“Can dogs get sick from humans?”
This is likely one of the most common questions among households with dogs, especially around cold and flu season, with an answer that may surprise you.
In this article, we’ll dive deep to uncover:
- Whether or not your dog can catch your cold or flu
- Which human diseases your dog can contract
- Which dog diseases you should be careful to avoid
- And much more…
Finally, the answer to a very interesting question that, if nothing more, you’ll be able to pull out next time someone asks, “Can humans get dogs sick?” Let’s see!
Can Dogs Get Sick from Humans — Cold and Flu
Colds and the flu are probably the most common ailments people are concerned about sharing with their furry friend, so I’ll cut straight to the chase. The verdict is a little fuzzy, but the general consensus is that you’re in the clear. It’s nearly impossible to transmit your cold to your dog.
Note: If you have a cat in your household, they are far more susceptible to catching your cold. Next time you get sick, you may want to maintain a safe distance from your cat like you would another human.
Interestingly enough, cases of dog flu are on the rise in recent years, and your dog can certainly come down with their version of our common disease. Symptoms can include:
- Cough (that mimics kennel cough)
- Runny Nose
- Loss of appetite
- Respiratory infection
If your dog is presenting with these symptoms for more than 2 days, consult your vet. They’ll have medications that can help treat any uncomfortable issues that your dog may be suffering with, and most cases will resolve themselves within 7-10 days.
Note: Dogs can also catch their versions of the common cold. Their symptoms can be very similar to ours, and you can help them through it by making sure they drink plenty of water. You can even give them vitamin C to boost their immune system!
What Diseases Your Dog CAN Get from You
You’re in the clear when flu season rolls around, but the question at hand is, “Can dogs get sick from humans?” The answer is yes. Though cases of a dog contracting a disease from a human are quite rare, they are still reported.
The diseases that you have a (slim) chance of passing to your dog (if you ever even come down with them) are:
- Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA)
Now all of these diseases are quite rare, and the chance that you’ll pass them onto your dog is small, but now you know!
What Diseases Can Dogs GIVE to Humans?
We’ve answered the question, “Can dogs get sick from humans?” but before we wrap up this post, we have to talk about which diseases you can get from your dog.
These diseases/parasites are transferable from dogs to humans:
- Rabies — This requires being bitten by an infected animal. For instance, your dog would need to be bitten, then bite you to transmit the virus. This is a very serious but quite rare disease that is transferred from a dog to a human. (Make sure your dog is properly vaccinated!)
- Toxoplasmosis — This can be found in contaminated dog feces, but is more common in cats.
- Hookworm, Roundworm, Tapeworm — These are all parasites found in dogs that have a slim chance of infecting humans
- Ringworm — This is actually a fungus, and it can be transferred from your dog to you.
- Salmonella — Rare in dogs, but this bacterial infection can be transferred to humans and vice versa.
How to Keep Your Dog from Getting Sick
When we ask ourselves, “Can dogs get sick from humans?” it’s typical because we’re concerned for our dog’s well being. For this reason, take a moment to learn what you can do to boost your dog’s immune system and keep them healthy.
Proper nutrition — A healthy diet is essential to keeping your dog healthy. Give them a diet that supplies all the necessary nutrients, and they’ll be stronger for longer.
Exercise — Walks and exercise both help to keep your dog fit and healthy, maintaining a strong immune system.
Plenty of water — Just like in humans, water helps a dog’s body flush toxins and get rid of unwanted elements.
Vitamins — Dog vitamins fill in any nutritional gaps and boost the immune system. Specific vitamins like C can be given during a cold or flu to help speed recovery.
Keep them out of wet/cold — Make sure your dog isn’t exposed to the rain or cold to keep their immune system strong. Both of these elements can decrease immune function.
Now You Know
Next time you get sick, you’ll be able to rest easy knowing that your dog is safe from contracting your flu or cold. The other diseases we’ve listed are rare, but you should still be careful if you or someone in your family comes down with a disease they can pass to your dog. Furthermore, keep your dog healthy and pay attention if your dog is acting strangely. You may be able to help them feel better faster!