Can My Dog Catch My Cold?

Last Updated on December 18, 2022 by Becky Roberts

When discussing the idea of colds, one can’t help but wonder the mystery behind it being passed on to other people. When cold symptoms start to surface, we are often left confused as to why we caught it in the first place, and how we are able to transfer it from person to person.

But how are colds transferred, and what does it have to do with the topic in hand today?

Well, I”m sure glad you asked. Let’s take a closer look at how colds are caught by humans, and what does it mean for our four-legged friends, if we somehow catch it.

dog licking his paws

Why Do I Get Colds?

Often times starting off with having a runny eyes and a stuffy nose, the common cold is  known to be a viral infection of your nose and throat (or the upper respiratory tract). For humans, it’s almost harmless, and most people recover from colds within a week or in 10 days. Although not really a health issue, the said common cold can lead to quite serious problems, especially if not treated or noticed early.

For humans, some of the symptoms include sore throat, cough, congestion, slight body aches or a mild headache, sneezing, low-grade fever, and an overall feeling of being restless and unwell.

Should My Dog Be Worried?

If your dog is experiencing cold like symptoms, or if you notice your pooch with watery eyes or showing signs of having a stuffy nose, you don’t need to be worried immediately!

According to studies, the usual cold found in humans are known to be species specific. What does this mean, you ask?

It simply indicates that there are some infections and viruses that only infect humans, not dogs.

Now, I can almost hear you saying, “How is this possible?”

According to studies, a virus is like a key that only fits into a specific lock. In both humans and dogs case, the said lock is called a “receptor”. The virus must then co-exist and be compatible with the said receptor, for the virus to channel its negative effects,

This simply means that certain species may lack the receptor that a particular virus needs to gain entry, which basically stops the infection before it can even begin.

Dog Flu v.s. Colds: What Are The Differences?

Now that we’ve established that dogs are safe from the nuisance caused by colds, we head on to a much more serious topic: what is the difference between the common cold and the dog flu?

The immune systems of humans and dogs are fairly different. Because of this, the different ailments and diseases in dogs vary from humans, too.

One of the well known illnesses is the dog flu. The symptoms are relatively similar to flu in humans, but it helps to know that they have a different cause. Some symptoms of dog flu are sneezing, having a runny nose, coughing, lethargy, lack of appetite, and fever. No need to worry though! You won’t catch your dog’s flu.

However, dog flu can easily be transmitted to other canines, so best be on the lookout for other pooches.

Another known ailment for dogs is the kennel cough.

This is known to be a highly contagious respiratory disease. Kennel cough is often contracted when your pooches are immersed in places where there are other dogs present. One of the things you need to know is that kennel cough does not require direct contact to be transferred. The said virus can thrive on items such as water, surfaces, or even toys.

The most common sign of this disease is a  goose-like honking cough, and dogs usually show signs within four to ten days.

My Dog Is Sick. Now What?

When you notice your dog show cold-like symptoms, it’s best to have them intake lots of water, but not too much. A few preventive measures could also work, such as daily exercise, and eating the proper dog food. Canine illnesses are also avoidable by ensuring that your dog has safe and decent interaction whenever you go out for walks in the park.

In much more severe cases, a trip to a licensed veterinarian is a surefire way to aid your dog’s health.

In Conclusion

It’s good to know that dogs don’t catch our colds, but in this feature, we have learned that there are still conditions that dogs have that are unique to their species. As a dog owner, it is your sole responsibility to ensure that your pooch moves and breathes around a safe and secure environment, to make his dog years more enjoyable!

Becky Roberts

Becky Roberts

One of Becky's favourite things to do every morning is to browse the top pet-related forums, looking for issues and questions that people have. She then shortlists the most common ones, and turns them into blog posts for Fuzzy Rescue. She's had over 4 cats and 2 dogs over the past decade, so she does know a thing or 2 about raising/training, and more importantly, loving them. She's the only one on our team that doesn't like coffee, but it seems to us she really doesn't need more energy :). We're very fortunate to have her on board as she does most of the heavy listing for the site, outputting an insane amount of content each month. Read More

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