Healthy Living

15 Household Items That Can Make You Sick

15. Your pet

While you can’t catch a cold or the flu from a pet, having a dog or cat in the house can still spread bacteria, fungi, and other microbes that can cause illness. Some of the diseases and infections you can catch from them, however, include worms, diarrhea, salmonella, cat scratch disease, rabies, and even the bubonic plague! Often, these illnesses arise from coming into contact with the pet’s saliva, fecal matter, urine, or a scratch. Pet dander also can lead to allergic reactions and asthma attacks, and their fur can serve to spread irritating oils like poison ivy directly onto your skin.

There’s nothing wrong with keeping a pet indoors, but be sure to take all necessary precautions to maintain your health: Don’t let your pet lick you on the face; regularly vacuum or sweep up animal fur and hair; and frequently wash your hands after touching your pet or anyone else’s.