10 Pet Diseases That Can Get Transmitted to Humans and Precautions That Can Keep You Safe List of pet health problems that can compromise human health. Learn how to treat and prevent these dangerous conditions.

10 Pet Diseases That Can Get Transmitted to Humans and Precautions That Can Keep You Safe

The first step towards keeping your family safe from pet-borne diseases is to know what to look for. In this post, we talk about the pet diseases that can be passed onto humans and the preventive measures that can keep you safe.

Most illnesses that inflict animals cannot get transmitted to humans. But there are some rather harmful infestations and illnesses that you can catch from your pet if you do not take care of their health. Here are some ailments that can harm you as well as your pet and how can you prevent the ailments.


There are various kinds of worms that can infest your pet. Roundworm, ring worm, hookworm, and heartworm are some of the common parasites that can infest your pet. If your pet is infested with worms, then chances are you have them as well. Most worm infestations do not show severe symptoms till the infestation is devastating.

Prevention- Get both your and your petโ€™s stool tested for worms annually. Ask your vet to prescribe worm medicines for your pet. Do not allow your dog to go near excreta of any other animal.

Lyme Disease

Your dog can catch tick fever from ticks. But it is not only your dog that can suffer from tick infestation. If an infected tick bites you, then you can catch Lyme disease.

Prevention- Do not go for walks or hikes near places where there are many wild animals. Treat your pet regularly with tick medication to prevent ticks from hitchhiking on your pets.


Rabies is a deadly disease that mammals can contract from other mammals. The disease is a viral disease that can attack any unvaccinated mammal. From wild bats to domestic dogs, the virus can spread from one mammal to another usually through bites. The spit of the infected animal contains the virus that needs to enter another mammalโ€™s bloodstream to infect them. Wild animals and stray animals are the major rabies carriers in the US.

The virus takes 3-8 weeks to reach the brain through the nervous system. Once infected, an animal can show heightened aggression and other signs of rabies. Frothing at the mouth happens much later after the animal is infected. The virus eventually causes encephalitis that leads to death.

Prevention- The easiest way to prevent your pet from being infected by the rabies virus is to have them vaccinated. If your pet is not vaccinated then catching rabies can be a death sentence since there is a very little scope of recovery. Vaccinating your pet regularly ensures their safety from rabies. Do not let your pets remain unsupervised in open spaces where wild animals might have access.


Leptospirosis is a kind of rare bacterial disease that you can catch from your pets. Farm animals and rodents usually spread the bacteria through their urine. Getting infected with Leptospirosis can be like catching the flu. Both animals and humans show the same symptoms of high temperature, joint aches, headache, and nausea. In most cases, the infection is not fatal if treated. Without treatment, the bacteria can cause death by damaging the lungs, kidneys, and liver.

Prevention- Do not let your pets sniff at or lick any wet patches outdoors. After a walk, wash your dogโ€™s paws well. Wash your hands after taking your dog for a walk. If you have farm animals around your house, keep their enclosures clean.


The giardia parasite can be picked up by your pet by drinking contaminated water. The same parasite can multiply and enter your body from your pets through their saliva. Even if you drink contaminated water, you can catch the parasite. It causes stomach aches, diarrhea, and nausea. Prescription drugs can help recover from this parasite infestation.

Precaution- If you are going out with your pet, carry water from home for your pets. If you leave your pets unsupervised in your yard, leave a fresh water-source for them to drink from.


You do not need to have raw meat to get infected with salmonella. People who keep reptiles or birds as pets can catch salmonella from their droppings. Contracting the disease can lead to severe stomach cramps, vomiting, and fever.

Prevention- While the bacteria may not harm your pet, you might get impacted by it. Wash your hands after interacting with your pets. Wear gloves when cleaning their enclosures.

Cat Scratch Disease

Bartonella henselae germ can infect you if you get scratched or bitten by your cat. A large percentage of the cat population tend to be infected with the germ. You will feel fatigue, nausea, joint pains, exhibit vomiting, diarrhea, rashes, weight loss, and fever.

Prevention- Keep an eye on your cat to spot symptoms of having the germs. If your cat is infected, then they may show signs of fatigue and swollen lymph nodes. Take your cat to the vet to get treated. Even if your cat is not exhibiting symptoms, you can cut your catโ€™s nails short. Do not allow your cat to lick a cut or area with broken skin on your body.


The cat-borne protozoa Toxoplasma gondii can be transmitted through fecal matter. The protozoa do not cause any immediate severe reaction. It slowly makes the immunity, of the infected animal or human, weak. If a mother-to-be is infected, then the protozoa can infect the child in the womb.

Prevention- keep your cats from interacting with stray cats. Do not allow pregnant family members to clean the litter box. Clean the litter box frequently ensuring the protozoa stays out.


Bird droppings can carry the Chlamydia psittaci bacteria that can infect humans as well. The bacteria affects the lungs causing shortness of breath along with a plethora of symptoms like fever, joint aches, and nausea. The disease can be easily treated by taking prescription drugs.

Prevention- Never clean your bird enclosures with bare hands. Cover your mouth and nose when doing your cleaning chores. Use soap or detergent to wash any excreta that your bird might have left anywhere else in your house.


Plague might be the last thing that you can expect to contract from your pets. While epidemics are no longer caused by plague, on an average 10 Americans are treated for plague annually. If you have cats or rodents as pets, then you can get bitten by any flea that is carrying the plague bacteria.

Precautions- You need to keep your cats and rodents free from fleas. Ask for regular flea medication that you can use to keep your house safe from plague.

By taking simple safety precautions, you can ensure a safe and healthy environment for your pet and your family. Regular vet check-ups and vaccinations are essential for the health of your household.

