Some diseases and infections can pass from animals to people. Pet owners need to look after their animals and make sure their animals are clean and healthy.
Pet owners shouldn't let their animals sleep on their beds or even in their bedroom.
Infections and diseases
Many households keep one or more pets. Cats and dogs are the most common pets.
Pet owners need to be careful with their own hygiene around pets. Domestic animals can pass some diseases and infections to people, although this rarely occurs.
Diseases which can pass from animal to people include:
- ringworm - a fungal infection of the skin that can be passed on from dogs, cats and hamsters - people who work with animals are more prone to the infection
- toxocariasis: an infection caused by worms found in dog and cat faeces
- toxoplasmosis - caused by a parasite found in cat faeces - it can also be found in undercooked and infected meat and can be spread by using contaminated kitchen utensils
The most common way to get an infection from an animal is by being bitten, or by close contact with its faeces.
Caring for your pets
For tips and how to take care of pets and understand more about the rules of owning a pet in Northern Ireland, follow the link below. It covers dogs, cats, rabbits, birds, chickens, horses and more: