Guarding Your Well-being: Essential Knowledge on Diseases Transmitted by Pets

Zoonotic diseases, which are illnesses that can be transmitted from pets to people, are more common than you may realize. Even if your pet appears healthy, they can carry transmissible conditions. To safeguard yourself from contracting various illnesses, it’s crucial to stay informed about your pet’s preventive care.

How can my pet transmit diseases to me?

Pets can transmit germs to people through various means, including:

  • Direct contact — Coming into direct contact with an infected pet’s saliva, blood, urine, feces, or other bodily fluids can result in disease transmission. For instance, if you clean up your pet’s accident indoors or if they lick a sore on your leg, you are at risk of contracting an illness.
  • Indirect contact — Indirect disease transmission occurs when you come into contact with something that an infected pet has contaminated. For example, if a stray cat uses your child’s sandbox as a litter box, and your child plays in it afterward, they may contract a roundworm infection.
  • Vectors — Vectors such as ticks and fleas can be attracted to your pet and carry disease-causing agents indoors, potentially biting and transmitting diseases to you.
  • Food — Consuming undercooked meat or eggs, as well as raw fruits and vegetables contaminated with feces from an infected pet, is a common cause of foodborne illnesses in both humans and their pets.
  • Water — Drinking or coming into contact with water contaminated with feces or urine can lead to the transmission of diseases like giardia or leptospirosis.

Which diseases can I contract from my pet?

Pets can transmit numerous illnesses to humans, including:

  • Bacteria (leptospirosis, salmonella, E. coli, tick-borne diseases, cat scratch disease)
  • Viruses (rabies)
  • Fungi (ringworm)
  • Intestinal parasites (roundworms, hookworms, tapeworms, giardia, toxoplasma)
  • External parasites (scabies, fleas, ticks)

While this list is not exhaustive, it highlights the importance of practicing good hygiene when handling your pet, their waste, and their belongings to prevent disease transmission.

To protect everyone in your household, both the two- and four-legged members, regular preventive care is paramount. We recommend scheduling a preventive care visit for your pet with our team to ensure the safety and well-being of everyone. Contact us today to keep your entire family safe and healthy.