Can Dogs Get The Flu?


We have all had that sickness. The one where you are laying in bed thinking of all the times you took for granted when you didn’t feel this horrible. We hide away in our rooms in hope of not spreading the sickness to other members of the household. But should you include your four-legged family members on the list of family to not come in contact with?

Can Dogs Get Sick From Humans?

Luckily most colds and flu are species specific. Which means that most the time you have a cold or flu you will not have to worry about that sickness being passed to your dog. But there are a few cases that sickness pass between species such as H1N1 virus or swine flu. There are cases of dogs and cats becoming fatally ill after contracting H1N1 from humans. If you are sick and your loving pup wants to cuddle, you should use the same precautions you would with another human. Don’t let them lick your face or hands, cough or sneeze into your elbow, or maybe just distance yourself from your pet.

Although it is rare from humans to pass their sickness to dogs. It is much easier for dogs to catch illnesses from other dogs. Places where dogs come in contact and are social with other dogs is where sickness can be spread easily. These can be doggie daycare, kennels, dogs parks, or other areas where dogs can come in contact with each others saliva or can breathe in bacteria and viruses. This can happen by dogs chewing on the same toy or even dogs barking at each other. Being social is an important part of your dog's mental and physical health, but these places should be avoided if there is a break out of the dog flu in your area.

Dog Sickness

When your dog gets sick the symptoms are very similar to humans symptoms. Nose or eye discharge, coughing, labored breathing, an upset stomach which causes vomiting, diarrhea, or lack of appetite could all be signs of sickness. Here are two of the most common dog illnesses to watch out for: 

Kennel Cough

Most dog owners have heard of kennel cough or canine infectious tracheobronchitis before. The symptoms of kennel cough can be runny nose, eye discharge or sneezing. The most common symptom is the very forceful cough. This distinct, even goose like honk, of a cough is the telltale sign of kennel cough. Kennel cough is passed through inhaling bacteria from other dog. Most cases of kennel cough are not serious, similar to a human cold. Your dog should recover fully in a matter of weeks.

Dog Flu

Dog flu or canine influenza is a respiratory infection. The symptoms of dog flu are very similar to human flu symptoms. Lack of energy, coughing, nose or eye discharge, labored breathing, and an upset stomach are all signs of the flu. If your dog is having these symptoms make an appointment with your veterinarian.

If you have multiple dogs in your home and one of them becomes sick take preventive measures to keep the other dog(s) healthy. Just like humans try to keep them separated as possible and wash your hands after you have been around your sick dog.

Dog Flu Shot

The preventive shot is give to dogs that are at greater risk of getting the flu. Such as very social dogs that are constantly in the flu hotspots. Just like the human flu shot it doesn’t guarantee that your dogs won’t get the flu, it is just a little extra protection.