Can a Dog Catch The Common Cold From a Human?

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Your dog will occasionally come down with a cold when their immune system is not functioning at its best.

Can I Give My Dog a Cold?But here’s the deal:

While it is common for pets to catch a cold, people never spread this viral infection to canines.

The disease is certainly contagious though not in that way! Transmission from humans to dogs is virtually unheard of.

Your Dog Can’t Get The Cold From You

Anything you’ve been told to the contrary is a myth!

Forget What You Heard

Regarding this persistent rumor…

The spread of infectious diseases, from people to dogs, is pretty much impossible.

Rest assured, you won’t give Fido a cold. It is just that simple!

Bacteria, viruses and organisms that thrive in your body will not survive in a dog’s system. The same goes for the flu.

Note: A few cats were infected with H1N1 Swine Flu. We’re talking 1 in a billion!

What About the Reverse?

So we know that your dog can be near you even when you’re sick with a cold.

But can the same be said if the situation is reversed? Can a pet transfer the disease to you?

The answer is also no!

Again, a cold is not communicable in these scenarios. In fact, the viruses are completely different in humans and dogs.

There is no way this sickness can be transferred in either direction. Period!

Assessing a Canine Cold

A cold manifests similarly for dogs, but there is one big difference…

Pets obviously can’t tell you about their upper respiratory tract troubles.

How to get a handle on the situation?

A runny nose is expected, but a yellowish or greenish nose mucous discharge does not necessarily indicate infection.

Sneezing, cough and loss of appetite also aren’t especially worrisome (unless the symptoms linger on for days).

General weakness and fever are the biggest concerns.

Pro Tip: Consider taking your dog’s temperature with an infrared digital thermometer.

Treating Your Dog’s Cold

A common cold isn’t life threatening, but complications can develop.

Seek a vet’s help if you have reason to believe the illness is worsening. You do not want your dog getting pneumonia.

The thing is a cold can eventually get into the lungs.

There are also quite stubborn infections (specific to dogs) such as Kennel Cough and Canine Flu AKA H3N8 virus.

Your veterinarian may prescribe an antibiotic. Vitamin C may also be given for an immune system boost.

Keep your dog warm and dry. Limit time outside, especially in cold weather.

Why do that?

The bronchial tube constricts in frigid environments and this could make breathing difficult.

Hydration Is Important

Make sure there is plenty of water at the ready. Well-hydrated hounds have easier recoveries.

Sometimes using Pedialyte is warranted.

The electrolytes keep a balance of moisture inside your dog’s system during this difficult time.

The Bottom Line

Dogs and their masters cannot catch the common cold from one another.

The virus, under such a scenario, has a noncommunicable nature.

It can’t happen!

Do not worry about making your dog sick. So, despite your cold, you can snuggle up!

What Do You Think? Have Your Say Below…

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10 thoughts on “Can a Dog Catch The Common Cold From a Human?”

  1. Make sure to check with your vet before giving your pet Pedialyte. Some versions have fake sweetness in them which can be extremely toxic and even fatal for a dog!

  2. Can our dog transfer the cold virus from my son (he sleeps with him) to anyone else in the house?

    1. Yes, your dog can transfer the virus to anyone else in the house. Say your son sneezes on his hand, and then touches the dog the next time someone else touches the dog, the germs can be transferred to that person and they could possibly catch his cold.

  3. 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.

    1. 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?

  4. 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!

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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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