Health Benefits of Pet Ownership
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Choosing a Family Pet

Thinking of adopting a dog, cat or other furry friend? See how much you know about picking the perfect family pet with our quiz.

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Choosing a Family Pet
Choosing a Family Pet
Question 1 of 20 Correct

True or false: You only need to spay or neuter pets that go outdoors, where they run the risk of mating.

Correct! Sorry, that’s incorrect.

The correct answer is: This is false. Spaying or neutering your pet isn't just about keeping the stray population down. It's also good for your pet's health. For example, research shows behavioral problems, such as aggressiveness, are greatly reduced when a pet is neutered. Also, spaying or neutering your pet may reduce its risk for breast cancer, and eliminates the chance of ovarian cancer (in females) and testicular cancer (in males).

Choosing a Family Pet
Question 2 of 20 Correct

It's cat-people vs. dog-people. Which one is more likely to experience better health?

Correct! Sorry, that’s incorrect.

The correct answer is: Dog owners in one study experienced 50% fewer health problems after just one month of ownership, and this benefit was maintained even after six months. In addition, dog owners experienced greater health improvements than cat owners, and the benefits with dogs lasted longer than those seen with cats.

Choosing a Family Pet
Question 3 of 20 Correct

True or false: You can eliminate an allergy to an animal if you're exposed to it over a long period of time.

Correct! Sorry, that’s incorrect.

The correct answer is: This is false. If you or a family member has an allergy to animals, it won't go away with increased exposure. If removing the pet isn't an option, keep the pet out of bedrooms, bathe the pet weekly, have a non-allergic family member brush the pet outdoors and clean the cage or litter box frequently to reduce the airborne allergen count. You should also use a HEPA filter in the bedroom and remove carpets and rugs.

Choosing a Family Pet
Question 4 of 20 Correct

Families with children under age 5 should not own "risky" pets such as . . .

Correct! Sorry, that’s incorrect.

The correct answer is: Risky pets include snakes, chicken, hamsters, turtles, lizards, frogs and ducklings. These exotic pets frequently carry Salmonella, a bacteria that can make members of your family sick. Each year in the U.S., 70,000 people get salmonellosis specifically from reptiles. Kids under 5 are more likely to put their hands in their mouth after petting or holding one of these pets, which ups their chances for getting sick.

Choosing a Family Pet
Question 5 of 20 Correct

Which of these animals could be tamed to become a pet?

Correct! Sorry, that’s incorrect.

The correct answer is: Never attempt to domesticate a wild animal. They may carry viruses and parasites that can make you or a member of your family very sick.

Choosing a Family Pet
Question 6 of 20 Correct

What should people with compromised immune systems, such as those who are HIV-positive, do about getting a pet?

Correct! Sorry, that’s incorrect.

The correct answer is: People with compromised immune systems don't have to go without pets, but they should be very cautious in bringing any new animal home. Discuss the risks and precautions with a veterinarian and your health care provider before finalizing an adoption.

Choosing a Family Pet
Question 7 of 20 Correct

Are hypoallergenic dogs better for people with pet allergies?

Correct! Sorry, that’s incorrect.

The correct answer is: Hypoallergenic dogs sound like a great solution for animal lovers with allergies. But recent research suggests those pooches may not be as allergen-free as believed. In fact, one study showed that some hypoallergenic breeds actually had more dog allergens than standard dog breeds. Still, researchers have found that allergy sufferers with hypoallergenic dogs reported fewer allergy symptoms -- something worth considering when making a pet decision.

Choosing a Family Pet
Question 8 of 20 Correct

Some dogs are considered hypoallergenic because it's believed they do not shed as much as other dogs. Which of these is a hypoallergenic breed?

Correct! Sorry, that’s incorrect.

The correct answer is: Hypoallergenic breeds include Shih Tzus, Maltese, poodles, some terriers, Bichon Frise and Schnauzers. Bear in mind that many of these dogs are special breeds and can cost you a pretty penny.

Choosing a Family Pet
Question 9 of 20 Correct

Which of the following should you do to reduce your exposure to pet dander?

Correct! Sorry, that’s incorrect.

The correct answer is: Your best bet to reduce your exposure to pet dander is to remove any wall-to-wall carpeting and rugs from your home. You can also bathe your pet weekly to reduce airborne allergens, use HEPA filters in bedrooms and check with your doctor about allergy medication.

