Sometimes our dogs become sick with a stomach virus, which is a rough time for everyone involved. Have you ever wondered whether you can catch that stomach virus from your pet? You’d think you wouldn’t be able to, considering that you and your dog are different species, but the truth is that we humans are susceptible! The more we learn about pathogens that we are at risk of catching from our dogs, the more we are able to prevent the transmission of illness!
Dogs and Human Norovirus
Back in 2012, a study coming from Finland found that dogs can carry and transmit the human norovirus. What is the norovirus? This virus is the top cause of stomach flu in people and affects roughly 23 million in the U.S. alone each year. While the stomach flu resulting from this virus is generally mild (but still not fun), in rare cases, it can be fatal.
So, your dog can pass on this stomach virus to you. However, it’s still much more common to get this from other people rather than your pet. So, be careful if your dog ever comes down with this virus, but don’t panic about catching it.
What Other Illnesses Can I Get from My Dog?
There are other illnesses you can contract from your dog — those known as zoonotic diseases. Zoonotic diseases (or zoonoses) are diseases that are transmissible between different species, in this particular case, from animals to humans. Some of them can be deadly (rabies, for example, hence the extreme importance of vaccination). So, what else are we at possible risk of catching from dogs? Zoonotic diseases include:
What Can I Do to Prevent Catching Something from My Dog?
You can reduce the risk of getting an illness from your pet with a few simple steps. What do these include?
A lot of these are basic everyday hygiene tactics you do already. But sometimes, our pet does something like lick our hand, and then we get busy and forget to wash it before eating an hour later. As long as you’re vigilant and keep things clean, you should be okay.
You can catch stomach viruses (and many other diseases) from your dog, especially if you are immunocompromised. And there are lots you can do to lessen your risk, such as keeping yourself and your pet’s things clean and keeping on top of their health.
Featured Image Credit by Leka Sergeeva, Shutterstock