Animals, including pets, can transmit infections to humans. And children are the most vulnerable category, so when buying a dog, it is essential to know how to protect the family from illnesses and what diseases a pet should be afraid of. Let’s learn more about what are the dog diseases for humans.

Diseases that are transmitted from dogs to humans

When asked if you can get infected by a domestic dog, the correct answer is yes. Some diseases can be transmitted from an animal to humans. They are known as zoonotic diseases. The most famous and dangerous (because of incurability) example of such conditions is rabies.

Other common diseases of pets:

  • ringworm;
  • salmonellosis;
  • leptospirosis;
  • campylobacteriosis;
  • giardiasis;
  • cryptosporidiosis;
  • round worms;
  • nematodes;
  • scabies;
  • ticks.
child with dog

The good news is that although the zoonosis is contagious, it is unlikely to happen. The chance to get sick increases if a person’s immune system is weakened due to illness, stress, or other reasons. A weakened person can hardly carry any infection, and the probability of complications is higher.

People with a weakened immune system are:

  • pregnant people;
  • infants and children under 5 years;
  • elderly people;
  • HIV-positive people;
  • patients who have a congenital immune deficiency or chronic diseases that weaken their immune system;
  • patients who are undergoing chemotherapy or radiation therapy;
  • people who have undergone organ/bone marrow transplants.

The above persons should be careful and watch over the health of your pet, as well as all requirements for personal hygiene:

  • wash your hands after interaction with the dog;
  • avoid direct contact with dog urine or feces.

Infectious diseases

Ways of infection are always the same. They can be inhaled or received through direct contact with a carrier, food, household items, as well as through bites and scratches.

Important! Do not forget to clean your dog’s ears regularly.

Symptoms of infection:

  • increase in temperature;
  • shivering;
  • increased fatigue;
  • apathy;
  • weakness;
  • skin rash.
dog diseases for humans


Campylobacter jejuni bacteria attack the gastrointestinal tract. Its symptoms are diarrhea, abdominal pain, headaches, fever +38 °C (100 °F). Later, they will be supplemented by diarrhea with a frequency of up to 10 times a day. But the disease may also occur asymptomatically. It is treated only with antibiotics (on the advice of the attending physician).

Plague is another zoonotic disease. Its causative agent is the bacterium Yersinia pestis. Carriers – fleas and rodents. Pets may get sick if they eat such a rodent or are bitten by a flea. Symptoms of plague are a drop in blood pressure, nervousness, fever, fever, and painful lymph nodes.

Anthrax is transmitted by the bacteria Bacillus anthracis. Its symptoms are skin rashes with abscesses, fever, fever.

Important: Zoonotic infections are transmitted by airborne droplets and oral-fecal, by direct contact and through the blood.

Sepsis from a dog bite can infect a person with Capnocytophaga canimorsus bacteria. They live permanently in the mouth of the animal. They can get into the wound together with saliva, although such cases are rare, still do not let children kiss your pet.

The disease’s symptoms – swelling of the wound, redness, pain in this place, headache, vomiting, festering of the bitten area after a few days. To avoid further problems, the wound should be immediately rinsed with water and treated with antiseptic.

Staphylococcus aureus bacteria can be found on the skin of people and animals. Usually, it is not a problem. But some strains cause severe skin, respiratory, and urinary tract diseases. Symptoms include severe diarrhea, vomiting, fever, and abdominal cramps. Antibiotics are used for treatment.

dog infections for humans

Salmonella bacteria penetrate the body together with contaminated food, causing salmonellosis. But the infection is also possible through the feces of pets. Symptoms of the disease include fever, abdominal pain, diarrhea.

To reduce the risk of salmonellosis and other bacterial infections:

  • it is necessary to wash your hands with soap water after contact with feces;
  • minimize contact with the dog and other pets if you have a weakened immune system.

Learn also about an average dog lifespan and how to take care of a dachshund


Rabies is dangerous among other dog diseases for humans caused by a virus that penetrates the body through a bite or wound infected with an animal-virus carrier’s saliva. Widespread vaccination of pets has reduced the possibility of rabies virus transmission to humans.

To reduce the risk of rabies infection, it is necessary:

  • do not miss the vaccination schedule for your dog
  • prevent your dog from contact with wild animals;
  • do not try to interact with aggressive wild or stray animals.

Noroviruses are microbes that cause GIT diseases. Infection occurs through direct contact with a carrier or by an oral-focal route. They are the main agents of gastroenteritis in humans. Symptoms of illness – nausea, vomiting, headache, sleepiness, lack of appetite, respiratory symptoms.

The disease does not require special treatment – it is enough to follow a drinking regime, diet, and take symptomatic treatment.

It is crucial to limit the contact of small children with hunting dogs. These breeds can accidentally get infected by swallowing meat infected with parasites.

To avoid infection, it is necessary:

  • drink boiled water;
  • wash fruits and vegetables;
  • ventilate the room frequently;
  • daily wet cleaning.


A dog or cat is quite often infected by parasites. They can be external and internal.

The first group includes pincers, fleas, lice, lice, moisture, i.e., all those who live on the skin surface. They are also called ectoparasites. The second group includes helminths and the simplest unicellular. Their scientific name is endoparasites.


