Although in many homes pets are considered members of the family, they can still carry germs too. Help your pets stay healthy by making sure they are fully immunised, and that cats and dogs are treated regularly for fleas, ticks, intestinal worms and other parasites.

Cleaning Tips

You can follow the cleaning tips below to help protect your family from illness-causing germs.

  • Wash your hands after touching animals or their toys, dog leads, cages, blankets, bedding, or other pet equipment.
  • Provide pets with their own feeding dishes and utensils that you clean separately from other household items. Clean and disinfect these regularly with suitable products, and rinse them thoroughly with water before re-use. Some cleaning products may be hazardous to animals so always read the label before use.
  • Regularly clean and disinfect floors and feeding areas used by pets, and never allow pets onto food preparation surfaces.
  • Immediately clean and disinfect any surface contaminated with animal excretions. If your dog has urinated or fouled in the house, make sure you really douse the area with a proper, pet-safe cleaner designed for the job. Other general household cleaners, especially those containing ammonia, are not really suitable for this task.
  • Don't clean pet cages and tanks in your kitchen sink. Use a bucket if necessary.
  • Do not let your pet share your plate or lick your face.
  • Check your pet regularly for signs of ill health and keep claws trimmed to reduce the risk of scratches.
  • Health Alert: Pregnant women should not change or handle cat litter. This can put them at risk of toxoplasmosis, an infection caused by a parasite that can cause serious problems for an unborn baby. Ideally, someone else should clean the cat litter tray, but if a pregnant woman has to do it, she should wear disposable gloves and wash her hands thoroughly afterwards. In addition, reptiles can carry the salmonella bacteria in their faeces and therefore pose a risk. Pet rodents such as hamsters, gerbils, and guinea pigs can transmit a harmful virus and should be avoided during pregnancy.