Choosing a Family Pet
Question 10 of 20 Correct

True or false: Pregnant women should avoid being around pets, as the animals can carry a virus that causes birth defects.

Correct! Sorry, that’s incorrect.

The correct answer is: This is false. Pregnant women do not have to avoid all pets while they're expecting. They should, however, avoid rodents, which can carry the lymphocytic choriomeningitis virus. This virus can cause birth defects.

Choosing a Family Pet
Question 11 of 20 Correct

Pregnant women should also avoid which of these animals?

Correct! Sorry, that’s incorrect.

The correct answer is: Stray cats and kittens can be carriers of toxoplasmosis, a type of infection caused by the parasite Toxoplasma gondii. And pregnant moms take note: while you don't have to avoid your existing housecat, you should be excused from litter box duty, which puts you at risk for infection.

Choosing a Family Pet
Question 12 of 20 Correct

Which of these is a benefit of owning a pet?

Correct! Sorry, that’s incorrect.

The correct answer is: Three concurrent studies revealed that pet ownership offers lots of physical and emotional advantages, including better self-esteem, better physical conditioning and improved health and happiness compared with people in pet-free households.

Choosing a Family Pet
Question 13 of 20 Correct

Which of the following can a dog smell to detect lung cancer?

Correct! Sorry, that’s incorrect.

The correct answer is: Man's best friend may also be able to save your life. Researchers in Germany found that dogs could smell a person's breath and correctly identify lung cancer 93% of the time. Other studies found that dogs sniffed breath and stool samples and could identify bowel cancer 98% of the time, and dogs can also detect early stage breast cancer, melanomas and bladder cancer up to 97% of the time.

Choosing a Family Pet
Question 14 of 20 Correct

Petting an animal offers which healthy benefit?

Correct! Sorry, that’s incorrect.

The correct answer is: Petting your pet may be your secret weapon against germs. Research from a study at Wilkes University found that petting a dog for 18 minutes increases your secretory immunoglobulin A, the body's natural guard against invading germs.

Choosing a Family Pet
Question 15 of 20 Correct

One of your children has a fear of dogs. How can you help her get over it?

Correct! Sorry, that’s incorrect.

The correct answer is: Fear of an animal should not be dismissed or taken lightly. If your child has a fear of dogs, help ease her fear by slowly exposing her to them in secure, safe environments where she will not feel threatened.

Choosing a Family Pet
Question 16 of 20 Correct

Your children are young, but you want them to learn the responsibility of owning a pet early. When it comes to poop, who should do the duty?

Correct! Sorry, that’s incorrect.

The correct answer is: Sorry, Mom and Dad -- young kids get a free pass on this one. With the exception of pregnant women, parents should be responsible for cleaning up animal feces. That's because it can contain harmful bacteria, roundworms and hookworms which can be transferred to humans if not handled correctly. Pregnant women shouldn't clean litter boxes because of the risk of toxoplasmosis, a disease spread by cats.

Choosing a Family Pet
Question 17 of 20 Correct

True or false: You can catch your dog's cold.

Correct! Sorry, that’s incorrect.

The correct answer is: This is false. Even if you appear to be sick at the same time, you dog did not pass his cold onto you, and vice versa. Different types of cold viruses affect animals and humans.

Choosing a Family Pet
Question 18 of 20 Correct

Your family members should wash their hands…

Correct! Sorry, that’s incorrect.

The correct answer is: Encourage family members to wash their hands after cleaning a litter box, after feeding a pet or holding or petting one, and before preparing a pet's food or picking up its toys.

Choosing a Family Pet
Question 19 of 20 Correct

In which case does an animal bite need emergency care?

Correct! Sorry, that’s incorrect.

The correct answer is: Bites from family pets account for the majority of animal bites in the United States. See a doctor if you suspect the animal might carry rabies. Otherwise, clean the bite with antiseptic and cover it with a clean, cotton bandage to prevent germs and dirt from infecting the bite. If a bite appears to become infected, also see your doctor.

Choosing a Family Pet
Question 20 of 20 Correct

Where should you store pet food?

Correct! Sorry, that’s incorrect.

The correct answer is: Pet food may contain germs or bacteria that can make humans sick. Store dry pet food in its original bag, inside a plastic container with a lid, away from areas where food for humans is stored and prepared.

Choosing a Family Pet
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