Information for Pet Owners

Pets provide many benefits to their owners. They offer protection, comfort, and companionship. If you own a pet, there are steps you should take to keep your pets, yourself, and those around you healthy.

What You Should Do

Scoop the poop

Rain can wash pet waste from your lawn and the streets into rivers, bays, and beaches, causing illness. Don't let your pet pollute. Remember to scoop the poop and dispose of it properly—at home and in the community. (more)

Wash your hands

Salmonella may be found in the feces of some pets, especially those with diarrhea, and people can become infected if they do not wash their hands after contact with pets or pet feces. (more) Hand washing can also help you avoid allergic reactions to pets.

Protect your pets and yourself from rabies

Vaccinate your pets against rabies, and take precautions if your pet is bitten or scratched by another animal. (more) If your pet has a history of biting, consider obedience training and use a leash and/or muzzle when you take your pet outside.

Protect your pets and yourself from tick-borne illnesses

Take steps to avoid ticks when walking or playing with pets outside. Regularly check pets for ticks, and make sure they receive prompt treatment for Lyme disease and other tick-borne illnesses, if needed. (more)

Avoid algae blooms

Algae blooms, also known as cyanobacteria, grow naturally in many water bodies. These blooms can be harmful to people and pets. Do not let your pets swim or play in water experiencing an algae bloom. (more)

Reduce asthma triggers from your pets

If someone in your home has asthma, keep pets out of bedrooms and outdoors as often as possible, bathe pets weekly, and clean pet bedding and litter every week. (more)

Don't spread lead

If you are doing painting, repair, or home improvement on a house built before 1978, keep pets out of the work area to avoid spreading lead dust or chips into other areas. (more)

Make an emergency plan

Make a plan for your pets in case of emergencies. Ask friends or relatives outside your area whether they could shelter your pets in an emergency, or contact hotels and motels to inquire about their pet policies. (more)