Can Dogs Pass Lyme Disease to Humans?

by Tom Ryan
    Ticks hide in the grass before they leap onto your dog.

    Ticks hide in the grass before they leap onto your dog.

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    Lyme disease spreads from tick bites, and can infect dogs and humans alike. However, just like humans cannot transmit Lyme disease to other humans, dogs cannot transmit it to their owners -- only the parasite that carries the disease can do that. While your dog cannot pass Lyme disease to you directly, he may carry the parasite that can do it, so you still must be vigilant in checking yourself and your pet.

    When a tick infected with Lyme disease bites and feeds off of a host, like a dog or human, it can transmit the disease to that host. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, no evidence suggests that your dog can pass Lyme disease to you. However, ticks that leap onto your dog may not latch on and feed right away. They can stay hidden in his fur, and when your dog comes into your home, the ticks can jump off. This means that your dog can carry and then transfer the disease-carrying parasite to you. Check yourself and your dog for ticks after he plays outside to ensure that he isn't carrying any ticks. It can prevent both of you from contracting Lyme disease.

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    About the Author

    Tom Ryan is a freelance writer, editor and English tutor. He graduated from the University of Pittsburgh with a degree in English writing, and has also worked as an arts and entertainment reporter with "The Pitt News" and a public relations and advertising copywriter with the Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh.

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