotic, meaning able to be transferred from animal to human.
While the most feared disease you could get from your dog is rabies, below are some of the other common infections you can catch from your pet.
- Salmonella: Salmonella is a gastrointestinal disease spread through contaminated feces. If any fecal particles get on your dog’s fur, the disease could be passed to humans.
- Lyme Disease: Lyme disease is passed by ticks that can often hide in your dog’s fur. Make sure to check your dog for ticks if he’s been playing in tall, grassy areas.
- Ringworm: Not a worm at all, but a fungal disease, ringworm is a skin infection characterized by a red ring with edges darker than the center.
- Worms: Worms are an intestinal parasite that can pass to you in the same way the salmonella bacteria is passed.
- Rabies: Rabies is the most serious infection you can catch from your dog. It affects the central nervous system of both animals and humans. If not treated it is fatal. It’s imperative that your dog is current on his rabies vaccination.
How Risky Is It?
While you might be cringing right now thinking how your dog licked you this morning, the good news is that while diseases can transfer, it isn’t likely. However, some people are at increased risk of getting sick from their dog including;
- Those with compromised immune systems
- Pregnant women
- Very young children
- Elderly men and women
- Those undergoing chemotherapy or radiation
- If you’ve recently had an organ/bone marrow transplant
Even if you fall in a higher risk group, it doesn’t mean you need to get rid of your dog. Everyone, regardless of risk, should follow these tips to avoid getting sick.
- Always wash your hands after you touch your dog
- Avoid any contact with fecal material by using a pooper scooper
- Keep your dog clean with regular baths
- Wash pet bedding often
- De-worm your dog
- Use separate water dishes and bowls
- Use flea and tick prevention
- Regularly inspect your dog for signs of infections and ticks
See your vet regularly
Posted on August 26, 2019