Prevent Salmonella With Healthy Pet Habits

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Salmonella are bacteria that can live in the intestinal tract of many different animals. Salmonella can make people sick with diarrhea, fever, and stomach cramps. Some animals are more likely to spread Salmonella to people, like reptiles (snakes, turtles), amphibians (frogs, salamanders), backyard poultry (chickens, turkeys, ducks), hedgehogs, and rodents (rats, mice, hamsters, gerbils, guinea pigs).

People can get Salmonella if they do not wash their hands after contact with animals or their environment, such as their bedding, food, or tank water.

Pick the right pet

Gray kitten enjoying runs from humana

Animals that are more likely to spread Salmonella don’t make good pets for families with young children, older adults, and people with weakened immune systems.

Wash your hands

Wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water after touching:

  • Animals, even pets
  • Animal food or treats
  • Items in areas where animals live and roam
  • Animal poop or pee

Play safely with pets

Bearded Dragons relaxing in their environment

Don’t kiss, snuggle, or hold animals close to your face. Don’t eat or drink around animals, and keep animals away from areas where food is prepared and served.

Clean up properly

Clean your pet’s cage, terrarium, or aquarium and its contents (such as food and water bowls) outdoors, if possible. If you must clean your pet’s supplies indoors, use a laundry sink or bathtub and thoroughly clean and disinfect it right after.

Learn more about Salmonella