The common cold is a fact of life, though it is rarely deadly. Dogs, on the other hand? Do they catch a cold from time to time?

Dogs, like humans, can get colds and flus that cause them to sneeze and sniffle. Although your dog may have a cold, it could also be a sign of a more serious illness, like pneumonia.

Seasonal colds and flu are taking over schools and workplaces this time of year. Everyone seems to be carrying tissues and taking a few days off from work or school. We wonder if and how our pets become infected with the same viruses that affect humans during the winter. Is it possible for dogs and cats to get the flu?

What is cold?

Symptoms of a dog with cold

There are many different kinds of colds.

Sneezing, congestion, coughing, and/or a scratchy throat are all symptoms of a “cold,” a term we use to describe viruses that cause these symptoms. A rhinovirus is the most common cause of the common cold in humans, though there are a few others.

Humans are the only species to be affected by these viruses, and they cannot be transmitted to dogs or cats. Similar to dog and cat viruses, they cannot be transmitted from one species to another.

The term “cold” is therefore used to describe a dog or cat illness with the same symptoms as a human cold, but it refers to different actual viruses using the same generic term (“cold”).

As in humans, the most common causes of dog flu are the canine adenovirus type 2, the canine parainfluenza virus, and Bordetella bronchiolitis (also known as kennel cough). A cold-like illness in cats is usually caused by a herpesvirus or calicivirus.

How do dogs get colds?

Dogs have a very low risk of getting a cold from humans. For your peace of mind, you can give your dog a cold that you’ve been suffering from without fear of transmitting the virus to him or her.

Even though you won’t catch a cold from your dog, it’s best to keep your dog away from other dogs until he feels better so that they don’t catch whatever virus is causing his cold from him.

Dog cold symptoms: what to look for?

Symptoms of a dog with cold

Looks dejected and lonely under the blanket of a brown leather couch with an English Bulldog pet dog on it.

There are a lot of similarities between these symptoms and those of a common cold in humans.

  • Sneezing
  • Nose congestion
  • An itchy nose
  • Congestion
  • Coughing
  • Irritated eyes
  • Reduced desire to eat
  • Activity levels have dipped.

The amount of time spent sleeping has increased.

For dogs, there is a difference. Dog flu, canine parainfluenza virus, bronchitis, fungal infection, or distemper are all possible causes of these symptoms in addition to a common cold in dogs.

Even the common cold can be dangerous for some dog breeds. Flat-faced breeds are more susceptible to breathing issues. The symptoms of the common cold in these dogs are more severe, and they include the following:

  • Snorting
  • Wheezing
  • Snoring is becoming more frequent.

As a result of their unique nasal anatomy, these breeds are more prone to nasal congestion, which can lead to secondary infections like pneumonia.

How to prevent influenza and the common cold in dogs?

The answer to the question of whether or not dogs get colds and flu is now clear, but how do you prevent it? If you want to keep your dog healthy, there are a few things you can do.

1. Keep your children’s vaccinations current

Even though they won’t protect your dog from everything, vaccinations like kennel cough can significantly lower their risk of getting sick. Vaccines for parvovirus, canine distemper, leptospirosis, and infectious canine hepatitis are also recommended for your pup.

2. Regularly clean their possessions

Keep their bowls and toys clean to prevent the spread of dog colds, as well as to keep them healthy. If they live with other dogs, this is especially important. Make sure that you change their water at least once a day, too.

3. Recuperation is essential

Dogs sleep an average of 12-14 hours per day. Make sure they get enough sleep to keep them healthy and free of illnesses.

4. Feed high-quality food

Dogs can benefit from the old adage, “an apple a day keeps the doctor away” (not necessarily apples, but you get the idea). You can help your dog’s immune system by feeding it a high-quality diet that contains all of the nutrients it needs.

5. Observe for any signs of an outbreak

It is one of the best ways to keep an eye out for dog flu outbreaks in your neighborhood.

Any health issues you should be aware of should be brought to your local veterinarian, who can tell you whether your dog needs additional vaccinations, what areas you should avoid, and if it needs to be kept inside for a period of time.

How to quickly treat your dog’s cold?

Symptoms of a dog with cold

As long as your dog is breathing normally and eating and drinking, the majority of dog colds can be treated at home. Consider using low-sodium chicken or beef broth in your pet’s diet. Drinking plenty of water is essential for your dog’s health, just as it is for you.

Make sure there is always a supply of clean, fresh water available. Because his sense of smell will be compromised, it’s best to provide him with foods that have strong aromas to get him to eat more. The juice from a can of tuna can be added to his regular food in order to enhance the odor.

The bathroom is a great place for some dogs to hang out while you shower. Your dog’s sinuses will be “steamed” and some congestion will be relieved as a result. To avoid irritating your dog’s trachea, consider walking him in a harness rather than a collar.

So that his trachea and lungs can heal, keep your dog quiet—no running around or rough play. Observe your other dogs for signs of illness, as they may also be affected.

Every day, use a warm compress to soften any hardened discharge from your dog’s eyes or nose.

If your dog’s cough continues and he or she is unable to sleep, ask your veterinarian for cough medicine. Canine cough remedies are available in place of some human medications, which may not be safe for your canine companions. However, before using any of these, consult your veterinarian!

This is more than “just a cold” if you have a fever and/or if your breathing is labored. It’s possible that your dog is developing pneumonia. He needs to be taken to the veterinary hospital, where he may need antibiotics and supplemental oxygen.

How to treat your dog’s cold in your own house?

