MEDIA ADVISORY: Bringing a Puppy Home for the Holidays? Here’s How to Keep Both Humans and Pets Healthy

December 20, 2019


Contact: Laura Brinson

Bringing a Puppy Home for the Holidays?
Here’s How to Keep Both Humans and Pets Healthy

FLORENCE, Ky. — Thinking about bringing a puppy home for the holidays? They may be cute and fuzzy, but new puppies are commonly known to carry germs, such as campylobacter. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is currently investigating an outbreak of campylobacter linked to puppies across 13 states, including Kentucky. As of December 17, there have been 30 reported cases nationwide.

According to NKY Health’s District Director of Health, Lynne Saddler, MD, MPH, “People may not realize that puppies and dogs can spread germs to humans, which can cause illnesses with symptoms such as fever, stomach cramps, and diarrhea.” In order to prevent illness for both pets and humans, the CDC recommends these steps:

  • When purchasing or adopting a new pet, choose one with no signs of illness that is bright, alert and playful. If you touch or play with puppies while making your choice, be sure to wash your hands well afterwards.
  • Always take a new pet to the veterinarian within a few days for a checkup, even if they seem healthy.
  • Pet owners and anyone in contact with a pet should always wash their hands thoroughly with soap and water after touching their pet, after handling their food, and after cleaning up after them.
  • If a puppy or dog throws up, poops or pees in the house, clean it up immediately. Avoid touching the mess, and properly dispose of the items used to clean it up. Then, disinfect the surface with a water and bleach solution (1/4 cup of bleach to 1 gallon of water).
  • Do not let a puppy or dog lick your mouth, face, open wounds or broken skin.

For more information, visit https://www.cdc.gov/campylobacter/outbreaks/puppies-12-19/index.html

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The Northern Kentucky Health Department provides high quality public health services to more than 400,000 residents of Boone, Campbell, Grant and Kenton Counties, with a goal of preventing disease, promoting wellness and protecting against health threats. The Health Department seeks to be a nationwide leader in public health, and was one of the first in the country to earn national public health accreditation. For more information, visit www.nkyhealth.org.