Pet Safety

CURE, Winter 2011, Volume 10, Issue 4

For individuals whose immune systems are weakened, animals can pose a potential infection risk.

For individuals whose immune systems are weakened, animals can pose a potential infection risk. Discuss any concerns with a physician. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention also provides some general guidelines:

> Before getting a pet, ideally one older than 6 months, make sure it gets a full checkup.

> Always wash hands with soap and water after playing with a pet.

> Don’t touch an animal that has diarrhea.

> Ideally, ask someone else to change a cat’s litter box. If that’s not feasible, wear gloves and wash hands thoroughly afterward.

> Keep pet nails clipped to guard against scratching.

> Clean any scratches immediately with soap and water.

For specifics on individual animals, visit cdc.gov/healthypets/browse_by_animal.htm.