Tips to Help Protect Yourself From 3 Common Pet Parasites

Parasites like  roundworms, hookworms and tapeworms can commonly infect cats and dogs. They can pose a risk to your pet's health and can also pose a health risk to you. However, by keeping your pet healthy and practicing good hygiene, you can help minimize the risk of getting parasites from your pet. Below are some tips on how you can help protect yourself — and your pet — from these dangerous parasites.

Minimize the Risk of Getting Parasites From Your Pet

Dachshund getting veterinary exam


Schedule Routine Veterinary Visits

Schedule appointments for your pet with your veterinarian at least once a year for vaccinations, fecal and heartworm testing and a wellness examination. Regular vet visits can help identify parasite infections and arm you with the right preventive products based on your pet's risk of parasite exposure.

Dog getting flea and tick preventive


Use Parasite-Control Products

When it comes to parasites, preventive care is key. Be sure to ask your veterinarian about the use of parasite-control products, such as those used primarily for heartworm prevention or flea and tick control that also help protect against intestinal parasites.

Cat Hunting


Keep Your Pet From Hunting Prey

Prevent your dog or cat from hunting and consuming prey animals, which may be infected. Feed your pet only a cooked or commercially prepared diet.

Dog waste removal container and sign


Remove Waste from Public Places

Support fecal-removal and leash policies in pet exercise areas and public places. Encouraging these efforts promotes a healthy environment for all pets and helps prevent the spread of parasites.

Bad Cat Habits Litterbox


Properly Dispose of Feces

Pick up and properly dispose of feces from outdoors and from the litterbox as soon as possible. Also be sure to cover sandboxes properly to prevent any contamination by neighborhood cats.

Washing hands at sink with soap


Wash Your Hands and Watch What You Touch

Always be sure to wash your hands with soap and warm water after handling feces, cleaning the litterbox or playing with pets. To help prevent hookworm infections, it also helps to avoid skin exposure to soil that may be contaminated with infected animal feces, which means wearing gloves when gardening and not walking barefoot in grassy areas.

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