Pets and Your Health

Pets are a wonderful addition to the family.  They provide unconditional love, playmates for kids, companionship, they're great listeners and they can be a great source of exercise. 

In 2004 a survey of 1,238 pet owners in the United States and Canada conducted by the American Animal Hospital Association (AAHA) reveals that pet owners are pampering their pets now more than ever. The results indicate that pets are getting preferential treatment as they become more important as members of the household. Of the survey respondents:

82 percent think of their pet more than once while they are away from him or her during the day.
53 percent are spending more on their pets now than they did three years ago.
If they were deserted on an island and could choose only one companion, 50 percent would pick a dog or cat rather than a human.
93 percent are likely to risk their own life for their pet, while 64 percent of owners would expect their pet to come to their rescue if they were in distress.
When traveling without their pet, 61 percent leave their pet in the care of friends or family.
55 percent have an emergency preparedness plan that includes their pet in case of natural disasters such as fire, flood or earthquake.
94 percent think their pet has human-like personality traits, such as being emotional or sensitive, outgoing, inquisitive or stubborn.
94 percent take their pet for regular veterinary checkups to ensure their pet's quality of life.

It is easy to forget that pets are still animals that can carry disease...and sometimes pass disease on to us.  There are a variety of zoonotic infections that pet owners should be aware of.  Please see click on the following links for more information.

The Center for Disease Control (CDC):  Dog information

The Center for Disease Control (CDC):  Cat information

The Center for Disease Control (CDC):  Bird information

The Center for Disease Control (CDC):  Pocket Pet information

The Center for Disease Control (CDC):  Reptile information