Pets can help manage loneliness and depression by giving us companionship.Most households in the United States have at least one pet.
Pets can help manage loneliness and depression by giving us companionship.
The diseases people get from animals are called zoonotic (zoe-oh-NOT-ic) diseases.
Below are some tips to help you and your family stay healthy while enjoying pets.
Ask yourself these questions before getting a pet: Children 5 years of age and younger, people with weakened immune systems, and people 65 years of age and older are more likely to get diseases spread between animals and people (also known as zoonotic diseases).
Pregnant women are also at a higher risk for certain animal-related diseases.
Remember, pregnant women should avoid changing a cat’s litter box if possible.
Pets can teach children compassion and responsibility.Don’t let children kiss pets or put their hands or other objects in their mouths after handling animals.Adults should supervise and be extra cautious when children 5 years of age and younger have direct contact with farm animals, including animals at petting zoos and fairs.Before getting a new pet, keep the following in mind: Whether you are playing with, feeding, or cleaning up after your pet, it is important to wash your hands to help reduce the risk of getting sick from germs pets can carry.If you or a family member are concerned about illness, talk to a doctor and mention the animals you’ve had contact with recently. They can increase opportunities to exercise, get outside, and socialize.Regular walking or playing with pets can decrease blood pressure, cholesterol levels, and triglyceride levels.Keep up with your pet’s vaccines, deworming, and flea and tick control.Some pets can carry ticks that can spread serious diseases like Lyme disease and Rocky Mountain spotted fever to people.Keep pets and their supplies out of the kitchen, and disinfect pet habitats and supplies outside the house when possible.Never clean supplies in the kitchen sink, food preparation areas, or the bathroom sink.