How Getting a Pet Can Take A Toll on Your Health


Portrait of a dog
Pets are our great friends. They can be good listeners, and they often do a lot to offer to us regardless of the situation and mood we are in. However, like us, they can get ill, and carry lots of infection. And when there is a pet around us suffering from some infection, we are at risk of suffering from that infection as well. In short, our pets can take a toll on our health, and hence we must take proper care to avoid such situations.

Can all pet germs really make us sick? Yep, that can be said in a word.

How A Pet Spreads Infections

Our pets get a number of illnesses, such as, heartworms, feline leukemia, and FIV, and we know that these illnesses cannot be transmitted to us. But a pet carries some parasites, bacteria, fungi, and viruses that are quite able to infect us as well.

Infections that are carried by pets can be quite dangerous for pregnant women, babies, elderly people, as well as individuals whose immune systems are weakened by sickness or disease (like AIDS, Cancer, etc).

Zoonoses are infections which can be passed on to human body from the pets. We can get zoonoses if we are bitten or scratched by our pets. However, the even more worrying thing is that we may have fall prey to such infections even when coming into contact with a pet’s waste products, saliva, or even flakes from feathers, skin or hair.

There may be ticks and fleas in a pet’s fur, and those insects carry diseases, such as Rocky Mountain spotted fever or Lyme, and that can make us sick.

English bulldog puppies
Don’t Sleep with A Pet

Research suggests that sleeping with dogs in the same bed can make us sick.  Researchers say, among the 250 identified diseases that are able to transmit to humans from animals, more than 100 diseases come from our domestic animals.

Bruno Chomel, a professor in the University of California school of veterinary medicine said that in a lot of countries, some people also look upon pets as a substitute to a child, that may lead to too much attachment to them and a type of behavior that one would usually only have towards his child.

He also added that pets shouldn’t be allowed to sleep beside us or visit the personal places of the home.

Chagas disease is one of the most serious diseases that pet lovers are prone to while snuggling up to a pet, and it can cause heart and digestive system disorders which can even be life-threatening.

Be Careful During Your Pregnancy

Sometimes a pet can shed too much fur, and there could be risk of a respiratory infection at the time of your pregnancy that is able to harm the fetus. When you clean the litter of a pet, particularly a cat or a dog, chances of being infected with toxoplasmosis (a severe infection) is increased. If you get an infection, there are chances that the infection may be passed on to your baby, which may even result in the possibility of a stillbirth, or even a miscarriage. In case you want to avoid such a situation, make sure that you take your pet to a (veterinary) doctor before you plan your pregnancy.