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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.

  Girl holding a catIn 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.


Animal Tales

Mother and Daughter sit and hold a chicken

Chickens in the City

Meet Anne-Marie and Scarlett, mother and daughter who keep backyard poultry as a hobby.

Cat hiding under bed

Disaster Preparedness for Your Pet

If a natural disaster strikes, what will happen to your pet? Be prepared: make a plan and prepare a disaster kit for your pet.


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.

  • hedgehog, chicken, duck 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

  • turtle 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

  • Dr. Casey Barton Behravesh 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