Our pets are considered to be some of our closest loved ones, and some of them are quite affectionate. Receiving puppy kisses or experiencing your cat grooming your arm can be signs of true companionship and adoration; however, many of us wonder how many germs have the potential of being transmitted through our animals to us. Most of the nation has a dog or cat in the home, and we tend to love them like our own. It is important to keep in mind, however, that cats and dogs as well as other household pets and animals, have the potential to spread serious illnesses and diseases to humans, and this can happen in a number of ways. Much like humans spreading germs to other humans, transmitting illnesses through saliva is common; however, cats and dogs can also spread germs through biting, scratching, transferring illnesses through their feces, or bringing bugs like fleas or ticks into your home that spread illnesses themselves. The good news is that most of these issues can be prevented rather easily. Here are a few tips on how to prevent infections from your pets:
Just like we need to go to the doctor to maintain our health regularly—usually at least once a year—a veterinarian should also see our animal companions at least once a year. Early detection of possibly infectious issues is critical; by bringing your pet to a yearly appointment, your veterinarian can give your animal a general check-up that can act as a prevention method for infections, catching a health concern before it becomes a serious hazard to both you and your pet’s health. Annual vet visits are also a good way to keep an eye on your pet’s overall health and stay on top of vaccinations. Pet vaccinations are another component of infection prevention on their own.
Vaccinations for diseases like rabies and rubella are mandatory for all household pets, and pet owners should be sure to have vaccinations performed before they come into contact with any other people or animals. For instance, if you like to bring your dog to the local dog park, be sure to have him or her vaccinated prior—otherwise they could potentially spread or contract rabies, as not all pet owners necessarily keep up on their animal’s health. Although not technically a “vaccination,” flea and tick prevention methods are also critical to keep your animal healthy and disease-free. Fleas and ticks can carry harmful and even deadly diseases such as Lyme disease—it’s especially important to stay on top of flea and tick prevention if you live in areas with a lot of grass, shrubbery, or trees.
Animals often clean themselves, which raises questions about their saliva contents. Animal saliva can contain feces, which could carry intestinal worm eggs, toxoplasma, or salmonella. It is also possible to catch rabies from an unvaccinated animal through their saliva. If your pet is especially affectionate, there are things you can do to eliminate the risk of spreading illness by promptly picking up their poop and washing your hands immediately after; some may even be willing to “tidy up” after your pet with a wet towel. Furthermore, you should wash bites and scratches thoroughly, keeping an eye out for any adverse symptoms.
At Dr. Ron’s Animal Hospital & Emergency, we are proud to offer a range of services for our clients. We love animals just as much as you do, and it is our goal to help maintain their health with preventive medicine and genuine care. We provide the Simi Valley, Moorpark, Chatsworth, and surrounding areas with unparalleled ongoing customer service and emergency response. Bedside manner isn’t just important for humans, but for our animals as well; we treat every animal that enters our clinic as if they were our own beloved pets. Keeping your animals healthy will significantly reduce the risk of spreading infections. To prevent the transference of illness or diseases, we offer: vaccinations, yearly exams, flea and tick medication, parasite detection, immunizations, and an array of other services including general pet health information and preventive strategies. For a tour of our clinic or to schedule an annual wellness exam for your pet, contact our office; we look forward to welcoming you and your pet as a part of our family.