We Americans love our pets, and according to the American Pet Products Association, 68 percent of homes have at least one. Studies show that pets provide companionship that lifts our moods, helps us relax, and even lengthens our lives. Unfortunately, they can also make us sick.
Most common illnesses, such as colds and upper respiratory illnesses, are caused by different viruses in humans and animals, so they usually aren't spread back and forth. Still, there are a number of zoonotic diseases — those that spread between humans and animals — that can make you miserable or even be fatal. They include: