Keeping Pets Healthy Keeps People Healthy Too!
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.
Pets 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 tips 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.
People who spend time watching aquariums and fish tanks see improvements in their physical and mental well-being. The benefits include lower blood pressure and heart rate.
Publications and Materials
- Compendium of Measures to Prevent Disease Associated with Animals in Public Settings, 2013 [PDF - 19 pages]
- See Appendix 2 for Hand-Washing Recommendations to Reduce Disease Transmission From Animals in Public Settings
- Poster: Handwashing at Animal Exhibits [PDF - 1 page]
- Multi-state Outbreak of Seoul Virus
- Eight Multistate Outbreaks of Human Salmonella Infections Linked to Live Poultry in Backyard Flocks (Final Update)
- Four Multistate Outbreaks of Human Salmonella Infections Linked to Small Turtles
- Cuatro brotes multiestatales de infecciones por Salmonella en seres humanos vinculadas a tortugas pequeñas
- Contact with Animals in Public Settings
- Key Messages about Pet Rodents
- Harmful Algal Blooms and Animals
- Influenza in Cats
- Zika Virus and Animals: Questions and Answers
- Harmful Algal Bloom-Associated Illnesses
- Find pet-focused Facebook posts on the CDC Facebook page.
- Follow pet-related tweets on the NCEZID Twitter account.
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.
Pet Turtles Can Make People Sick: Guidance for Clinicians
Many people keep small turtles as pets, not realizing that they can cause disease. CDC Expert Commentary
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
- Page last reviewed: February 8, 2017
- Page last updated: February 8, 2017
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