Following recent reports of ‘killer bugs’ in our pet cats and dogs in some national newspapers, it seems a shame that this could have an impact on the positive and highly beneficial aspects of owning a pet.
Pet Health Council is an organisation which informs on matters related to pet and human health and we would like to emphasise that the benefits of pet ownership, both physical and psychological, far outweigh any very small risk of contracting infection.
Furthermore, by following routine, common sense household and human hygiene practices, any risk of infection can be avoided. For instance, pet owners should wash their hands thoroughly with soap and water after handling. Hand hygiene gels, which are commonly available, are a useful addition to any pet owning household as part of a robust hygiene routine. Dogs and cats should have their own beds in a quiet, draught free place.
The benefits of pet ownership are significant, research has shown that pets in the home can help reduce blood pressure and perceived levels of stress, boost the immune system, aid recovery from illness and provide an important source of companionship.
For more information on pet health and best hygiene and handling practice, please visit: www.pethealthcouncil.co.uk
John Foster BVSC, CertVOphthal, MRCVS (vet with 40 years experience), Pet Health Council Chairman