Can I Give My Dog a Cold?

Can I Give My Dog a Cold?Dogs can catch a cold when their immune system cannot effectively fight bacteria or viruses. Usually the underlying cause isn’t completely due to germs, but also on the body’s general well-being.

So a canine cold tends to manifest when other problems are present. In other words, dogs can easily catch this common condition when they’re in less than optimal health or stressful situations.

That said, if your concern is transferring a cold to your best buddy then we have some good news. You’ll be happy to know that transmission from a human to a dog is virtually impossible.

Can I Give My Dog a Cold? Answer: No

Diseases that are transferable from humans to pets are almost unheard of.

You cannot give a cold to your dog. The bacteria, viruses and organisms that thrive in a particular body’s system cannot survive in such a different environment. Colds aren’t communicable between these two species. Therefore, the cold viruses and germs that can live inside your body cannot also thrive in your dog’s body. The two species also can’t typically transfer Influenza or any other types of the flu.

From Your Dog to You?

Now you know that your dog is safe to come near you even if you’re sick with a cold. But what if your pet dog has the cold first? Can they transfer the disease to you?

The answer is also no. The common cold viruses that cause the disease in humans and dogs are very different. Rest assured, there’s no way it can be transferred back and forth from a dog to a pet owner and vice-versa.

Signs of a Canine Cold

Cold symptoms in dogs and humans are very similar. As this ailment affects the upper respiratory tract, there could be some difficulty in breathing. Having this type of ailment is particularly tough for dogs. They just can’t voice their pain, discomfort or particular symptoms.

If you observe that your pet has a type of cold, you’ll want to administer treatment or some remedies to alleviate your dog’s condition. We’ll offer solutions below.

If the situation is severe, you may see some mucous discharge from their nose. A runny nose can be expected, while a yellowish or greenish discharge can indicate an infection. In such a case, your dog’s cold may be accompanied by fever and general weakness. Unfortunately your dog can also experience the same sneezing, cough, as well as a loss of appetite.

Treating Your Dog’s Cold

A vet can prescribe a suitable cold medicine for your dog. Although a common cold by itself is not life threatening, complications from it can be more serious. A simple cold can develop into pneumonia when not properly attended to. That’s why your veterinarian will likely prescribe antibiotics early on to control the situation.

Moreover, a high dose of vitamin C may also be given to your pet. This will boost their immune system enabling your dog to recover faster.

During this time, keep your canine friend warm and dry while recuperating. Also, limit their time outside if the weather is cold. The bronchial tube constricts in a cold environment making it even harder to breathe for most dogs.

You should also encourage them to drink plenty of water. A well hydrated body helps relieve some cold symptoms. If your dog isn’t drinking as much as they should perhaps the use of some Pedialyte is warranted. The electrolytes in it will keep the natural balance of moisture inside your dog’s system during this difficult time.

Conclusion on Common Cold

Although colds are very common for both the human and canine species, dogs and humans cannot catch this type of disease from one another. The noncommunicable nature of these viruses means that the germs that can thrive in the human body cannot adapt to a dog’s body and vice versa. It is, therefore, safe to snuggle up with your pet even if one of you has a cold.

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{ 6 comments… read them below or add one }

JR October, 2015

I had a terrible head cold last week and then my dog got into my garbage. She ate the tissues used for blowing my nose. Now she’s sick and has gluey eyes. We are keeping an eye on her and making her comfortable with warm blankets and chicken soup.


Colette November, 2015

Thank you for confirming this as my doggie did the same. I’ve been ill now for nearly 2 weeks with a terrible cold and cough. My young dog gets great pleasure in stealing tissues and chomping them down before I can even get them back. Now she’s got a runny nose. How long does it last for dogs?


Bobo September, 2015

I can confirm that a human cold can be transferred to a dog. Try it by sneezing on your dog’s nose and wait a day or so. Soon enough your little doggie will be sneezing with a running nose. Just like humans, they recover after a week. I did this experiment when he was 2 years old. I’m happy to say he’s now 12 and still going strong!


Lynn April, 2015

This is not entirely true. Zoonotic illnesses can be transmitted from human to dog and vice versa. Viruses mutate and change often. Not all viruses can be transmitted, but some have the potential to. Viruses have a purpose, to infect to survive. They adapt to changes in their environments and occasionally mutate to make their survival possible. Scientists learn new things about viruses every day, things that they didn’t believe possible are now possible. H1N1, for example, can be transmitted to dogs and that wasn’t the case before.


Cheryl September, 2014

Thank you for this information. I do know, however, that the H1N1 virus (influenza) can mutate and infect your pet. It happened to my family and two of my four dogs and my cat caught a mutation of it from me. They then passed the mutation to each other. However, you have definitely reassured me that the common cold is nothing to worry about.


Janet August, 2014

I did assume my little dog caught his cold from me as we both have runny noses. I was first to have the cold though! He has just recently been prescribed by our vet an anti-inflammatory med for back legs so maybe the recent visit was stressful as he was in pain. Your article has been very useful, thank you.


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