Healthy Pets, Healthy Family: Preventing Zoonotic Disease

Dogs, cats, birds, pocket pets, reptiles, and fish provide our families and us with pleasant company, hours of entertainment, and loyal friendship. With proper care and informed ownership, animal companions make a great addition to just about any household. But did you know that pets can also potentially affect the health of you and yours, and vice versa? The veterinarians of Burloak Animal Hospital understand how pet health and home health are related, and we want to provide you with the knowledge necessary to keep a happy and healthy household for both your family and your pets.

Zoonotic Disease

Perhaps the biggest issue when it comes to human—animal health is that of zoonotic disease. A zoonotic disease (or "zoonosis") is any infection capable of being transmitted from animals to humans. Any type of pet can carry and spread this kind of illness, and the best way to keep zoonotic diseases out of your home is to know where they come from and how to prevent them.

Who’s at Risk?

Zoonotic infections are most easily transmitted to humans with compromised immune systems, including:

It is recommended that any household with family members in these categories take extra care to prevent zoonoses in the home. All pets, especially those spending time outside, need to get their regular wellness exams and vaccinations to ensure that not only they, but also your human family members, stay healthy and happy.

Common Zoonotic Diseases and How to Prevent Them

Chances are you already know of some common zoonotic infections, such as malaria and Lyme disease. Malaria is not a threat in our area, and Lyme disease is a seasonal concern best prevented with regular vaccinations for your pet. The most common zoonotic diseases and how to prevent them are:

Zoonotic Disease Prevention

Preventing a specific zoonotic disease requires making sure conditions where the infection thrives are never created. Since there are a number of common zoonotic diseases out there, it’s best to remember a few general rules that will help keep all animal—human diseases out of your home:

Zoonotic diseases can sound scary, but preventing them is incredibly simple and intuitive. Just follow the easy rules above, keep your family educated, and talk to your veterinarian at Burloak Animal Hospital on a regular basis to keep your household healthy.

For more information, please contact us.