Thursday, January 13, 2011

Seven ways to avoid pet germs

Reduces your chances of getting sick from your pets by taking these simple precautions:

1. According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, handing washing is the most important means of preventing the spread of infecion. After a dog walk , wash you hands with hot water and antibacterial soap. Learn how to best wash your hands here.

2. Wear gloves when cleaning the litter box.
Toxoplasmosis is an infection caused by a parasite that may be carried in cat feces. Humans may become infected with this parasite through incidental ingestion of cat feces, which can happen by touching their hand to their mouth after cleaning the litter box and before washing their hands. However, pregnant or nursing women, and those individuals with compromised immune systems are at increased risk and should avoid cleaning or changing the litter box whenever possible. If these individuals must clean or change the litter box, we strongly advise that they wear gloves and thoroughly wash their hands with soap and water after completing the chore.

3. Avoid sleeping in bed with your dog or cat.
In fact, a study by Dr. Kate Stenske, a clinical assistant professor at Kansas State's College of Veterinary Medicine, found that dog owners who sleep with their pets or allow them to lick their face are no more likely to be exposed to E. coli from their pet than pet owners who banish their dogs to the floor. But while disease-causing germs are not a big concern, odors and dirt in general are. Moreover, a Mayo Clinic study reports that owners who sleep with their dogs do not have a restful night sleep. Purchase a pet bed to have a healthier night's sleep.

4. You might love your pet, but don't kiss him on the mouth.
Dog mouths are teeming with germs like salmonella, campylobacter, and cryptosporidium. These germs get into a dog's mouth from eating spoiled food from the street or when he uses his tongue as toilet paper. Moreover, a canine kiss carries these germs from pooch to person.

5. Discourage your pet from snuzzling or licking family members face and/or hands.
It is well known that diseases can be shared between dogs and people - about 75% of emerging diseases are zoonotic, meaning they are transferable between humans and other animals. Ringworm spores can lurk on a dog's coat or muzzle. Every year, an estimated two million cases are reported of the transmission of ringworm from pets to people. To prevent ringworm, one of the most common infections dogs pass to people, wash up after a session of heavy pettting.

6. Discourage your cat from jumping up and walking on your kitchen counters.
Helicobacter pylori, an organism found in cats, can cause gastric ulcers in humans. It has been suggested that it may be transmitted to humans if a cat walks across a food preparation area which is then not disinfected before food is next prepared on it. Simple hygiene, including keeping cats off of counters, is recommended though it isn't known what percentage of cats carry helicobacter.

7. Stop pets from drinking out the toilet.
Bathrooms and especially toilets are havens for germs, bacteria and viruses to gather. To neutralize the germs, bacteria and viruses, the majority of cleansers we use contain toxic chemicals which can cause a variety of health problems for your pet if ingested. To avoid pet health problems, keep toilet lids down.

No comments: