Rodents as pets: Healthy animals, healthy people

Pets can be a great addition to any home. They make us happy and provide many health benefits, but even healthy animals can carry germs that can make people sick. Follow these simple rules to share the love and not the germs.

WASH: Make sure to immediately wash your hands after touching pet rodents, live or frozen feeder rodents (used to feed snakes), or anything in the area where they live, play, or touch.

DISINFECT: Thoroughly clean any surfaces or objects a rodent touches with soapy water followed by a household sanitizer.

SEPARATE: Live rodents should be kept in habitats specifically designed for them. Frozen feeder rodents should be kept and thawed in dedicated containers away from food preparation areas. Keep pets and all their supplies (e.g. food, containers, toys) away from the kitchen and other places where food is made or eaten.

SUPERVISE: Always watch children when they touch or play with rodents. Do not let them put pets or pet supplies near their face or share their food or drinks with pets.

PROTECT: Talk to your health care provider or veterinarian about the right pet if your family includes: children under 5 years of age, people with a weakened immune system, pregnant women, or adults 65 years of age and older.

For more information visit www.canada.ca/health.

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Type: Publication
Date published: 2016-04-19
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