Owning a pet can be a wonderful, rewarding experience for you and your family. However, pets can transmit diseases that may be harmful to humans – especially young children and people with certain medical conditions. These are called zoonotic diseases or zoonoses (pronounced zoo-NO-sees).
There are two types of zoonotic diseases that concern pet owners: illnesses that can be transmitted from animals to humans – like leptospirosis – and diseases that infect both people and pets – like Lyme disease. That’s why it’s important to take precautions to protect both your family and your pet from zoonotic diseases.
You share many things with your pet, but disease shouldn't be one of them.
- Wash your hands well after contact with an animal.
- Do not allow children to put dirt in their mouths.
- Pick up dog and cat waste from your yard daily, especially in areas where both children and animals play.
- Cover home sandboxes to protect them from fecal contamination.
- Have your pet tested regularly (at least once a year) for parasites by a veterinarian and administer year-round preventive medications to control zoonotic parasites.
Pregnancy and Immune-Deficiency Precautions
- Wash your hands well after any exposure to soil (gardening), sandboxes and raw meat.
- Eat only well-cooked meat.
- Wash fresh fruits and vegetables to eliminate contamination.
- Have a spouse, partner or friend change the litter box. If changing the litter is unavoidable, change it daily. Be certain to wash hands well after changing the litter.
- Supervise infants sitting on the ground or on the floor. Do not allow them to eat dirt or food that has fallen.
- Pick up dog and cat feces from the yard daily.
- Cover sandboxes and play areas to prevent wildlife and strays from contaminating these areas.
- Take your pet to the veterinarian regularly and have your pet tested for parasites at least yearly.
- Deworm your cat or dog per your veterinarian’s recommendations.
- Administer year-round products to help control Toxocara infections and other products as directed by your veterinarian to control other parasites.
PDF downloaded Phamplets from the CAPC
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