In many homes, pets are members of the family. But just like people, pets carry germs in and on their bodies. One of the most important ways you can reduce risk is by making sure your pets are fully immunized, and treated regularly for fleas, ticks, intestinal worms, and other parasites. There are also specific cleaning tips you can follow to keep your pet-friendly home healthy.
Cleaning Tips with Pets in the Home
- Wash your hands after touching animals or associated toys, leashes, blankets, bedding, etc.
- Make sure pets have their own feeding dishes and utensils that you clean separately from other household items. Disinfect them regularly and rinse them thoroughly before re-use.
- Regularly clean and disinfect floors and feeding areas used by pets, and never allow pets onto food preparation surfaces. Rinse cleaned items thoroughly with water before reusing them, as some cleaning products may be toxic to animals. (Read the label.)
- Immediately clean and disinfect any surface contaminated with animal excretions.
- Don't clean pet cages and tanks in your kitchen sink. Use a bucket if necessary.
- Do not let your pet share your plate or lick your face.
- Check your pet regularly for signs of ill health and keep claws trimmed to reduce the risk of scratches. If your pet becomes ill, take it to a vet immediately.
- Health Alert: Pregnant women should not change or handle cat litter. This can put them at risk for toxoplasmosis, an infection caused by a parasite called Toxoplasma Gondii that can cause serious problems for an unborn baby.
For more about pets and their role in a safe and healthy home, see Pet Allergies and Pets and Your New Baby..