Fleas and mites can both carry microorganisms dangerous to humans and be intermediate hosts for tapeworms that infect dogs. Mites are carriers of intracellular rickettsia pathogens. These microorganisms are the intermediate link between the virus and the bacteria.

They cause many infectious diseases: typhus rash, Volyn fever, spotted fever, and others. They have common symptoms: fever, intoxication, fever, rash. Treatment of diseases is carried out with antibiotics tetracycline series.

Did you know? 33% of UK dog owners admit that they talk to their pets on the phone and leave messages for them on the answering machine so that the dogs are not sad while the owners are not home.

Microscopic scabies causes scabies. The disease is very contagious. Symptoms may include severe itching, hair loss, scratching wounds.

People get infected by ticks from contact with infected dogs or cats. Scabies is treated with benzyl benzoate. To avoid infection with external parasites, it is necessary to regularly treat your pet with particular antiparasitic medicine.

Helminths: one of the most severe dog diseases for humans

Toxocariasis is a disease caused by the parasitic roundworm Toxocara, which lives in cats and dogs’ stomachs. Worm eggs can get into the soil with excrement, and from there to the hands of children. Symptoms of Toxocarose include fever, cough or shortness of breath, liver enlargement, rash, or swollen lymph nodes. All helminth infections are treated with antihelminthic drugs.

Infection with ankilostoma – a roundworm – results from contact with the ground in which the helminth eggs are located. They can get there from cats and dogs. You can pick them up by walking barefoot on the ground or working in the garden.

human roundworms

To reduce the likelihood of infection, you should:

  • walk on the soil in shoes;
  • work in the garden wearing gloves;
  • close the children’s sandbox so that animal feces do not accidentally get into it.

Tapeworms get into the human body much less often. Humans are only intermediate hosts for them, so the eggs of these helminths end up in the human body only with contaminated meat or if they accidentally swallow a flea.

Did you know? It is believed that the most exposed to Pasteurella infection are adolescents and young people 10-19 years old.

Fungal diseases

Cutting herpes is a skin infection caused by several types of fungi found in the soil, on the skin of people and pets. Children can catch it by stroking an infected cat or dog.

The disease manifests as a red spot on the skin, with a rough edge, which is very itchy. If lichen is on the hair part of the body, there is a hair loss. The disease is treated with antifungal shampoos.

Important: The probability of contracting ringworm is increased if a person sweats or has wounds on his hands.

It is possible to reduce the risk of infection with ringworm disease, if:

  • avoid direct contact with an infected animal;
  • treat the other inhabitants of the house with antifungal drugs along with treatment if the pet is infected;
  • daily change and wash the bedding of an infected family member;
  • keep the dogs away from any bed.
child herpes

Can a child become infected with dog diseases

All of the above diseases can infect anyone, regardless of age. But for children, infectious, viral, and parasitic infections are especially dangerous. After all, their immunity is not yet sufficiently formed.

Prevention of diseases transmitted to people by dogs

Once you have chosen a dog or other animal, take it to the veterinarian for vaccination and examination. He should be vaccinated annually according to a schedule. This will keep him healthy and reduce the risk of you and your family getting infected.

You should not allow your pet to drink toilet water. The pet should always have access to clean water. In that case, it will limit the possibility that the dog will drink water from a puddle, risking infection. It is necessary to ensure a proper diet. This enhances immunity and contributes to high resistance to disease.

Here are some useful rules to follow if you have a pet:

  • always wash your hands, especially after interaction with the dog;
  • to wear gloves when cleaning excrement;
  • do not let your pet lick your ice cream or other food;
  • from time to time, disinfect your pet’s belongings, such as bowls, bedding, and care items;
  • limit your dog’s contact with wild or undeveloped animals;
  • prevent the reproduction of rodents on their territory – all dogs know how to hunt mice and will eat them with pleasure along with infections;
  • if there are several animals, always isolate the diseased and treat all;
  • prevent the dog’s saliva from coming into contact with open wounds or cuts;
  • if you get sick, you should avoid prolonged contact with the dog to minimize the risk of additional infections;
  • you should not encourage your pet to play aggressive games;
  • if the dog often plays in the yard, more attention should be paid to its hygiene;
  • regularly perform preventive treatment against internal and external parasites.

Visits to the veterinarian should not be postponed if the dog shows signs of disease. Do not forget to keep your pet clean, and then the risk of getting sick will be minimized.

Questions & Answers

  1. Can dog diseases transmitted humans?

    Usually animal diseases are not transmitted to humans. However, pets also carry certain bacteria, viruses, parasites, and fungi that can cause illness if transmitted to humans.

  2. What are the most common dog diseases?

    The deadliest dog diseases are:

    Canine distemper
    Canine parvovirus
    Lyme disease
    Kennel cough
    Kidney disease.

  3. What diseases can you get from dog saliva?

    Capnocytophaga canimorsus, a bacteria commonly found in the mouths of dogs and cats. Toxocara canis is a parasite that can cause blindness in humans and infection also comes from close contact with infected dog poo.

Tags: dog, dog health, pet care tips for dogs, domestic dog

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Article by Kate Thompson – she has always been admired and inspired by dogs and is happy to share her experience.

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