5 Ways to Lessen Your Chance of Catching a Bug from your Fur Baby

Puppy snuggling a cat

While the word zoonotic sounds like a friendly place full of animals, it’s actually used to describe an infection or disease that can be transmitted from animals to humans.  Some of the most common infections/diseases include the following:

  • Ringworm
  • Hookworms
  • Giardiasis
  • Bacterial infections (salmonella, campylobacter)
  • Cryptosporidosis
  • Rabies
  • Toxoplasmosis

While it’s possible for your fur baby to contract one of these infections/diseases, you can avoid them by taking some simple precautions.

  1. Keep new rescues away from existing fur babies until they are given the all clear from the vet.  This can help prevent spreading of minor illnesses as well as more problematic diseases.
  2. Vaccinations – the most obvious solution, but one that is often inconsistent.  Consult with your veterinarian to ensure vaccinations (and boosters) are given at the appropriate age to keep both you and your fur baby protected.
  3. Wear gloves while cleaning the litter box or picking up after your pup.  While it’s good practice to wash your hands after cleaning up after your fur baby, many of us do not wash our hands long enough, with the appropriate amount of soap, and temperature of water (all of which are important in killing undesirable infections).  Gloves are a great option especially when combined with hand washing!
  4. Don’t let your fur baby mingle with stray or wild animals.  These animals are more likely to carry infections and diseases that can be transferred to your fur baby.  If you do go outside (like the average pup), it’s important to keep up with regular flea and tick treatments.
  5. Keep an eye out for fur loss, scratching, and/or diarrhea.  These are all common signs of various infections/diseases.  If you notice something of concern, try to separate the little one from other fur babies until a vet can diagnose and begin treating the source of the issue.

Seeing this list of infections and diseases can be overwhelming to someone who has never had a fur baby in their home, but rest assured that with proper hygiene and regular vet visits the risk of contracting one of these infections is significantly reduced.  Most people will agree, the benefits of sharing your life with a furry animal is worth the manageable risks.

Has your fur baby ever had a zoonotic infection/disease?  Did you catch it?

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