Why Do Dogs Get Colds? (And How To Cure It?)

We humans sometimes get colds. We get colds because of many types of viruses, but the common virus that causes humans to get cold is the rhinoviruses. A cold virus will enter a human’s mouth, eyes, and even nose. The virus can spread through the air when somebody who has cold coughs, sneezes, or talks. 

However, how about our dogs? Do dogs get cold? The answer to that question is no. Dogs don’t get colds in the same way humans do, and they also can’t catch the cold virus that causes symptoms in humans, which means they are immune to viruses that cause humans to have cold symptoms. 

However, dogs can attain a virus that has the same symptoms as colds in humans. Dogs can get infections that make them sneeze and sniffle just like we humans do when we have colds. But the main question is, why do dogs get colds? Here is the answer:

Why do dogs get colds? The causes of colds in dogs are the same as humans. However, there is no specific virus that has the label “cold virus”. The reason why is because several viruses cause cold symptoms in dogs. Some viruses are lethal, while some are not. 

Because some viruses are lethal, it is essential to treat your dog’s cold symptoms immediately. Today, I will tell you what you need to do if your dog has a cold, and answer various questions related to our topic. 

But first, let us check the symptoms of colds in your lovely dog. Knowing the symptoms will make it easy for you to identify if your dog has colds or not. So let us check the symptoms! 

What Are The Symptoms Of Colds In Dogs?

First, let us identify what are the symptoms of colds in dogs. 

The symptoms of colds in dogs are:

  • Sneezing
  • Coughing
  • Runny nose
  • Eyes are wet

The symptoms listed above are because of the dog cold virus. However, these symptoms can also because of more lethal viruses like kennel cough, influenza virus, bronchitis, or canine distemper. 

If your dog has these symptoms, the best way you can do is to call a veterinarian for checkups. Some dogs will experience a change in appetite, fever, vomiting, diarrhea, and other changes. If your dog has these changes including the symptoms of cold, it is better to go to the vet for proper treatment. 

There are some things that you can do inside your house to treat the cold of your dog. So, what are the things you can do if your dog has a cold?

What To Do If My Dog Has Cold?

Now, let me tell you the things you need to do if your dog has a cold. These ways are helpful, and it is based on my personal experience.

Use A Humidifier

First, use a humidifier. Why? Because it helps dogs to loosen up a stuffy nose just like it helps us, humans. What I do is I put a humidifier in the room of my dogs or in the room where my dog is currently sleeping. However, if you don’t have a humidifier, you can run a hot bath and keep your dog inside the steamy bathroom for some time.

Clean Your House And Your Dog’s Room

Cleanliness is essential, especially if you and your dog are sick. Clean the food and water bowl of your dogs. Also, the toys, blankets, and other things your dog used to lie down must be clean! Replace their food and water each day even if there is a leftover.

Make Sure That Your Dog Is Getting Lots Of Rest

The next thing you need to do is make sure that your dog is getting lots of rest. Rest is essential if you have colds. However, if your dog is restless, play with your dog in your backyard, but not an exhausting play.

Make Sure That Your Dog Is Eating And Drinking Enough Water

The other thing you need to do when your dog gets cold is to make sure that your dog is eating food and drinking enough water.

Staying hydrated is essential to help your dog recover from the cold. It will help the nasal fluid thin to make it easier for your dog to breathe. However, if your dog does not want to drink water, try putting a low sodium chicken soup with veggies and chicken or pork in your dog’s bowl.

Giving your dog plenty of nutritious food while your dog has a cold will help your dog recover. Chicken, beef, and soup are great choices! However, if your dog doesn’t like to eat because your dog’s sense of smell is dulled, try microwaving the food for ten minutes to make the smell of the food stronger. 

Keep Your Sick Dog Away From Other Dogs If You Have Multiple Dogs

If you have multiple dogs, it is essential to keep your sick dog away from other dogs to prevent the virus from spreading. The cold virus of dogs is different from humans, which is why humans will not catch it. However, other dogs will. Never let your other dogs suffer from the cold virus because of your carelessness!

Bring Your Dog To The Vet

The next thing you should do if your dog has a cold is to bring your dog to the veterinarian. However, when you should bring your dog to the vet? 

The colds of dogs and puppies will go away on their own if you take care of them properly. However, if your dog seems not getting better after a week or two and produces other symptoms like vomiting or diarrhea, it is time to bring your dog to the vet. 

Common cold may be kennel cough or other serious illnesses. Even if it is just a cold, if you don’t take it seriously, it could escalate to pneumonia which is dangerous for your dog. 

Young puppies and old dogs must be taken to the vet if they get sick because their immune system is weaker compared to adult dogs, which can progress to something lethal. 

Can You Prevent Your Dog From Getting A Cold?

No. You can’t prevent your dog from getting a cold since there is no vaccine invented for the common dog cold. 

However, some causes of cold-like symptoms have vaccines. There is a vaccine for kennel cough, distemper, and canine influenza. These vaccines can help your dog prevent such diseases. It is better to talk about vaccination with your vet because they know what is best for your pup. 

Can Dogs Get Colds From Humans?

So, if we humans have a common cold, can dogs get it from us? 

Can dogs get colds from humans? The chances of your dog getting a cold from you is low, or you can say near to impossible. The virus that gives humans cold-like symptoms is different from dogs. 

If your dog can’t get colds from you, you can’t also get colds from your dog. However, other dogs inside your house or in your neighborhood can get it. That is why it is essential to keep your dog inside your house or in a specific room away from your other dogs. 

Final Verdict

The reason why dogs get colds is the same as why humans get colds. There are lots of viruses that cause your dog to have symptoms of a cold. Some of these viruses are more lethal than others, which is why you need to take your dog’s cold symptoms seriously.

As a dog owner, you are solely responsible for your dog’s life and health. You need to check your dog every time to avoid any conflict. I would admit that I have been a bad owner before when I was twelve years old because my dog, Max, a Shih Tzu, died because of my carelessness. 

However, I already learned from my mistake. You should not wait for your dog to die before you become a responsible owner. It is heartbreaking and sad! So take care of your dogs! 

Source: akc.org

Jake Willhoite
Jake runs AnimalDome.com and has had cats and dogs his entire life. As a kid his family adopted several dogs from the local shelter which set him down the path of animal rescue.
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