Don’t let pets pass on bugsBy Laura Herbert
February 27, 2009
Owning a pet is one of life’s pleasures and can be good for children and adults.
Pet owners have a reduced risk of heart disease and tend to visit the doctor less often with other illnesses. Stroking a pet can aid stress relief and caring for a pet helps children to learn nurturing skills.
However, people are sometimes worried they may pick up diseases from pets. This does not happen very often, it is more common for illness to be passed on from another human, but keeping your pets healthy is an important precaution.
Washing your hands after handling animals is the most significant safety measure you can take.
Clean hands thoroughly after gardening or playing in sandpits or on ground where animals may have been, to minimise the chance of infection by worm eggs or germs shed in faeces.
Intestinal worms in cats and dogs are easily prevented by regular worming – it is best to consult your veterinary nurse to ensure you choose an effective product.
Fleas are also a nasty parasite affecting both animals and their owners. Again, follow veterinary advice when buying flea products and keep up-to-date with applications.
Do not allow cats or dogs to lick or rub against your face as some causes of colds, flu and conjunctivitis in cats can very occasionally be passed on to people.
A minority of healthy animals do carry some of the common bugs that cause food poisoning and these can be transmitted in the faeces.
Again, it is always sensible to wash hands after picking up after your dog or cleaning litter trays.
Remember, you are much less likely to pick up infection from a healthy pet, so ask your veterinary nurse for advice on preventative healthcare and make sure you pop in for regular check ups.
During March, take advantage of Castle Vets special offer on wormers – get four doses for the price of three.
Call Castle Vets on (0118) 957 4488 or visit www.castle-vets.co.uk.