Safety Tips For Pregnant Women Who Have Pets

Content Team

Having a pet in the house can be so much fun. People own pets for various reasons e.g. for protection and defence, status, sheer love for animals.

Pregnant women should be especially careful as all pets are prone to picking up parasites that may make anyone who are exposed to them ill. These parasites can be internal or external.

It is easy to identify external parasites such as ticks, fleas compared to internal parasites such as roundworm and hookworm.  The clear-cut way to know that your pet has internal parasite is to take them to the veterinary clinic where their body fluids such as stool, blood is checked in order to identify these parasites. To be on the side of caution, ensure that you take any pet you intend to bring home to the vet doctor first so as not to expose your family especially babies and pregnant women to parasitic infections.

Parasites may be asymptomatic that is showing no sign at all in the pet yet it is of great danger to the persons around them when they are infected. For example, a dog can host ticks, which may seem harmless yet they can cause allergy and spread lyme disease, babesiosis etc.

Toxoplasmosis is another infection caused by toxoplasma gondii, found in the cells lining the intestines of cats. Cats are infected from eating insects and rodents, other infected cats or their faeces. Other diseases are salmonella, cat scratch disease, rabies, campylobacter disease.

How can you prevent these diseases?

You need to follow these general guides to protect you and your family against diseases gotten from pets. Pregnant women should avoid cleaning or handling pet faeces or other body fluid.

Children should wash their hands after playing with pets.

Regularly wash hands with warm water and disinfectant after handling raw meat.

Wear a plastic glove when you want to clean your pet’s food bowl and faeces.

Wash vegetables properly before cooking.

Avoid being scratched by cats.

Take your pets for necessary vaccinations and deworm them.