Pets are great companions. They are comforting, fun, and loyal. However, pets can carry diseases that make us sick. Examples include cat-scratch fever, giardia, and tapeworms. Here are some tips on preventing animal-borne infections.
- Wash any bite or scratch wounds your pet gives you. It’s best to socialize pets with people to reduce the chances of this happening, but sometimes pets will slip up. Keep an eye on these areas for swelling and redness.
- Keep pets vaccinated against diseases such as rabies.
- Do not touch pet feces with bare hands: Pet feces carry all kinds of harmful bacteria. When handling it, wear gloves or have covering between your bare skin and the poop. For extra precaution, wash your hands afterward.
- Wash your hands after handling soil or gardening in areas where animals may have used the bathroom.
- If pregnant, get someone else to clean out your cat’s litterbox. Pregnant women are more at risk for getting certain parasites carried by cat feces. These parasites can also be passed onto developing fetuses.
Preventing animal-borne infections comes down to two principles. They are good personal hygiene and good veterinary care.