Everyone loves their cuddly companions and the joy they bring into their lives. There are many health benefits to owning a pet: they provide opportunities to get exercise and be social with other pet owners, and have even been proven to help those who suffer from anxiety and depression. However, pets can carry different germs that may be harmful to humans, so it’s important to take certain precautions when choosing and caring for your pet.
Before getting a new pet, learn about the specific animal you want to determine which animal will fit your family’s needs. The Center for Disease Control offers several guidelines to consider. For example, children under the age of 5 should not have pets such as reptiles (turtles, lizards), amphibians (frogs), or backyard poultry because of the risk of their germs spreading to young children.
Pregnant women should also take certain precautions; cats can carry a parasite that can cause birth defects, so getting a new cat should be avoided. If you already have a cat, have someone else in your house change the cat litter throughout your pregnancy. Expecting mothers should also avoid pet rodents, as they can carry and spread a harmful virus.
Staying healthy around your pets is also very important. After playing with, cleaning, or feeding your pet, make sure to wash your hands. And just like humans, domestic animals need a check-up every year – taking them to the vet regularly helps to keep them bright-eyed and bushy-tailed.
It is also imperative to practice good pet hygiene, such as keeping their supplies (brushes, toys, litter boxes) clean. Another critical part of pet safety is teaching children how to interact with animals. Young children should be supervised when playing with an animal to make sure both the child and animal are safe. Children should not kiss the animals and should wash their hands when they are done.
These tips will help you and your pet stay healthy and safe so you can enjoy the many benefits of pet ownership!