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Can Dogs Get Colds?

Is your pup sicker than a dog?

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Everyone knows that when winter comes around, temperatures drop and cold and flu cases rise. But while they’re getting their own flu shots and stocking up on home remedies, pet owners might be wondering whether they should be concerned about their four-legged friends. Are dogs able to catch a cold the same way you are?

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The short answer is no, your dog cannot get the same kind of cold that you get. They cannot catch the cold virus that causes sniffles, sore thoats and other symptoms in humans. However, dogs are able to get infections that cause symptoms that are similar to symptoms of a cold in humans, such as sneezing and congestion.

Thankfully, you cannot catch the “dog cold” from your dog. The same is true vice versa — you cannot pass your cold onto your dog.

But what about the flu? The flu is a more serious type of sickness and is more difficult to treat. Just like the common cold, dogs cannot get the same flu as humans, but they can get the canine flu. 

Some of the symptoms of the canine flu are the same, but they have a different cause. With the canine flu, your dog could experience sneezing, runny nose, coughing, lethargy, lack of appetite and fever.

Humans cannot get sick from the dog flu, but if you have been in contact with a dog that is infected, it is possible that you could pass it to another dog. It can also be spread directly from dog to dog.


Knowing the symptoms of a dog cold or flu is just one of the ways you can keep your dog safe and healthy this winter.