6 Diseases You Can Catch From Your Dog or Cat

 As cuddly as your pet may be, there are a few sicknesses that can spread from felines or canines to humans and it helps to be careful. Any infection that can spread from an animal to a human is referred to as โ€œzoonotic.โ€ Here are the details, and how to protect both your pet and your family from these diseases.

1. Salmonellosis

Salmonellosis in an infection caused by salmonella bacteria; it can infect cats, dogs, and spread to people. Dogs and cats who are immune-compromised, or who are very old or very young, are most at risk of picking up this gastro-intestinal distressing bug.Feeding your pet raw or undercooked meat can cause the infection, or they can catch the disease from another sick animal. If your pet is vomiting or has diarrhea, then thorough cleaning, disinfecting, and hand-washing are all important precautions you can take to prevent the spread of the bacteria.

2. Toxoplasmosis

Toxoplasmosis, a parasite, is problematic for those with compromised immune systems, such as those undergoing chemotherapy. โ€œDonโ€™t clean the

litterbox!โ€ many an obstetrician has told pregnant patients who are cat-parents.Although millions are infected and donโ€™t even know it, Toxoplasmosis is most known to humans due to the increased risk it poses to pregnant women in the form of miscarriage or birth defects to the fetus.RELATED ARTICLE: The Truth About Toxoplasmosis in Cats

3. Cat Scratch Fever

You might have heard of Cat Scratch Fever due to the popularity of the Ted Nugent song by the same name. Also known as

Cat Scratch Disease, Cat Scratch Fever is a bacterial infection transmitted to humans from the saliva of infected cats. While mostly asymptomatic in cats, swollen lymph nodes are the main symptom of the disease in people.Cat Scratch Fever is normally mild and resolves on its own, although itโ€™s possible to experience other symptoms such as a slight fever, fatigue, loss of appetite, headache, rash, sore throat, or general malaise. To keep your cat from being infected, make sure you use a good flea preventative

, since cats catch the disease from fleas.

4. Roundworm

Roundworms are parasites that can infect a dog or catโ€™s intestinal tract and cause malnourishment as the parasites consume the petโ€™s food and block the intestines. Diarrhea is the most common symptom as roundworms latch onto the intestines. When the worms travel through the lungs and throat, dogs and cats can exhibit coughing.If your pet shows symptoms, take them to the vet to get diagnosed and treated with a deworming medication. If transmitted to humans, most cases of roundworm wonโ€™t cause severe symptoms.RELATED ARTICLE: Parasites and Worms in Dogs and Cats

5. Hookworm

Hookworms are intestinal parasites that feed off of your pet's blood. Prevention is easy! Keep your pet on a once-monthly preventative medication like Heartgard to prevent hookworm, heartworm, and other parasites. There are some great treatments out there for hookworms if your dog or cat is already infected.While hookworm in humans is uncommon and generally clears up on its own, it can cause an itchy skin disease called โ€œcreeping eruptionโ€ (ew!)RELATED ARTICLE: How Parasite And Worm Treatment Works

6. Ringworm

Scaly or inflamed circular bald patches on your dog or cat can signal ringworm, which is actually a fungal infection. While itโ€™s not technically serious, ringworm is highly contagious and should be treated immediately to avoid infecting other pets or people.Has your pet ever come down with a yucky infection and then given it to you? Let us know in the comments! Prevent and treat infections by signing up for PetPlus, a benefit program for pet owners that provides member-only access to medications at wholesale prices, plus discounts on food, supplies, vet visits, boarding and more.

5 Diseases That Pets Can Get from People

The Internet is flooded with infections and diseases that pets can give humans and how you can avoid contracting these infections. There are vaccinations and other medications available to protect you and keep you healthy while you care for your pet. However, did you know that you can also make your pet seriously ill?

Diseases and infections your pet can get from you and your friends

  • Ringworm: This is a misnomer, as the infection is caused by a fungus and not a worm. It is a skin infection that is common in both animals and humans. This is one of the few infections that can be passed both ways; you can get ringworm infections from your pet and can also infect your pet with this fungal infection. When you are being treated for ringworm, it is best to stay away from your pet to avoid such a situation.
  • Tuberculosis: Although the transmission is difficult and relatively rare, your pet can be infected with tuberculosis if you have the infection. Often, when a pet shows signs of tuberculosis, the owners are checked for undiagnosed tuberculosis infections.
  • Salmonella: Animals, including pets, usually contract this infection from food. Salmonella is the most common cause of food poisoning and related symptoms. However, pets can also get this infection from being in contact with humans who are infected. If you suspect food poisoning or salmonella infection it is best to keep stay away from your pet till your recover to avoid passing on the infection.
  • Mumps: This is a viral infection that most people today are vaccinated against. However, if you ever come down with mumps, which causes headache, fever, and swelling of salivary glands, ensure that you stay away from your pet. This is probably the most recent discovery of transmission of diseases from humans to animals. The United Kingdom had over 200 cases of such infections among pets, mainly dogs, in the beginning of 2017.
  • Flu or influenza: This is a relatively recent discovery, most types of flu cannot be transmitted by humans to their pets. However, in 2009, doctors diagnosed a pet cat with H1N1 virus. The lady who owned the cat was admitted with an H1N1 infection and, while doctors were treating her, her cat died of pneumonia caused by the same virus. Since then, other pets such as ferrets and dogs have been infected with this virus through contact with humans. Pets display symptoms similar to humans from this virus and may not survive if not treated in time. If you suspect you have the flu, it is best to isolate yourself from your pet till you recover completely.

These are some of the infections that are known to infect animals in contact with infected humans. If you are unwell with anything contagious, it is best to stay away from your pet till your recover.

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