Keeping Pets Healthy




Lou and Harper

iRED International applauds animal lovers and pet owners everywhere, and we join our readers in looking out for the good health and safety of our four-legged friends (see photo gallery).


The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention acknowledges that the bond between people and animals impacts their respective well-being. Human health benefits from pets include lowered blood pressure, increased fitness and added happiness.


However, if animals experience poor health then pet owners can suffer, too, and not just on their pets’ account. Pets can carry germs that can make people sick, so it is important to keep animals healthy and protected from disease. Prevention measures involve taking pets to the veterinarian for routine check-ups, keeping them up to date on shots and flea/tick care, practicing good hygiene around pets and learning about diseases pets can spread.


Dogs from a village on the Amazon River

Pets and Food Safety


People follow healthy diets, and so should animals. Keeping a pet’s food bowl safe means keeping it clean and learning about food safety. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration requires that all animal foods, like human foods, be safe to eat, produced under sanitary conditions, contain no harmful substances and be truthfully labeled. The agency also keeps an online list of pet food recalls and withdrawals.


Disaster Preparedness and Pets


Earthquake, flood, hurricane, tornado, wildfire, winter storm. If a disaster strikes, what happens to pets?


During Hurricane Katrina rescuers mostly refused to allow people to save their pets. According to BuzzFeed, 250,000 pets were left behind and 150,000 died during the hurricane or in its aftermath. Public outrage and grief over pet loss prompted Congress to pass the Pets Evacuation and Transportation Standards (PETS) Act with near unanimous support. The Act ensures that state and local emergency preparedness operational plans address the needs of individuals with household pets and service animals following a major disaster or emergency.


Now that pets are protected by law in emergencies, it is important for people to make a disaster plan for their pets. Many organizations and government agencies offer good advice to factor pets into emergency preparedness plans and kits.

The Humane Society of the United States cautions that many common household items can pose a threat to animal companions — even some items specifically meant for pets could cause health problems. Hazards exist inside and outside the house, such as antifreeze, chemicals used in gardens and to melt snow, human medications, poisonous plants, rubber bands, chicken bones and chocolate.


Mosquitoes and Pets


Mosquitoes plague animals as well as people. Not only can mosquitoes carry diseases that afflict humans but they also transmit several diseases and parasites that dogs and horses are very susceptible to. These include dog heartworm, West Nile virus and Eastern equine encephalitis.


The Zika virus was first discovered in a monkey with a mild fever in the Zika Forest of Uganda in the 1940s. At this time, animals do not appear to be involved in the spread of Zika virus. No evidence points to the Zika virus being spread to people from contact with animals. No reports exist of pets or other types of animals becoming sick with Zika virus. However, CDC states that more research is needed to better understand the Zika virus in animals.


Pets and WiRED


WiRED is considering creating modules on pet health. Healthy pets and healthy people go hand in hand, and we believe that the care for our animals reflects the care for ourselves and for our family’s health.





Many of WiRED’s staff, board members and family are animal lovers.
Here are some photos of our friends.





























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