Are Dog Illnesses Contagious to People?

Dog illnesses and parasites are not typically contagious to people, but there are a few exceptions. If you are aware of these diseases and how they are transmitted, you can make sure your dog will not infect you. The diseases that are contagious to people are also known as zoonotic diseases.


Some common parasites that may be transmitted from dog to people include the hookworms, roundworms and the tapeworms. These are intestinal parasites; if your dog is affected by any of these parasites, he will shed larvae through saliva and feces. The larvae can survive for a determined period of time in a suitable environment and if the larvae are not eliminated, they may be ingested by humans and result in infection.

Most commonly, children get infected, as they play in infected sand and soil and may ingest animal waste by failing to wash hands.

Proper hygiene can prevent the infection with intestinal parasites from your dog. Make sure you always wear gloves when gardening or handling dog feces.


Rabies is an infection caused by a virus and may be transmitted from a dog through a bite. However, vaccinated dogs are not carriers of rabies, so the infection may occur only if the bite is caused by a stray or unvaccinated dog.

If you got bitten by a dog and you are unsure if he is vaccinated, you should get the rabies vaccination just to make sure you don’t get infected.


The ringworm disease is actually caused by fungi that can be contracted from a dog that is infected. The fungi can cause skin irritation and may also affect the nails of humans. The disease is transmitted through feces or direct contact with the skin of the dog.

Lyme Disease

The Lyme disease may be transmitted from dog to humans. The Lyme disease can also be transmitted through tick bites.

If your dog was bitten by a tick, make sure you wear gloves when removing the tick.


Leptispirosis is a disease caused by bacteria and can be transmitted though dog urine.

Detect Diseases in Dogs

To prevent the infection with a zoonotic disease, you need to keep your dog healthy. You need to be aware of possible disease symptoms. The symptoms of zoonotic diseases in dogs depend on each infection in part, but you should be alarmed by:

  • Lack of appetite
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Skin rashes
  • Itchiness
  • Lethargy
  • Weight loss
  • Coughing
  • Joint swelling
  • Lameness
  • Depression

Typically, zoonotic diseases affect people with a suppressed immune system, children or senior people. Most zoonotic diseases are treatable with antibiotics, anti-parasitic medication or fungicides. Your doctor will need to run some blood tests to determine the right medication according to each disease in part. Be alarmed if you display rashes, vomiting, diarrhea or any unusual symptom that you may experience.

Prevent the zoonotic infections by getting vaccines (to prevent rabies), wear gloves when handling your dog’s urine and feces and always wash your hands after playing with your dog.