Chihuahua Wrapped UpThe question of whether you can “catch” a disease or illness from your pet is an old one.

The confusion seems to lie in the fact that the answer is Yes … and No … It depends. Confusing, right? Let’s clear some of it up right now.

Don’t Worry About It — You Won’t Catch it!

Pets sometimes have animal-only diseases and illnesses. That can be great news for pet parents and siblings. Their coughs and colds don’t transmit to humans and we don’t have to worry about giving our runny noses to them.

Heartworms. These can cause great harm to your animals, but they cannot be transmitted to you. Make sure your pet is on the correct preventative medicine.

Kennel cough. This is a highly contagious — and severe — infection in canines, but it can’t be passed to humans.

But You and Your Pet Can Both Transmit…

Rabies. That’s the biggie, of course. The only way to ensure your pet doesn’t contract rabies is by keeping their vaccination up-to-date. Without that, they are susceptible. In turn, that puts you in the danger zone as well. So no matter what you do, make sure you protect your pet and your family.

Lice. You probably haven’t thought of your pet even being able to have lice himself, let alone pass it on to you or your family. In fact, it can be very dangerous for your fur kid to have those itchy little critters; much more so than to people.

Scabies. This is something that can cause some serious itching and hair loss in humans. If your pet (most likely your dog) has scabies, be sure to get it treated as soon as possible to avoid spreading this extremely contagious condition.

Time to Change the Kitty Litter!

If you’re a cat owner, take extra precaution Cool Gray Catwhile changing out the kitty litter. Pregnant women are susceptible to toxoplasmosis, which is very dangerous for their unborn babies. It’s a parasite that can severely harm the unborn fetus. It is also harmful to those with weak immune systems.

How You Can Avoid Most Illnesses

Many illnesses that humans tend to pick up from their beloved animals come from handling their feces. Yum, right? As a pet owner, it’s part of the job! It’s just important to be safe while cleaning up after him. Washing your hands after doing anything with their stool is imperative.

While you and your sweet dog or cat might want to share everything together, it’s a good thing you can’t!