Health & Wellness

5 Skin Conditions Dogs Can Pass On To Humans

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By Carrie

If you are like most dog parents, then you frequently give your dog hugs and snuggle up to them.

You might even allow your dog to sleep in the same bed as you.

Did you know there are some pretty serious skin problems that you can get from your dog?


Here are 5 dog skin conditions (plus one painful disease) that dogs can pass onto humans…


How Dog Skin Conditions Transfer To Humans

Dogs typically get these skin conditions while playing outside, in dog parks, or while roaming the neighborhood.

However, believe it or not, your dog can actually pass on a skin condition to you without having the skin condition himself!

For example, one way that a dog can pass on a skin condition is by being petted.  If someone pets your dog and they have a skin condition, if your dog rubs on you or you pet him, then you have a good chance of getting the skin condition yourself.

Who knew???

Like people, all animals carry germs … But pets also carry certain bacteria, viruses, parasites, and fungi that can cause illness if transmitted to humans. Humans get these animal-borne diseases when they’re bitten or scratched or have contact with an animal’s waste, saliva, or dander.  Source


5 Skin Conditions Dogs Can Pass Onto Humans

#1 I’m sure you’ve heard of people getting Staph Infections, like MRSA, while in the hospital.  Did you know that you can get a Staph Infection from your dog?  Some Staph Infections cannot be treated with common antibiotics.  Dogs pick up the bacteria for a Staph Infection from a person.  Then, if your dog bites another person (or, if his saliva simply enters through a cut on the person’s hand or some other open wound), the Staph Infection gets passed on to that person as well.

#2 Another skin condition that you can get from your dog is ScabiesScabies is caused by a mite that is known to hang around kennels and pet shops.  Scabies is a red bumpy rash with white flakes and the mites (known as Sarcoptic Mites and Mange) appear to be moving under the skin.  I’ve had experience with Scabies.  When I was around 8, my entire family got infected with Scabies.  It itches really bad.  Our family doctor treated it with a prescribed lotion.  A friend of mine also got Scabies from a dog that she rescued.

Here are 3 other dog skin conditions that can be passed on to humans:

#3  Ringworm – This is actually a fungus, not an actual worm. (It’s highly contagious to humans and other pets.)

#4  Hookworm – This can cause abdominal pain, anemia, and diarrhea. (Here’s more about how hookworms can infect humans.)

#5  Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever – Your dog gets this from a tick bite. (My same friend’s dog also got Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever, in addition to the Scabies.)


What About Lyme Disease?

While not a skin problem, another serious medical condition that you can get from your dog is Lyme Disease.

If a tick that has infected your dog gets onto your own body, then you would be exposed to Lyme Disease as well.  Lyme Disease can be painful and debilitating — for both humans and dogs.

Here’s how to tell if your dog has Lyme Disease from a tick bite.

photo by Mike Baird