Internal parasites like hookworms, tapeworms and roundworms aren’t just a problem for pets — humans can be exposed to or infected by them, too. These parasites are considered zoonotic, meaning they can be passed between animals and people. If you’re still skeptical that you could be affected, consider this alarming statistic: According to the CDC, approximately 14 percent of people in the U.S. have antibodies to roundworms, suggesting that tens of millions of people may have been exposed to the parasites.

Thankfully, you can help protect yourself and your pet by practicing good hygiene, using parasite-control products recommended by your veterinarian, and taking your dog or cat to the vet at least once a year for a fecal test, heartworm test and wellness exam. Watch the video below to learn more about the steps pet owners should take to help prevent these dangerous parasites.

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