When we have a bad day, snuggling with our pet at the end of it is usually a surefire way to make us feel at least a little better. That and plenty of cheesecake. But while we already knew that eating too much cheesecake could make us sick, we never imagined that Fido and Garfield could also render us ill.
That’s the word from the Canadian Medical Association Journal, which on Monday released a report saying that common household pets can transfer infections to humans — something even most doctors don’t take into consideration when asking for a history at a checkup.
Altogether, 332 studies were accumulated to come to these findings, including case studies, cross-sectional studies, controlled studies and more. And what researchers found is that despite the emotional and social benefits having a pet can bring, they can also bring the bugs.
Luckily, this doesn’t apply to everyone. According to Canadian Dr. Marla Shapiro, infections typically occur in those with a weakened immune system, young children, pregnant women and seniors. So what can they catch?
“Basically anything you can think of,” Shapiro warns in the video above. That includes bacterial infections, parasitic infections, salmonella poisoning and more.
The report also revealed that while traditional animals like dogs and cats can be the cause, it is reptiles, amphibians and rodents that bring a higher risk. So aside from keeping up with regular vet visits, Shapiro recommends to make sure adults and children alike wash their hands after handling pets. Look out for contaminated surfaces and try to keep litter boxes away from cooking areas, and wear gloves to clean.” Sadly, she also recommends avoiding “sloppy” kisses with your pets.
So the moral of the story is that the princess shouldn’t have kissed that frog at all.