Can Dogs Catch a Cold?

Can Dogs Catch a Cold?

6 minute read

Just as humans have common colds, so do our best friends, the dogs. Many pet owners ask whether the same cold viruses that infect us also affect our pets. The answer is yes, with a few differences. Dogs are not susceptible to the same strains of cold viruses that affect humans. So, how do dogs get cold? What is the difference between dog cold and flu symptoms? Here in this article, we will discuss everything in detail. 


Dog Cold Symptoms vs. Dog Flu Symptoms


Do Dog Get Cold?

Dogs cannot become infected with human illnesses like the common cold. Instead, dogs suffer from an infection caused by a virus or bacteria that has adapted specifically for them and causes these symptoms. In general, the symptoms of dog colds are similar to human ones like 

  • Congestion
  • Nasal discharge 
  • Watery eyes
  • Sneezing 
  • Lethargy 

Dogs commonly have cold symptoms, but they don't always require a trip to the vet. Notice that your pup is congested and stuffy, but the symptoms aren't severe enough to be worrisome. It may be manageable at home by providing lots of water and humid air (you can use a humidifier - it will ease the sniffling and coughing). 

There's no need to panic about your dog getting a cold. Just maintain their usual diet and monitor them for continued symptoms. Brachiocephalic dogs, like some breeds of pugs or French bulldogs, struggle more with breathing problems in the wintertime, so you must keep an eye on them and note if they start coughing or have trouble breathing.


Do Dogs get flu?

Dogs are susceptible to several types of viruses, including canine flu. Canine flu symptoms in dogs can be quite severe and include fever, vomiting, lethargy, and loss of appetite. However, our furry friends can’t get the same strain of flu that humans can get, but it’s still easy to spread this virus by contact.

Dog influenza is passed quickly from individual dogs to other dogs because it’s a contagious illness. Once your dog has been around another dog, he may catch it too. However, one should know that humans can’t contract dog flu, although it’s certainly possible to pass the virus onto your pet without ever showing any sickness symptoms. If you go near another infected dog, make sure you change and wash clothes before encountering any other dogs.


How Can Dogs Get Viruses And Cold?

Your dog could have caught a cold or flu virus in any number of ways, but we often see pets get sick at a shelter, dog park, or doggy daycare. Usually, the virus is spread through the air when your dog comes into contact with another puppy and then shares the same water dish or food bowls. Also, just like people, dogs can cough and sneeze to spread the sickness as well through droplets of saliva.

Dogs are straightforward to get sick, and they can spread their colds and the flu quickly between each other; it’s important to give them adequate space when one isn’t well! It's also wise to avoid taking your dog to parks or pet stores when he has a throat or respiratory infection because this makes it more likely that he will contract another disease, especially if you've been mostly keeping him indoors while he recovers.


How To Treat And Protect Dogs From Colds?

If you suspect your furry friend is ailing, it’s time to see your veterinarian. Before the appointment begins, make sure you let the receptionist know that you think your dog could be afflicted with either a common cold or the flu virus. Dogs afflicted with these respiratory illnesses tend to contaminate other pets through shared facilities such as waiting rooms. 

Bringing this information to their attention before beginning observation will ensure that staff members can potentially sanitize the immediate area and work quickly in treating them to lower the risk of further contamination of any other pet patients within their care.

Sometimes we believe there is no cure for colds or flu in dogs, and it's right, but there are many ways to make your dog feel better:


Mucous Thinning Medication

You can give your pet a type of medication specifically designed for wet, phlegmy cough in dogs. As with all medications, it's important to have a conversation with your vet before starting on any new treatment plan so you know exactly what problem your dog is having, what medicines can treat it and how much of it to provide depending on each veterinarian’s recommendation for the best results.


Increase Fluid Intake 

The risk of dehydration is at its peak during an illness, so your pet must drink fluids to avoid any potential complications. If Fluffy isn't drinking as much from their usual pet bowl, try adding a few ice cubes to the water to make it more attractive. The added fresh flavor may entice them to drink more. 


Nebulize Your Dog

Nebulizers treat pets by letting them inhale a breathable mist directly into the lungs. The process doesn't involve chemicals or medications but instead involves pumping physiologic saline right into their noses.



If your dog has become infected with respiratory disease, the vet may recommend antibiotics. But surprisingly, this will not help if the problem is a virus! So, in this case, antibiotics won't do any good against something like the flu.


Protect Your Dog from Cold 

Winter can be a very difficult time of year for many dog owners. It is a time when we have to consider giving special attention to our furry friends as sometimes their coats are affected by the weather and can cause them to catch a cold. As winter draws closer, there are some things we should all think about and some preparations that must be made in order to avoid any yellow snow. You can protect your dog from 

Dogs blankets are a must in the winter, just like we do. They'll keep your dog warm and happy. And come on, that leaf shape dog blanket is adorable! Plus, they're great to use around the home as well! These will help keep your dog warm and cozy this winter. These dogs raincoats also protect your dog from rain. 

Give your dog a coat to protect them from harsh weather. This remarkably reflective all-weather raincoat glistens brilliantly in the light of oncoming vehicle headlights and also protects your dog against cold.



It’s always important to take good care of your dog, but keeping them safe from the dog flu is especially important. You can help your dog avoid the flu by making sure they get their vaccinations, taking them for regular checkups, and following these tips for protecting them from the flu.

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