Are you washing your hands enough around your pets?

Return to Newsletter

Global Handwashing Day is October 15

Let’s face it: we love our pets, but they can be gross sometimes. Animals – even our beloved pets – can spread germs that can make people sick, from parasites to bacteria. Even clean and healthy pets can spread germs.

Odds are that you aren’t washing your hands enough around your pets. Handwashing is the easiest and best way to stay healthy around animals. It’s especially important for young kids, older adults, and people with weakened immune systems to wash hands regularly because they’re more likely to get seriously sick from germs animals can carry.

In a perfect world, you would wash your hands after every time you touch your pet. If you can’t do that, here are the most important times you should wash your hands around pets.

After handling pet food or treats

Hungry dog
  • Pet food and treats can be contaminated with germs like Salmonella.
  • Raw pet food is especially risky. Don’t feed your pets raw pet food or uncooked meat.
  • Pet food includes frozen or live rodents for pet reptiles!

After touching pet supplies

Red Eared Slider Turtle Inside Aquarium
  • Germs can contaminate pet supplies like cages, tanks, toys, and food and water dishes.
  • Pet reptiles, amphibians, hedgehogs, and rodents can spread Salmonella germs in their poop, which can contaminate items in their habitats, including tank water.
  • Clean and disinfect your pet’s supplies regularly.

After picking up pet poop

Picking up dog poop
  • Parasites, bacteria, and other germs can spread through pet poop.
  • Always wash your hands after scooping litterboxes or picking up dog poop, even if you used gloves or a bag.