The Importance of your Puppy’s Hygiene

Our puppies are an integral part of our daily lives. They spend their day around the house. There are times when we even let them sleep with us. The close proximity relationship between humans and pets has not been taken as a risk.

Pathogens and allergies that are unconsciously brought by our pets can cause varying degrees of health problems not just for our pets but also for us. Simple hygiene practices for puppies are required to maintain healthy condition of owners and their pets.

Our Beloved Pets as Germ Carriers

As mentioned above, puppies can unconsciously carry pathogenic agents and germs that can cause moderate to severe health conditions. Several microorganisms like bacteria and protozoans, parasites, fungi, viruses and allergens are involved. The presence of these harmful microorganisms and viruses cannot easily be noticed by the owner or the pet’s senses. Puppies can also spread the viruses with their excrement. So without us owners noticing it, these diseases can harm us and our pets if we don’t take proper precaution.

Animal to Human Contamination

Puppies and their owners have developed a very close, affectionate relationship with each other. With this fact, cross contamination of viruses is highly possible between pets and owners. Below are some example situations where cross contamination between owners and pets are highly possible.

Stroking their pet’s fur is very common for owners. It is highly possible that the puppy’s fur carry allergens which mean that any physical contact can contribute to cross contamination of these allergens. You may not notice it, but inhalation of these compounds may cause serious respiratory problems.

Scratches and bites may cause these microorganisms to pass through our bloodstream directly. As for example, rabies viruses can be caught by humans from a pet’s bite.

Puppies licking their owner’s hand or face are a very common pet practice to show his affection. Since pet’s saliva most likely has some pathogens in it, the germs and viruses may spread easily.

The Risk

With the high possibility of cross contamination between puppies and us, publicized risks such as allergies, salmonella poisoning, meningitis, septicaemia and other health conditions are observed. Rabies, in worst case scenario, may even cause death.

50% of allergy cases among adults and children are mostly caused by pets. Respiratory problems are the most common allergic reactions. Unless good pet hygiene is maintained, allergy symptoms will continue to get worse. It is a fact that allergens are very hard to control, however, with proper pet care and hygiene, these risks and other possible health problems can be minimize.

Minimizing the risks with Good Puppy’s hygiene

Proper hygiene practices and rules vary from one animal to another. But there are “pet hygiene basics” that apply to almost all pets.

  • Pets must be cleaned regularly. Whether your pet is a dog or a cat, they must be washed and brushed at least three times a week to prevent excessive shedding and keep their skin and fur’s healthy condition.
  • Aside from pets themselves, the things they used should also be cleaned regularly. Toys, trays, food bowls and baskets should be disinfected. 60°C of water temperature for cleaning these things can ensure that all germs are killed during the cleaning process. To prevent cross-contamination, pet’s and owner’s laundry should be washed separately.
  • Floor areas where the pet mostly stays should also be cleaned to wash away trap allergens. E.g. carpets.
  • Pets should receive their vaccines regularly. Vaccines for diseases like rabies, typhus and coryza and other diseases should always be incorporated in your pet’s regular check up.

Having puppies as part of our daily lives may require certain hygiene measures both for pets and owners. But it doesn’t mean that we need to sever the special relationship between them. In reality, proper hygiene practices can help you established a more emotional relationship with your puppy while limiting the possibilities of cross contamination, thus, preserving the health of all.

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