Can Dogs Catch a Common Cold?

While the simple answer is no, dogs cannot catch the human common cold, they can experience a condition that exhibits similar symptoms, known as canine infectious tracheobronchitis, more commonly referred to as kennel cough. It is important to note that dogs cannot contract human respiratory infections like a cold or COVID-19, but they can catch kennel cough from other dogs.

Understanding Kennel Cough

Kennel cough is an upper respiratory infection caused by a combination of viruses and bacteria. It is highly contagious among dogs, especially those in close proximity, such as in kennels, shelters, and dog parks. The infection can spread through the air, by direct contact with an infected dog, or by contact with contaminated surfaces.

Symptoms of Kennel Cough

Symptoms of kennel cough can resemble cold symptoms in dogs, including:

  • Dry, persistent cough
  • Eye discharge
  • Runny nose
  • Mild fever
  • Loss of appetite
  • Lethargy
  • A hoarse-sounding bark

These symptoms can range from mild to severe and may last from a few days to several weeks. If your dog exhibits any of these symptoms, contact your veterinarian immediately.

Treatment for Kennel Cough

Treatment for kennel cough generally includes:

  • Antibiotics: To treat any secondary bacterial infections.
  • Cough Suppressants: To alleviate the persistent cough and make the dog more comfortable.
  • Oxygen Therapy: In severe cases, dogs might require oxygen support to aid their breathing.
  • In certain cases, chest X-rays might be recommended to rule out other conditions that may be causing similar symptoms.

Preventing Kennel Cough

Preventive measures include:

  • Vaccinations: Ensuring your dog’s vaccines, including the Bordetella vaccine, are up to date can help prevent kennel cough.
  • Clean Environment: Regularly clean your dog’s living area and provide good ventilation.
  • Overall Health: Keep your dog healthy by maintaining routine wellness visits and a healthy diet to boost its immune system.
  • Conclusion

While dogs cannot contract the common cold as humans do, they can suffer from kennel cough, a condition that exhibits similar symptoms. Keeping your dog’s vaccinations up to date and maintaining a clean, ventilated living environment is key to preventing kennel cough. If your dog contracts kennel cough, treatment usually includes antibiotics and cough suppressants. It is also important to ensure overall good health and a strong immune system to minimise the risk of illness.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can dogs get colds from humans?

No, dogs do not typically contract respiratory illnesses like a cold from humans but can catch kennel cough from other dogs.

What are the symptoms of kennel cough?

Symptoms include a dry, persistent cough, eye discharge, runny nose, mild fever, loss of appetite, and lethargy.

How is kennel cough treated?

Kennel cough is usually treated with antibiotics, cough suppressants, and in severe cases, oxygen therapy.

Are there any home remedies for a dog’s cough and cold?

Before attempting any home remedies, consult with your vet. You can chat with a vet online with Wondervet.

Boosting your dog’s immune system can help prevent and treat kennel cough. Probiotics are beneficial for immunity and can be added to your dog’s food. Honey may also help reduce nasal discharge, with a typical serving being one tablespoon twice a day.

Remember to schedule a check-up or a virtual vet visit with WonderVet to ensure the best care for your beloved pet.