Can a Dog Catch a Cold From Humans?

For many pet lovers and dog owners, the thought of catching a cold is stressful in two ways. First, there is the stress that comes with having a cold – the sneezing, the runny nose and the headaches that come with it, to name a few. Then there is the additional fear that this infectious cold can be transmitted to the dog as well. With winter just around the corner, common colds are bound to become, well, more common. Once you catch a cold, your dog is smart enough to know that you are unwell. For this reason, it will want to keep as close to you as possible in an effort to protect you. While other humans will avoid you lest they catch a cold, the dog will want to be next to you for as long as possible. The good news is, you cannot infect your dog with your cold.

Yes a dog can get a cold

For many dog owners, this can be a little confusing. Dogs, after all, get colds just like us humans. To add on to this, the symptoms of their colds are more or less the same as ours. They get runny noses, streaming eyes and they sneeze, too. However, technically speaking, the virus that causes the cold in humans is different from the one that causes the cold in dogs. The most common virus that causes colds in humans is called the rhinovirus. On the other hand, the virus that causes most colds in dogs is the canine adenovirus type 2. While the canine adenovirus type 2 is the most common cause of colds among dogs, there are other viruses that may cause colds in dogs. These include the canine reovirus, bordetella, distemper virus, and the parainfluenza virus.

How to tell if your dog has a cold

There are several tell-tale signs that your dog has caught a cold. These include inflamed and weepy eyes, sneezing, a change in the bark caused by a sore throat, loss of appetite and a runny nose.
Colds make dogs feel lousy just as they do to us humans. Showing a little more love and care to the dog when it is having a cold is the first and most important step towards curing a cold. Make sure that the sick dog gets as much uninterrupted sleep as possible. Put ample drinking water next to it so that it does not have to walk to get the water. Whenever you see its nose wet, wipe it off as soon as possible. When dogs have a cold, their appetites take a dip. Failure to eat can make the dog weak and therefore stay ill for longer. Tempt the dog to eat with tasty food that is its favorite. Remember, warm food gives off more odor than cold food, and this helps in tempting the dog to eat.

When to see the Vet

When all these efforts fail, you should pay the vet a visit. This is especially the case when the dog does not eat at all despite all your efforts. The vet will give you a diagnosis based on the dog’s history and examination. In some cases, it may be important to take a swab so as to spot a troublesome bug and prevent it from infecting your dog regularly.
Read about if your cat can catch a cold here

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