According to Susan Rehm, MD who is the acting vice chairperson of the Cleveland Clinic Infectious Disease Department the possibility that you can catch an infectious disease from your pet, especially if you are a person with a weakened immune system.

The top 5 Disease you might get from your Pet

1. Ringworm

You will be most likely to get ringworms from young animals than from older ones. It is actually a fungus that causes a red rash that usually forms a circle, or ring. If on hair it may create hair loss in the area. It is treated with a topical antifungal cream.

How to Prevent catching ringworm: The best defense is to wash your hands after playing with the animal or its bedding. You should also use gloves when you are gardening and have a puppy or kitten in the area.

2. Worms such as round worms, hook worms, and tape worms

The worms are spread mainly by people handling soil the worms were deposited in and then putting their hands in their mouths before washing.

How to prevent worm infestations: wash your hands thoroughly after touching soil where the animal may have been. Wear shoes to protect the soles of your feet. Control the fleas in your home to eliminate the chance of your contracting tape worms.

3. Salmonellosis

People who keep reptiles for pets stand a risk of contracting salmonellosis. This disease can be contracted from pet snakes, lizards, turtles, and iguanas. The animal will show no signs of having the disease, but when humans get it; they develop diarrhea, fever and severe cramps that may last as long as a week.

How to prevent catching salmonellosis: Have your reptile checked by the veterinarian for this condition. Have this check done each year. Wash your hands after touching the reptile or any of the things associated with the reptile like their cages, or warming rocks. Never clean your reptile cage in your kitchen sink, and if you clean it in your tub clean the tub with a disinfectant cleanser after you have finished.

4. Psittacosis or Parrot Fever

You can get this from touching the droppings of an infected bird. It causes fevers, chills, a dry cough, and muscle aches.

How to prevent Psittacosis: Clean bird cages in such a manner as to not stir the debris into the air. Wear a mask over your nose and mouth when cleaning the cage of a pet bird, and always clean these cages in well-ventilated areas. Wear gloves so your hands do not come into contact with bird droppings.

5. Toxoplasmosis

This is contracted from the fecal matter found in the litter boxes of cat owners. It can cause pregnant women to give birth to babies with birth defects. It causes flu like symptoms that may last for weeks.

How to prevent Toxoplasmosis: Keep the fecal matter cleaned out of the litter box. Wash your hands with soap and water after cleaning the litter box, or after touching soil from your yard and garden.