December 10

Can Dogs Get Colds


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Updated: December 10, 2017

Can Dogs Get Colds?

What has garlic, chocolate, corn on the cob, coffee, and soda in common?

They make a dog ill.

Although these foods are perfect for humans, they are toxic for dogs because they are an entirely different species with a different constitution.

Similarly, the germs that affect us malevolently do not affect dogs and vice versa. the point is the virus that causes flu in humans does not affect a dog.

Does That Mean That a Dog Never Catches a Cold?  

Dog owners might have noticed their pets sneezing uncomfortable and showing other symptoms of cold-like congestion. These are the usual cold symptoms in dogs besides the following:

·        Curls up into a ball.
·        Walks considerably slow.
·        Continuous or intermittent whining.
·        Tries to hide.
·        Running eyes.
·        Shows unusual laziness.
·        Shivers and trembles.
·        Looks very anxious.


The Overall Idea About Colds and Dogs


i. A dog can catch a cold.


ii. The dog cold is not the same as the human cold. Different germs are responsible for colds in humans and dogs.


iii. A dog cannot catch a cold from a human being and vice versa.


If the Dog Cold is Different From the Human Variety, Then is The Flu too Different?

Yes. It is canine flu and a dog is as uncomfortable as a human with flu. It is a common illness among dogs that needs care and medication.


Dogs are well looked after. Good dog owners give them all the comforts they can provide. Yet all dogs catch a cold.


In What All Ways Can a Dog Catch a Cold?


The fundamental source for germs that give your dog the cold is another dog. A dog can't catch a cold from a human.

The dog cold virus is passed on from a dog to another when they come into close contact. You have more than a dog at home and one of them catches a cold. In such a scenario, make sure to keep them isolated.


1. A dog can pick the cold from the environment where another infected dog had been spending time.


2. Coming in to contact with contaminated objects like toys, foods, and bowls can also give the cold to your dog.


3. Exposure to respiratory excretions from affected dogs is another source for your dog to catch a cold. 


4. Some fungal infections that are common in dusty and dry climates can cause valley fever in dogs. It has all the symptoms of a cold.


Cold in Dogs and Its Treatment


The symptom of cold in a dog necessarily need not be the cold itself. It can be the symptom of other illnesses that show symptoms similar to the common cold. So it is always better to seek help from a vet when your dog shows symptoms of a cold.

At the same time if you are very familiar with your dog's nature certain proven natural remedies can be tried.


Keep Your Dog Warm

In the case of dogs with colds, they should be kept warm. Keep him in a dry dog bed with a blanket. Some dog owners use a bed heater to ensure that the dog is warm and comfortable. In case the dog needs to go outside, fit him or her with dog clothes.


Limit All the Activities

Cold symptoms in dogs make them exhausted. So they need rest. When a dog has a cold, don't force it to engage in physical activities. Your dog might have loved some physical movements before you suspected that can a dog catch a cold. Now it is down with an illness and needs rest.


Use a Humidifier

It will help open its respiratory tracks as it happens in humans. So can dogs get human colds? No, again. The symptoms are almost the same but the germs are different. 


Aromatherapy with Essential Oils

Peppermint, eucalyptus, and lavender are used in treating dogs with colds. This method keeps the dog comfortable and gives faster relieves.


Coconut Oil and Honey in Foods

They are natural immune boosters that are anti-viral and anti-bacterial. Include them in small quantities with your dog's meal. The foods should be healthy and easily digestible. 


When Should I Take My Dog With a Cold to the Vet?


Symptoms of the common cold in most dogs can be treated at home itself. Some symptoms may be more than a cold.

Certain serious illnesses in dogs display the same symptoms as that of the cold. Let us sneak a peek into those conditions.

If your dog displays any of the following symptoms which are very similar to those of the cold, it needs medical attention.

Select Dynamic field


Constant Coughing Caused by Parasites

Parasites can cause the dog to have the following symptoms which should not be overlooked:  

·        Bloating
·        Change in appetite
·        Diarrhea
·        Vomiting
·        Constant coughing


Canine Distemper

Coughing, running nose, and watery eyes are usually the symptoms of cold in dogs. If they are accompanied by vomiting, coughing, lack of appetite, and lethargy then it is a telltale symptom of distemper.


Kennel Cough

This disease usually occurs in dogs that have recently returned from a shelter or a boarding. If the coughing sound is similar to honking, it means your dog is down with kennel cough.


Fungal Infection

Inflamed eyes, discharge from the eyes, and fever should never be ignored as cold. Other accompanying symptoms of a fungal infection are weight loss, fever, and difficulty in breathing.


Canine influenza

Discharging eyes and nose with a high fever usually occurs in the case of influenza. If the dog displays a hacking cough, lethargy, and a lack of appetite- it is a confirmed case of canine influenza.



It begins with coughing for prolonged periods and develops into breathing difficulties. Then the dog will start wheezing with retching or vomiting.


It was mentioned in the beginning that certain foods that we love are toxic to dogs. Similarly, most over-the-counter medication too does not suit dogs and can produce dastardly effects.


Can dogs get human colds? No! Can dogs be treated with human medicines? No!

about the author

Frank Harrigan

Frank loves tacos and dogs - the good, bad and ugly sides of dog ownership.

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