Keeping Pets Healthy Keeps People Healthy Too!
The pets sharing our world provide love, comfort, and companionship. Pets are not only fun to play with but also important to our lives. Studies have shown that the bond between people and their pets can increase fitness, lower stress, and bring happiness to their owners. But there's something else you should know.
In recent years, thousands of people have become sick because of contact with animals. Although the spread of diseases from animals to people is rare, pets do sometimes carry germs that can make people sick. The diseases people get from animals are known as zoonotic (zoe-oh-NOT-ic) diseases.
It is hard to know which animals could be carrying zoonotic diseases, especially since pets carrying these germs often look healthy and normal. Here are some simple actions that can help you and your pets stay healthy:
- Take your pet to its veterinarian regularly so it stays in good health.
- Practice good hygiene around your pets so they don't unintentionally pass germs to you.
- Learn about diseases different types of pets can spread - just in case.
- Compendium of Measures to Prevent Disease Associated with Animals in Public Settings, 2011
- Appendix C: Hand-Washing Recommendations to Reduce Disease Transmission From Animals in Public Settings
- Poster: Handwashing at Animal Exhibits [PDF - 1 page]
- Lávese las manos después de visitar las exhibiciones de animales [PDF - 1 page]
CDC Experts Talk About Pets and Your Health
Facts and details help you, or your patients, live happily with your pets - while staying healthy. In collaboration with Medscape.
Risks From Pets and Pet Food: Major Outbreaks of Enteric Zoonoses in 2012
This slideshow presents information on major outbreaks of enteric zoonoses in 2012 and provides the most up-to-date information on prevention of animal-related enteric zoonoses for patients, including young children and those who are immunocompromised. CDC Expert Commentary, February 2013
Pet Turtles Can Make People Sick: Guidance for Clinicians
Many people keep small turtles as pets, not realizing that they are banned in the United States and can cause disease. CDC Expert Commentary, June 2012
Pets Can Make People Sick
Which furry (and not furry) friends are most likely to transmit infection to humans? Share these precautions with your pet-loving patients. CDC Expert Commentary, August 2011
- Page last reviewed: July 1, 2015
- Page last updated: July 1, 2015
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