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Is Your Pet Making You Sick?

You love your four-legged companion like they are part of your family.

You share everything with them: your food, your kisses and oftentimes, your bed.

But here's something to think about... your dog loves to run in the mud, jump in rivers and ponds and lick unidentifiable objects on the ground that pick up all sorts of germs, which he then tracks back through your house.

Do you truly know where that tongue and those paws have been? Can all those pet germs actually make you sick?

Prevention magazine reported that there's a certain amount of ickyness you have to accept when you bring home a pet.

Don't worry though; the pros of having a pet will always outweigh the risk of potentially getting sick. And it certainly doesn't mean that you have to give your dog up, just that you may have to use a bit of preventative care to stay healthy.

One parasite found in your pets that can be transmitted to you is ringworm. Ringworm is the most contagious infection and can live without a host for more than three weeks.

Ringworms cause skin lesions, patches of missing hair and scaly skin with a red dot in the middle. To prevent ringworm, make sure you're washing sheets or any blankets on which your pet lays and sleeps.

Hookworms are another potential parasite that can be transferred to you via your pet. These worms cause bloody, loose stools. If a hookworm transfers to a human, the most common symptom is an itchy rash among your abdomen. Making sure you pick up after your pet is crucial in order to avoid transference.

What are other sicknesses you should be aware of?

Dr. Mike discusses if your pet is making you sick, types of infections to look out for, ways to prevent these infections and treatment options.