can dogs get colds from humans

Can Dogs Get Colds From Humans?

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If you have ever wondered ‘can dogs get colds from humans?’ we have the answer for you today.

People have become really concerned about ‘species jumping’ viruses.  In fact, they often query websites, chat rooms, and social media about this. They are genuinely concerned whether their dogs can catch the cold, flu, and other human pathogenic illnesses from themselves.  People simply don’t want to give their cold and flu bugs to their faithful dogs.  Certainly, this worry has risen dramatically for dog owners over the last year during the Covid-19 pandemic. (Obviously Covid-19 is another matter and NOT what we are discussing here. For more info on dogs and Covid-19 you can check out this resource.)

The question ‘Can Dogs Get Colds From Humans?’ is a serious one that should not be casually dismissed.  In fact, a significant number of dangerous pathogens can transfer between people and their pets. But―luckily for our dogs―the ubiquitous human cold viruses don’t seem to be among them.  Please read on as Pet Hooligans further explores this question.

Can Dogs Get Colds From Humans?

Got a nasty cold?  Go ahead and snuggle with your dog. It’s okay, the general consensus is that you can not give your cold to your dog. Besides, your best friend can sense you’re not feeling well―the dog will want to get your attention and make you feel better.  Just let it, pet it and be happy!  You and your dog will both feel better.

Dog Sniffles

But, according to PetMd, dogs can catch a canine specific pathogen from other dogs. Yep, it seems there’s always a ‘but’…Pet Hooligans will present more about this in future posts.  For now though, suffice it to say that anywhere your dog may encounter other dogs or their waste could be a hot spot for dog illnesses.  Be aware that places such as dog parks, public lawns, vet clinics, or boarding kennels are probably contaminated with canine contagions.

[The Healthline site has also reported that dogs may get the human H1N1 or H3N2 flu viruses via human contact. But this has not been firmly established. Also, the dogs in that study reportedly showed no flu symptoms related to these two human viruses.]

Some dog COLD symptoms are:

  • Watery or matty eyes
  • Tear stains on face
  • Snotty and warm/dry nose
  • Phlegmy or dry cough
  • Difficult breathing
  • Excessive panting
  • Lethargic or inactive
  • Disinterested in food
  • Slight anal fever (101-102.5F is normal for dogs)

Basically these are the same sort of short duration symptoms suffered by people with colds.  However, NEVER treat your dog with over the counter human cough and cold medicines.  Those can be dangerous or even deadly for your dog. While the above symptoms typically appear when the dog suffers from a cold, some can also indicate an allergy or a more serious disease like Distemper, Salmonellosis, MRSA, TB, and others.  An exam by the vet is always a good idea even if it turns out to just be a dog cold.

[Please note: Small doses of aspirin is okay for dogs, if prescribed by a vet, but can be very toxic to cats and other pets.  Never give your dog aspirin unless it has been prescribed by your veterinarian and always ask your vet how best to treat your dog’s cold.]

So can dogs get colds from humans? The short answer, if we are talking about the common cold, seems to be that the chances are very small. However, as with anything related to your dog’s health, if you have any concerns, it’s always best to check with a professional, namely your vet.

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05/19/2024 09:15 pm GMT

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