Can My Dog Catch My Cold? How About My Flu?

It’s that time of the year when the flu starts running rampant and causing all sorts of nastiness upon one normally healthy body. With this sickness running around, I’m sure most people are worried about not only spreading it to their human family member but canine companions as well. The stress of not knowing whether dogs can contract the flu similar to humans can lead to worsening your health. Luckily for you, this article is meant to keep you at ease and inform you whether the human flu can get your dog sick, as well as what you can do in order to make them feel much better.

Canines and Flu

Now keep in mind its possible for your canine pal to get the flu, but it’s virtually impossible for them to contract the bacterial disease from the human version of the flu. So if you wish to cuddle up with your canine buddy in order to feel much better, then go ahead, you won’t be able to pass on your version of the flu. Even so, there is some evidence that the human version of the flu, better known as H1n1, can be passed on to certain types of animals such as cats, but not dogs. These cases tend to be extremely rare though, so if you own a cat alongside a dog, then some caution should be taken but nothing to fret too much about.


The dog version of the flu is known as H3N3. is a contagious respiratory infection that was only recently discovered in 2004. The flu was discovered when it manages to spread from horses and began affecting several racing dogs. Ever since this unfortunate spread of sickness, most states have reported signs of dogs infected with the H3N3 flu. Although researchers have stated that outbreaks tend to be sporadic and then dwindle down. Positive statements made by experts in the field have concluded that most cases tend to be generally mild, and can be treated immediately if caught on time and can be prevented. Keep in mind that any other pets that are in your home can also contract the disease so make sure to keep your pup away from them in order to prevent further spread of the flu virus.

How does the disease spread?

Since dogs have the misfortune of having their own version of the flu, learning how this virus can be transmitted is a must. A dog that already infected can pass it on to another dog through sneezing or panting and such. The virus can also be spread through contact with objects that have been contaminated and by people who move between an already infected dog to an uninfected one.  


Symptoms of dog flu

  • Cough
  • Fever
  • Runny Nose
  • Lethargy
  • Loss of appetite
  • Respiratory infection

Taking care of your dog.

Clearly, you wish to know how to better take care of your dog in case they have the misfortune of coming in contact with this nasty virus. Taking care of your dog will be quite simple and will be similar to that of taking care of a child.


First of all, if you get any inkling that your is sick in any shape, contacting the veterinarian for advice is one of the best possible ways to proceed. A sick pet should always be examined by a qualified vet to pinpoint the cause and begin the necessary treatment. The most common recommendation a vet will tell you is for your dog to get plenty of rest. Rest is vital for recovery, and your dog’s speedy recovery is very important.  This part won’t be too much of a hassle for your pup as he won’t be feeling too well, but it’s something that should be made known to anyone else in your household, so they aren’t bothered by the rest of the family, especially if children are involved. Until your dog is feeling much better, they won’t have the energy to play around or even go out for walks.


Fortunately, since the virus cannot be passed on from canine to humans you can give them all the attention and care they need to know you’re there to help them make a full recovery. Make sure to also keep their water bowls full at all times, they will require plenty of fluids to stay hydrated, similar to how us humans need to stay hydrated when under the weather. Just make sure they are actually drinking the water though, sometimes the pup will need encouragement to get up for a sip.


If it’s necessary for your pup to spend some time at a daycare or needs to be boarded in the coming future, work alongside your bet and borderer to ensure your pet is healthy enough to be in close proximity of other animals. Getting other people pets sick intentionally by coming in contact with your dog is a scummy move, so it’s important to protect other pups if your dog is sick. This means you’ll have to forgo the usual afternoon walks to the dog park as well.

With plenty of rest, relaxation, good meals, loads of water, and any prescribed medicine by the vet, your faithful canine companion will be back to its usual playful form in no time.

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