Have you ever caught your dog sneezing or with the sniffles? Seeing your dog like that can make you think they have been digging in some dirt for too long, but sometimes it’s a sign that your dog is not feeling well.
You may have asked yourself, “do dogs get colds?” We answer that and more below.
Do Dogs Get Colds?
Any person or animal can succumb to bacterial or viral infections. So, if you’re asking, “do dogs get colds?” – the answer is yes. All animals can get a cold. The important thing to remember is that one animal cannot pass a cold to a different animal.
So, if you have a cold, you can never pass it to your dog or vice versa. Great news for pet owners, because you’ll still be able to cuddle up without worry of giving them your illness. You can also care for your dog when they get a cold and not worry about getting sick yourself.
You also do not have to worry about your dog getting your cat sick. But if you have multiple dogs, you might want to consider separating them and feeding them out of different bowls.
What most people call a “cold” is a group of viruses. Many viruses cause cold like symptoms. It’s very much the same with dogs. When a dog gets a “cold,” it is usually caused by one of many viruses.
Viruses cannot be stopped by normal medicine. You must let it run its course and let the body’s immune system take care of it. That said, it’s much more difficult to judge how bad your dog might be feeling, so always keep a close eye on them if they show cold symptoms and prepare for a visit to the vet if need be.
Symptoms of a Dog with a Cold
For the most part, cold symptoms for a dog present the same way they would in a human. Common symptoms include sneezing, coughing, runny or congested nose, or watery eyes.
Most people are aware that these are cold symptoms. It’s important to remember though that dogs cannot tell you how they feel. If your dog shows these symptoms, consider at least calling your vet for a chat. These symptoms can be signs that a more serious illness is present as well, so do err on the side of caution.
How To Treat a Dog With a Cold
After checking with your vet to rule out any more serious illnesses like kennel cough, bronchitis or canine distemper, you are safe to try home remedies. Just make sure to take note of your dog’s activity level and how much they are eating and drinking.
You’ll want to make sure your dog is relaxing. Encourage them to take it easy. Maybe sit with them for some pets or give them a chewy treat to at least entertain them.
If your dog’s eyes and nose look a little messy, feel free to wipe them with a damp cloth. Make sure the cloth is warm, not hot. The nose and face can be very sensitive areas.
You can also welcome your dog into the bathroom with you as you shower. The moist air can help your dog’s congestion. Lay out a matt on the floor or a folded towel so your dog can get nice and cozy, and hopefully they’ll be feeling better in no time.
The one thing you should never do is give your dog medicine that is meant for humans. Over the counter cold medicine is fine for people, but many can pose a danger to dogs.
If at any time your dog seems to get worse, stops eating or drinking or seems to be in pain, take them to the vet for proper care. They will be able to provide medicine or advise on how to best treat your dog.
How To Protect Your Dog From a Cold
There is no “cure all” to protect your dog from getting a cold. The best way to protect your dog (and yourself for that matter) is to live a healthy lifestyle.
Your dog should be eating a balanced diet. That doesn’t mean you have to make their food at home, but you should make sure the ingredients in your dog food are the right fit for your dog.
All dogs need activity to me mentally and physically healthy as well. Most dogs will be fine with 30 minutes a day of exercise, though some breeds may require more.
You can also consider giving your dog supplements to help boost their immune system. You should consider giving your dog foods rich in vitamin C and D. You can also consider adding a bit of fish oil or cod liver oil to their food a few times a week.
These diet additions will help keep your dog’s immune system supported. In conjunction with proper exercise and nutrition, your dog will be sure to fight off cold symptoms quickly.
Now that we know dogs can indeed get a cold, hopefully you’ve learned what you can do to keep your dog healthy and how to help them if they do get sick.