Can My Dog Catch a Cold?

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The answer is yes but the cold and flu causing viral and bacterial agents for humans and dogs are different. Therefore if you catch a cold or the flu it cannot be transmitted to your dog and vice versa.

Although the causes of colds in dogs differ from humans, the symptoms are basically the same which include runny or stuffy nose, sneezing, chronic cough, watery eyes, loss of appetite, lethargy, sleepiness and fever.

It’s important to know the difference between a common dog cold from a more serious health issue. Kennel Cough is a contagious type of cough typically contracted through boarding kennels. This illness is known to infect a very high percentage of dogs at least once during their lifetime. The dry cough is most easily recognized by its characteristic honking sound and depending on the severity will need to be treated by a vet.

Other cold like illnesses include Canine Influenza virus, Parainfluenza virus and Adenovirus. These are highly contagious and transmitted by infected dogs.

Canine Distemper is a potentially life threatening viral illness. Symptoms include coughing, vomiting, high fever and thick discharge from the eyes and nose. Non immunized dogs that come in contact with an infected animal carry a high risk of contracting this disease and unfortunately there is no cure for it. The best prevention is routine vaccinations.

By keeping your dog indoors during cold, wet weather and providing healthy food and fresh water daily, this will help your dog’s immune system fight infections. But if your dog becomes ill and symptoms don’t improve within a few days, always consult your vet.

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