It's ok to snuggle your pet when you're sick - News9.com - Oklahoma City, OK - News, Weather, Video and Sports |

It's ok to snuggle your pet when you're sick

Updated:
© Ryan McVay / Photodisc / Thinkstock © Ryan McVay / Photodisc / Thinkstock

(HealthDay News) -- Cuddling with your dog or cat when you have a cold or flu is safe for both of you, an infectious-disease expert says.

Your furry friends won't catch or spread human viruses, said Dr. William Schaffner, professor of preventive medicine at Vanderbilt University Medical Center in Nashville.

"The pet is a comfort, not a hazard," Schaffner said in a university news release. "And you can't get a cold or the flu from your dog or cat," he added. It's also unlikely that anyone who pets the dog or cat after you will catch your cold or flu virus.

Other people are the real threat when it comes to transmitting colds and flu viruses, Schaffner explained.

"Flu is transmitted person-to-person through close personal contact. If you get within my breathing zone, within three feet, I can transfer the influenza virus to you. I breathe it out, you breathe it in, and you can be infected," Schaffner said.

Cold and flu viruses can also be transmitted by handshaking and other person-to-person contact, or picked up from surfaces such as doorknobs, he said.

"People should wash their hands often and use hand sanitizer. Also, when flu is rampant in the community, greet friends with an elbow bump rather than a handshake," Schaffner suggested.

He also emphasized the importance of getting a flu shot.

More information

The American Academy of Family Physicians has more about colds and the flu.

Copyright © 2016 HealthDay. All rights reserved.

*DISCLAIMER*: The information contained in or provided through this site section is intended for general consumer understanding and education only and is not intended to be and is not a substitute for professional advice. Use of this site section and any information contained on or provided through this site section is at your own risk and any information contained on or provided through this site section is provided on an "as is" basis without any representations or warranties.
Powered by Frankly
News 9
7401 N. Kelley Ave.
Oklahoma City, OK 73111
News9.com is proud to provide Oklahomans with timely and relevant news and information, sharing the stories, pictures and loves of Oklahomans across our great state.
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2017 KWTV. All Rights Reserved. For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy, and Terms of Service, and Ad Choices.