by Doris Donnerman
(last updated February 17, 2009)
It's true—dogs have germs. And if you live with a dog, chances are you are exposed to those dog's germs on a daily basis. Now, dog germs aren't deadly by any means, but avoiding them is good if you want to maintain your own personal, optimal health. How do you come into contact with these dog germs? How can you sanitize and make sure your surroundings are as healthy as they can be? The solutions to these problems are simple and only require a little discipline and patience.
Probably the biggest thing you can do to protect your family from dog germs is to clean up after your dog. Clean up the dog's waste from the backyard so it's not in the kids' play areas and so it doesn't get anywhere it shouldn't be. Also, clean up around the house. If your dog is housebroken, great; however, you can't rule out possibilities of slip-ups. Whenever your dog leaves a gift for you, make sure you clean it up with proper cleaning products and clean it up thoroughly.
Also, if at all possible (I guess it depends on the dog you have) try to avoid the face-licking behavior. If your dog is into the face licking, wash your face afterward. After you pet your dog or play with it, you should wash your hands. With your kids you should be especially careful, and teach them not to stick their fingers and their hands in their own mouths after touching the dog.
Children love to pet dogs, which is great for them and the dogs, but you should make sure that you wash your kids' hands after dog contact. If kids stick their hands in their mouths, it can be a sure shot for sickness. Germs can spread easily and you want to take the simple precautions (like hand washing) so you can avoid more serious problems.
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