Can My Dog Transmit A Zoonotic Disease To Me?

Zoonosis are animal diseases or infections that can be transferred to humans. Both domestic and wild animals, including your pet dog and cat, are capable of transmitting diseases to you. Others include birds, horses, cows, sheep, goats, and rabbits.

What diseases or infections can these animals transmit? Some examples of zoonotic diseases are influenza, Salmonellosis, West Nile virus, Plague, emerging coronaviruses (e.g., severe acute respiratory syndrome and Middle East respiratory syndrome), rabies, brucellosis, and Lyme disease. The only way to avoid zoonotic disease is to follow basic and proper hygiene principles, washing your hands after rubbing your pet, bathing your pet and having their correct vaccines administered to them by your veterinarian.

READ ALSO: 3 Deadly Infections That Can Be Acquired Through Dog Bites

Can my dog transmit zoonotic diseases to me?

Well, the answer is YES. There are a few infections that can be transmitted from your dog; Rabies Ringworm, Noroviruses, Pasteurella, Salmonella, Brucella, Yersinia enterocolitica, Campylobacter, Capnocytophaga.

Can My Dog Transmit A Zoonotic Disease To Me?

The one that we should all look out for is rabies. Rabies is passed on from the saliva of infected animals like dogs, bats, coyotes, foxes, skunks, and raccoons. You might be in safe hands if your pup had received their first rabies vaccine between 12 and 16 weeks of age and then a second dose of rabies vaccine a year later. Dogs that have rabies are actually quite obvious to identify as they have saliva dripping down their jaws as they growl. Other signs include fever, difficulty swallowing, excessive drooling, staggering, seizures, and even paralysis. If your dog is showing any of these signs, you should have them checked up. There are also signs to look out for if you’ve been bitten by a dog, even if they’ve been vaccinated: pain in the muscles, dizziness, fatigue, fever, loss of appetite, or malaise, delirium, fear, or hallucination, muscle spasms or paralysis with weak muscles, pins and needles, or sensitivity to light, aggression, or irritability.

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Can My Dog Transmit A Zoonotic Disease To Me?

If a person is attacked or bitten by a dog or even any other animal that has rabies, they should receive the appropriate medical care and treatment. Rabies can cause disease in the brain, ultimately resulting in death. Your dog can also transmit worms to you through licking or their poop. Though most of the worms don’t make us sick, parasites like hookworm, roundworm, and giardia can be passed from dog to human through licking. Certain dogs with hookworm infestations will pass eggs in their feces, which hatch into larvae. The parasite can infest humans through skin contact (e.g., if you walk barefoot on contaminated sand or soil). The larvae migrate through the skin and can cause skin lesions and other more serious diseases in humans.


The only way to avoid a zoonotic disease from your dog is to practice good personal hygiene with both yourself and your dog. Your loyal pooch may be bringing a whole world of bacteria into your home—but don’t panic. Research suggests that exposure to a wide variety of microbes may be good for us. A new study reveals that homes with dogs have greater bacterial diversity than canine-free dwellings.

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