Diseases transmissible to humans
Some diseases are catchy.
You share your daily life with a pet who, of course, is a different type of living being from you, but did you know that they can have the same type of illnesses as human… and vice versa? In fact, vertebrate animals actually transmit almost three quarters of the diseases and infections that affect us. Surprising, isn’t it? There’s been so much in the media about disease transmitted by beef, poultry or pork. Who among us hasn’t worried about bird flu? The risks are real. And neither you nor your pet is immune. For example, certainly you’ve heard about rabies, or psittacosis (sometimes called parrot fever or ornithosis), but there are also many other illnesses transmissible from animal to human. We call them zoonoses, and they are caused by bacteria, viruses, fungi, or parasites.
How can your pet contaminate you?
Obviously, you’ll have a bit of difficulty training your pet to cover their muzzle with their paw when they sneeze! Just remember to increase hygiene around a sick animal.
Protect your family.
Good hygiene will help you avoid zoonoses. Washing your hands frequently with soap and water is just one preventive measure. But do you have to wash your hands each time you touch something your dog or cat has had in their mouth? Well, if you’re playing together in the park, it might be a little hard to stop every few minutes and find a way to wash your hands! Just use common sense. And if you have children, this is a wonderful opportunity to educate them on the importance of practising good hygiene.
That being said, and for all these reasons, you must be scrupulous with your hygiene when preparing food. This is a good opportunity to teach your kids not to feed the family pet during meals. And finally, for your pet’s wellbeing as well as your own, your family vet will be happy to administer a regular deworming in addition to anti flea and tick treatments. Your vet will advise you as to the frequency of these treatments, depending on the age of your pet.