Family Veterinary Clinic

1413 Defense Hwy #100
Crofton & Gambrills, MD 21054



Can I Get My Pet Sick? Zoonotic Diseases


A common question asked from our dear pet parents is if they can give their furry friend their cold. Rest easy knowing that your dog or cat cannot catch your cold, just like you could not catch distemper. However, there are diseases that can be passed between humans and animals. These are classified as zoonotic diseases. There are over 150 known zoonotic diseases, caused by all types of pathogenic agents, including bacteria, parasites, fungi, and viruses. Check out the most common zoonotic diseases below.

child and dog


Normally found in the feces of animals, if you are handling your pet or your pet’s feces and then touch around your mouth, you could get salmonella. You can never really say for sure that your pet is free of salmonella. So it’s always best for you and your family to practice good hand washing techniques.



Unlike it sounds, this isn’t caused by a worm; it is a fungal infection that affects the skin. Ringworm can be spread among pets and their owners. Ringworm has a long incubation period and sometimes doesn’t show up until a full two weeks or more have passed. Skin-to-skin contact and sharing towels can spread it.


Roundworms and Hookworms

An intestinal parasite commonly found in feces in both dogs and cats. People can get infected by simply walking barefoot over contaminated soil. Hookworm infection can cause itchy and painful skin infections and abdominal discomfort. It is estimated that more than 10,000 people in the United States test positive for roundworms each year. It is imperative that you have yearly fecal exams for your pets to make sure they are free and clear of these nasty parasites.

Even though dog and cat colds have no effect on humans and vice versa, when it comes to getting sick pets and humans have one thing common, prevention. The best way to avoid being sick is to be immunized. Make sure your pet is up to date on their vaccinations, and the same goes for pet parents as well. Contact Family Veterinary Clinic today to keep your pet happy and healthy.