Dear Porky and Buddy,
Here’s a question that has been “bugging” me, if you know what I mean. Is it OK to kiss your pets? Really. I do sometimes, not a big slobbery kiss, but a little smooch on the snout of my adorable black lab, Miranda, and sometimes she gives me a little lick that I would consider a kiss. Is there any harm in it? My girlfriend is totally grossed out by it and insists that I should not be doing it at all. She thinks I’m going to get diseases or parasites or worms or whatever and we argue all the time. What do you think?
You’re asking the wrong question. Not should I kiss Miranda? Rather, what do I need to do to make sure that I don’t catch anything from her?
This is a fact.
Pets sometimes carry germs that can make people sick. The diseases people get from animals are known as zoonotic (zoe-oh-NOT-ic) diseases.
It’s not always easy to tell whether our pets could be carrying zoonotic diseases, especially since animals carrying these germs often look perfectly healthy.
So we went to our friends at the Center for Disease Control for advice.
Here are some tips that can help you and your pets stay healthy:
Take Miranda to your veterinarian on a regular basis so she stays in good health. And follow your vet’s advice about flea and parasite control, or the treatment of any emerging conditions.
Practice good hygiene around Miranda so she doesn’t unintentionally pass germs to you.
The most important thing? Hand-washing. Just as you can avoid a lot of people diseases, you can also avoid a lot of potential pet diseases by simple regular and thorough hand washing after you and Miranda have had one of your make-out sessions (or whatever they are).
And finally, learn about diseases that different types of pets can spread – just in case. There is great information on the CDC website at www.cdc.gov/healthypets/
One last thought – the same kinds of issues can happen with people to people contact. But, no one suggests that we avoid all contact with all other people for our health!
How healthy would that be?
So have fun with Miranda; be reasonable and safe, and maybe look for a new girlfriend. We’re just sayin’.
The Oswego County Humane Society has moved to a new location, 29 W. Seneca St., in Oswego.
Watch for the announcement about our open house.
OCHS provides spay/neuter services and assistance, fostering and adoption of animals in urgent need, humane education programs, and information and referrals to animal lovers throughout Oswego County.
Now located at 29 W. Seneca St., Oswego, NY.
Phone: (315) 207-1070.
Email: [email protected]
Because People and Pets Are Good for Each Other.