The majority of the time, you’ll be able to treat your dog’s cold at home. If your dog is behaving normally, this is especially important to note. Or to put it another way, if your dog is still healthy, you can probably get by with just some basic at-home care.

When you have a cold, many of the same things you would do for yourself, you would also do for your dog. For example, your dog will require plenty of rest, ready access to clean water, and a relaxing setting.

Keep your dog warm, and if they’re congested, leave them in the bathroom while you wash your hair or do your makeup. Their nasal passages can be kept open and moist by the steam.

Congestion and other respiratory-related issues, such as asthma, may benefit from the use of a humidifier. But if your dog knocks it over, use a cool mist model.

A soft cloth or gauze can be used to wipe your dog’s nose if they have nasal discharge. It’s also a good idea to keep your sick dog isolated from the rest of the pets in your home. Unless specifically instructed otherwise by your veterinarian, avoid giving your dog over-the-counter cold medications.

When to contact veterinarian if your dog has cough?

If your dog exhibits any of the following symptoms:

  • Isn’t getting enough nutrition and water?
  • Uncomfortable appears to be the case
  • Breathing problems
  • Has symptoms that haven’t improved significantly after a week or two of treatment

The vet can then rule out any other potential causes of your dog’s congestion, sneezing, coughing, etc., by performing an exam. Allergens or irritants that are inhaled can cause pneumonia, as can foreign bodies in the lining of the nose (such as tumors, mites, or fungal infections).

To help your dog feel better and expedite their recovery from the equivalent of a cold, your veterinarian may prescribe antibiotics (only if a bacterial cause is likely), decongestants, cough suppressants, or anti-inflammatories.

If your dog is sick and congested, it is likely to spread the illness to other dogs. Prevent the spread of disease by keeping your dog away from other dogs if they exhibit these symptoms.

Can canine sneezing and runny nose be symptoms of something else?

Symptoms of a dog with cold

Between 1,000 and 10,000 times better, a dog’s sense of smell is superior to ours. For example, dogs can tell the difference between a man and a woman based solely on their sense of smell.

Getting a foxtail or other plant material stuck in your dog’s nose is a common occurrence because they rely so heavily on their noses. In most cases, they can be sneezed out or swallowed. Unfortunately, the object can get stuck and cause symptoms that resemble those of a cold in some people.

1. Any additional growths besides polyps

Having polyps, growths, or tumors in the nose can cause nasal irritation with discharge, swelling, and pain that can lead to a blocked nose.

2. Infections caused by mold

Antibodies from the body’s immune system react similarly to infections caused by viruses or bacteria when fighting off fungal infections. This can cause a runny nose, a swollen face, and pain in the nose.

3. Parasites

Dogs and foxes can transmit nasal mites, which are microscopic parasites. When a dog has nasal mites, they may have an itchy, runny nose.

4. Shocking dentin infection

When dogs do not have regular dental exams and cleanings, this can lead to dental problems. The sinuses can become infected as a result of some dental problems.

Consult your dog’s veterinarian about dental care and how to keep your dog’s mouth healthy.

Diagnostic of cold in dogs

Your veterinarian will inquire about your dog’s recent contact with other animals that may have been infected. A complete physical exam, blood tests, and x-rays may be necessary to pinpoint the source of your dog’s symptoms.

In order to conduct a more thorough examination of the mouth and nose, sedation may be necessary in order to determine whether the issue stems from the teeth or the nose.

Watch 5 home remedies for dog cold and flu | Video

Top 5 FAQs and answers related to Symptoms of a dog with cold

To tell if your dog is sick, how do you tell?

Symptoms of a dog’s cold
Dry “honking” coughs could be kennel coughs, but it’s not clear.
My nose is running.
Eyes that are red and watery.
Lethargy; a decrease in activity.
An inability to eat or drink.
Breathing difficulties.
Feeling under the weather (though a fever more commonly indicates the flu)

Can a dog with a cold be treated?

A humidifier is a must. Warm, steamy air can loosen a stuffy nose in the same way that it does for humans….
Make sure your dog has a clean environment to live in.
Don’t forget to give him plenty of rest.
Keep a safe distance from other canines.
Give him a lot of water….
Make sure your dog is getting enough to eat.

Does a dog’s illness clear up on its own?

The majority of dogs with a common cold will get better on their own, but your veterinarian may recommend a course of treatment if the illness turns out to be something more serious, such as kennel cough.

What does it look like when a dog is sick?

When it comes to colds, dogs and cats are just like us. Congestion, sneezing (particularly wet sneezes), watery eyes, and lethargy are all symptoms that both people may experience (napping more, showing low energy). Symptoms of a cold may last for up to ten days.

Is there any way to tell if you have dog flu?

However, not every dog will show symptoms of this illness; some dogs will only have a cough and some will have a runny nose. Canine flu symptoms in dogs can range from being completely absent to being severe enough to cause pneumonia and, in some cases, death.

Concluding Thoughts

Symptoms of a dog with cold

Sneezing, coughing, a runny nose, lack of appetite, and a desire to sleep more are all signs that your dog may be suffering from a cold. There are many other serious conditions that can be mistaken for a cold, such as Canine Distemper, kennel cough, or canine flu. To rule out parasites or allergies, a trip to the vet is required.

To treat a mild cold, you can give your dog plenty of fluids and rest at home, and they should recover in one to two weeks. It’s critical to provide clean, fresh water for your pet at all times. Keeping your pet’s vaccinations up to date and seeing a veterinarian regularly can also help keep them healthy.

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