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PETurbed: Unleashing The Truth About Spreading Illnesses From Animals to People

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By Mia Bolaris-Forget

How can you resist snuggling up with snuggles bunny or getting a big wet kiss from your petite pooch. But before engaging in PDAs (pet displays of affection) you may want to consider that many of these innocent exchanges of affection may pose a potential health risk (to you and your family).

Professionals point out that when animals and people share such “special” interactions,
They also share germs. While catching a serious illness is rare and highly unlikely, less serious ailments contracted from animals (or zoonoses) are however quite common.

Some simple suggestions for staying disease free:

1. Thoroughly cleanse hands after touching, playing with or feeding an animal.

2. Make sure children wash their hands after a romp in the sand or dirt, and make sure they don’t handle food with their dirty hands or put their fingers in their mouth.

3. Avoid stray, strange or wild animals

4. Monitor animal scratches or see a doctor immediately. Make sure children tell you right away if they’ve been scratched by an animal, even your own.

5. Always have children ask the owner’s permission prior to petting a pet.

6. Don’t allow animals to lick your face or mouth.

7. Acquire your pets from a reputable source.

8. Always clean up after your pet. Do not let dirty dishes or litter boxes linger. Make sure to change water and food frequently, and wash bowls out thoroughly each time you do.

9. Maintain a detailed and adequate up-to-date history of your pet’s vet visits, vaccinations and health record. Also make sure to adhere to regular checkups for your pet.

10. Train your pet not to scratch or bite people. Don’t let cats play with your hands, use toys and “props” instead.

11. Avoid making wild animals family pets.

12. Carefully track and supervise your pet’s contact with other animals, especially strays and unfamiliar ones.

Long Island Safety Articles > PETurbed: Unleashing The Truth About Spreading Illnesses From Animals to People

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