Can Dogs Get Colds?

Updated: October 17, 2022

Colds are not really life-threatening, but are always annoying and can be a cause of concern. The common cold is just a fact of life to almost all of us. But what about dogs? Can dogs get colds? Can dogs get colds from humans? And how can you prevent your dog from getting sick?

Yes, dogs can get colds. Colds just do not make us uncomfortable but they affect our dogs, too. Just like the cold symptoms that affect humans, nose congestion, sneezing, coughing, these and other typical cold symptoms can also affect dogs. However, a more serious illness could also be to blame for your dog's cold symptoms.

"Can dogs get colds? Yes, dogs can develop colds because of similar causes."

What Is a Cold?

People often refer to a variety of viruses as a cold. Since each of these viruses produces symptoms including a sore throat, sneezing, runny nose, runny eyes, and overall malaise, they are together referred to as cold viruses.

The rhinovirus, which WebMD estimates to be responsible for more than 50% of colds in adults, along with influenza, parainfluenza, corona, and respiratory syncytial viruses are the most prevalent cold agents in humans.

can dogs get colds?

But, can dogs get colds? Yes, dogs can develop colds because of similar causes. The term "cold virus" is not applied to any one single virus. Instead, a variety of viruses can cause colds in dogs. Because some of them can be more serious than others, it is crucial to treat your dog's cold symptoms as soon as possible.

What Are the Symptoms of Colds in Dogs?

Some of the symptoms of our own colds may resemble those of your dogs.

Common cold symptoms in dogs include:

  • Sneezing
  • Coughing
  • Runny or congested nose
  • Watery eyes

Other symptoms, according to PetMD, include the following:

  • Sore throat
  • Headaches
  • Body aches
  • Feeling “off” and lethargic

These symptoms could indicate a dog cold virus, but they could also indicate more heartbreaking illnesses such as kennel cough, canine distemper, bronchitis, and influenza virus also known as the dog flu.

can a dog get a cold?

Cold symptoms like coughing, sneezing, or runny eyes and nose are not only caused by viruses. Additionally, bacterial and parasitic infections like heartworms and roundworms may cause coughing. Allergies and fungal infections can also harm lung tissues, resulting in pneumonia and creating symptoms comparable to that of the common cold.

Call your vet for the safest course of action if your furbaby exhibits any of these symptoms. Your dog may have a more serious illness that needs veterinary care if they also exhibit sudden changes in appetite, vomiting, diarrhea, vomiting, diarrhea, or any other variations from their usual day-to-day behavior.

Could It Be Something Else?

Kennel Cough. A highly contagious respiratory condition that affects dogs, kennel cough may also be mistaken for colds in dogs. The dry, honking cough that dogs get is the most recognizable sign of kennel cough. Some analogize it to the sound of a gosling honking. Although most dogs recover from kennel cough without treatment, it can have more serious effects on puppies and senior dogs with compromised immune systems.

Sneezing, a runny nose, lethargy, loss of appetite, and a mild fever are additional signs of kennel cough. Consult your veterinarian to make sure because many of these symptoms are also present in dogs with colds.

Canine Flu. A number of symptoms brought about by the canine flu can be similar to symptoms of colds. Canine influenza or canine flu is highly contagious. In fact, according to the American Veterinary Medical Association, almost all dogs exposed to the canine influenza virus get the infection even though only 80% of them display symptoms. Sneezing, runny nose, dry or wet cough, and fever are some of the common signs of canine flu.

How to Treat Dog Colds

Calling your veterinarian should be your first step if you think your dog has a cold. It is crucial to rule out any other possible reasons for your dog's symptoms. Your vet may examine your dog's heart and lungs or perform diagnostic tests to rule out any underlying conditions depending on severity. If necessary, the optimal course of treatment for your dog can be determined with the help of radiographs and blood works to identify the source of their colds.

Treatment will also depend on the cause of the cold. Remember to never administer any over-the-counter drugs to your furbaby without consulting your vet first. While mild colds usually go away on their own, if the illness your dog has turned out to be something greater, like kennel cough, your vet will advise a treatment plan. Treatment may include fluids, cough suppressants, or antibiotics for secondary infections.

Home Remedies for a Dog’s Cold

Keep plenty of water accessible for your furbaby at home, wipe away any nasal discharge. Keep them comfortable, allow them to relax as much as possible, and give them warm, humid air if they are congested. Put a Pawtect® Blanket down in a spot that your dog likes to lay. These waterproof dog blankets will keep your furbaby cozy and comfortable. Plus, they are waterproof so drool or nasal discharge will not seep through onto your couch, bed, or floor. If possible, keep your sick dog away from healthy ones because colds can be very infectious.

Can Dogs Get Colds from Humans?

The likelihood that dogs will catch a cold from humans, as stated by the American Kennel Club, is incredibly low. Fortunately, many respiratory and cold viruses are "species-specific," indicating that neither you nor your dog will contract from the other.

But the same for does not apply for dog-to-dog cold transmission. Other dogs in your house or in your neighborhood may be susceptible to catching your furbaby’s cold or the other way around. For all the dogs’ safety, keep your sick dog away from other dogs until they feel better.

Ways to Prevent Your Dog From Getting Cold

The best method to keep your dog from getting colds is to keep them away from sick animals. You can also give daily multivitamins to keep their immune system strong. But due to the enormous number of viruses that can cause cold symptoms, there is sadly no vaccine for the common dog cold, just as there is no vaccine for human colds.

Keep the kennel cough, canine influenza, and distemper vaccines updated so that you lower your dog's chance of developing these illnesses. Ask your veterinarian if there are any further vaccinations that they think your dog needs. As a pet parent, you may also keep a watch out for reports of dog disease epidemics in your neighborhoods and avoid taking your dog to these risky places.

You can also provide your dog with Pet Parents® Multivitamin SoftSupps® to promote powerful daily health support. These are dog multivitamins that can be given daily to help boost your furbaby’s immune system.

So, can dogs get colds? Yes, just like humans, dogs can get colds. And they have similar symptoms to human colds. However, dogs cannot get colds from humans most of the time and vice versa. If your dog has a cold, allow them time to relax and recover. And be sure to support their immune systems with dog multivitamin and up to date vaccines.

"Provide your dog with Pet Parents® Multivitamin SoftSupps® to promote powerful daily health support. "