How to Protect Your Pet and Your Family

Ways to Protect Your Family from Zoonotic Diseases

  • Wash your hands with soap and water after touching, playing with or caring for pets.
  • Never touch the stool of any animal without wearing disposable gloves or using a plastic barrier.
  • Avoid kissing your pet or letting your pet lick your face.
  • Do daily “tick checks” on yourself, your kids and your pet. If you find a tick, use tweezers to slowly pull it out. After removing the tick, immerse the tick in rubbing alcohol. Wash the wound with antiseptic and your hands with soap and water.
  • If you are pregnant, ask someone else in the family to clean the cat’s litter box. If you must do it yourself, wear gloves and immediately wash your hands after changing the litter.
  • Wash your hands after gardening or working in soil where pets may have relieved themselves.
  • If you are scratched or bitten, wash the area with soap and water right away and contact your health care professional.
  • See your veterinarian and make sure your pet is protected against zoonoses and other disease threats in your area.

Ways to Protect Your Pet from Zoonotic Diseases

Many zoonotic diseases can be prevented by vaccination. Vaccines are now available for leptospirosis, Lyme disease, rabies and giardia.

In addition, twice-a-year wellness exams performed by your veterinarian can help detect and treat zoonotic infections before they become serious or are transmitted to other pets or people in your household.

Don’t forget to take these other steps to protect your pet:

  • Ask your veterinarian about tick and flea control
  • Brush and inspect your pet for ticks after each outing
  • Don’t let your pet drink from standing water outdoors
  • Don’t let your pet come into contact with feces or urine of other animals
  • Remove food, garbage or nesting materials that may attract disease-carrying wildlife

For more information about zoonotic disease protection for your family and your pet, contact your veterinarian and visit


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