Every year when the Fall knocks on our door so does the common cold and flu. With almost everyone having the sniffles, it’s easy to wonder if we can pass it on to our pets.
Can dogs get colds? The answer is yes. But not from us humans.
Dogs and cats can get infections of many kinds. Some of them are harmless but some can be a sign of a more serious disease.
But viruses from dogs don’t attack humans and vice versa, so there is almost no chance that your dog will catch a cold from you.
Keep reading and learn all about the symptoms of a dog cold, what is kennel cough and when you need to visit the vet.
What is a dog cold?
The word cold is used to label a variety of viruses. Because the symptoms of all these viruses are similar, they are all grouped together.
The most often symptoms of a cold are fever, sore throat, runny nose and weakness.
These rules apply to a dog cold as multiple viruses can cause cold symptoms in dogs.
Dog colds can be mild or severe, so it’s important to treat your sick dog with a bit more precaution than you’d treat yourself if you got a common cold.
Sometimes your dog can show symptoms of a cold but end up with a disease like kennel cough, so it’s really important to call your vet as soon as you notice that your dog might be getting sick.
What are the symptoms of a dog cold?
When sick, dogs can start acting odd and it is very likely that you will pick up that something’s not right. If you notice any of the below-mentioned symptoms, contact your local vet because it might indicate more than just a dog cold.
- Runny nose
- Congested nose
- Watery eyes
- No appetite
As we said, these symptoms can mean that your dog caught a cold but they can also indicate something more serious like dog influenza, kennel cough, bronchitis or parainfluenza virus.
If your dog shows some of these symptoms, the best option is to call your vet and consult with them.
Kennel cough is one of the most infectious dog respiratory diseases. It got its name after kennels, where a lot of dogs are in close contact and can easily transmit the disease from one to another.
The disease is treatable but it can be dangerous for puppies and other dogs with a weak immune system.
The main symptom of kennel cough is a dry cough that has a distinguished sound to it, like a honking sound. Other symptoms that can appear are the same as for a common cold in dogs.
Sometimes kennel cough symptoms can start as mild cold symptoms, so it is important to call your vet as soon as you notice changes in your dog’s behaviour.
How to treat a dog cold?
When you notice that your dog is not eating as much and is acting different, start paying attention if the symptoms worsen and prolong.
If your dog starts sneezing or coughing, call your vet’s office and consult with them if you need to visit or not.
The vet will do a physical check as well as some diagnostic tests to rule out any more serious conditions. Your dog will get their lungs and heart checked, and also some other tests as a radiograph, faecal analysis and a blood test.
The treatment for your dog will be based on the exam’s results and will differ for each dog.
Some sorts of the common cold can be resolved on their own, but kennel cough and other serious diseases will require a treatment protocol that includes antibiotics, rest, fluids and maybe some other medical treatments.
If your dog has a cold, keep him warm in a fluffy blanket and give him all the love he needs. We all love being pampered while sick, and so does your dog. So, if you are looking for the best dog blankets, Woofblankets have them and they’re right here.
Another important thing to mention is that you shouldn’t ever give your dog over-the-counter medicine without consulting with your vet. It is extremely unsafe as some of the human medicines can really harm your pet.
Be sure to follow the guidelines your dog’s vet gave you and keep your puppy warm and happy. Your love and affection will surely help in their recovery.
If you need ideas for some quality time with your pet, check out this article: 7 Best Movies To Watch With Your Dog
Is visiting a vet necessary?
Not every time is visiting a vet necessary, but you should pay close attention to your dog’s behaviour and the duration of the changed behaviour.
If your dog develops symptoms like coughing or sneezing, call your vet and describe the symptoms.
It is best to keep track of the symptoms in a notebook if you suspect it might be something serious, that will help your vet have a clearer picture of the potential issue.
Can a dog catch a cold from humans?
It is highly unlikely that your dog will catch a cold from you or some other person. Human viruses rarely jump to other species, and that also applies to dog viruses. So don’t worry, if you have a cold there is almost no chance for your dog to catch it.
The same goes for dog viruses, you won’t catch a cold if your dog is sick.
On the other hand, your dog can infect other dogs so it is important to keep your dog away from them until your furry friend gets healthy again.
Can you prevent your dog from catching a cold?
As we mentioned, the term common cold is used for a variety of viruses, so there is no single vaccine that can protect your dog from all of them.
But, for some diseases like kennel cough, distemper, and canine influenza, there is a vaccine that can help your dog’s immune system and reduce the risk of contracting the virus.
The general recommendation from vets is to vaccinate all dogs for distemper. Your vet will recommend other vaccines if needed.