Things Not to Share With Fido
There are a lot of things that I like to share with my dogs. I share my bed, my couch, my love, my snuggles, my snacks, and my time with them on a daily basis. For an only child, I really figured out this sharing concept pretty well! There are somethings that I do not want to share with my dogs or my dogs to share with me if I’m being more precise (or anyone else’s dogs for that matter). There are more than just a handful of pathogens, bacteria, parasites, and viruses that are zoonotic and can be spread from dog to human.
Many of the zoonotic transmissions are through contact with fecal matter so having good hygiene can prevent a lot of the potential problems. Washing your hands with soap and hot water after waste clean up or using hand santizers if you are out on a walk can be very helpful as well, especially if your dog is known to have one of the issues. Here is a list of just some of the yucky things that dogs can share with us.
Quite a few intestinal l parasites can be transmitted from canine to humans–all of them are transmitted through contact with fecal matter. This could mean while picking up poop, or maybe you came in contact with trace amounts while at the dog park on your shoe which happens to get on your hand when you take your shoes off or retie your shoe laces.
Roundworms–dogs can get these by eating grass or playing with toys in an area where another dog with roundworms has pooped.
Tapeworms–this is a worm that is primarily transmitted from flea to dog (if a dog had a flea issue, it’s wise to give them a deworming treatment afterwards to prevent an issue).
Hookworms–Dogs can get these from just walking through an area infected with larvae.
Giardia–this is a little protozoan that contaminates water, dogs can easily become contaminated by walking through wet grass or puddles and then licking their feet.
Ringworm–contrary to the name, this is actually a fungus and not a worm. This is a highly contagious fungus that is transmitted through skin to skin contact.
All of these diseases initially start from bacteria from a tick that attaches to an animal. Transmission of these diseases is through blood to blood contact so it’s not necessarily easily spread dog to human but it’s definitely possible (humans can also get these directly from ticks). Since the transmission is all the same, I’m just going to list the major diseases.
Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever
Skin, or broken skin, pathogens are spread from skin to skin contact or skin to broken skin contact.
MRSA (Methicillin Resistant Staphylococcus Aureus)–this is a seriously concerning bacterial infection that is transmitted from skin to skin via open wounds. Dogs can either just carry the bacteria (Staphylococcus Aureus) or they can themselves become infected. MRSA is a big issues in hospitals because it is so easily passed from person to person and, like the name suggests, is resistant to some types of antibiotics. It is my understanding that normal Staphylococcus Aureus can also be passed from dog to human though most resources only list MRSA.
Yeast–some strains of yeast can infect open wounds from skin to skin contact.
Most bacterial infections are transmitted from either fecal or urine contact.
Salmonella–this is the same bacteria we can find in contaminated food. Dogs often shed salmonella in their fecal matter so it can be transmitted through contaminated waste.
Leptospirosis–this is a bacteria that is spread through the urine of infected animals and can make its way into water sources. It is transmitted primarily through urine.
Rabies–this is the most common viral disease transmitted from dog to human. It is transmitted through the saliva of an infected dog by a bite to a human. Rabies is a serious virus but has been reduced significantly in the US through wide-spread vaccination laws.